Section: Foundations and Basic Commitments
Title: Harassment and Sexual Harassment of School Employees
Adopted: April 6, 2006
Last Revised: October 29, 2019
Prior Revised Dates: 5/14/2013
HARASSMENT AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF SCHOOL EMPLOYEES
Harassment of school employees because of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ancestry or national origin, age, genetic information or disability is prohibited. Such conduct is a violation of the Portland Board of Public Education policy and may constitute illegal discrimination under state and federal laws.
The term “sexual orientation” under state law means a person’s “actual or perceived heterosexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality or gender identity or expression.” The term “gender identity” under state law means “the gender-related identity, appearance, mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, regardless of the individual’s assigned sex at birth.”
Harassment includes but is not limited to verbal abuse, threats, physical assault and/or battery based on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ancestry or national origin, age, genetic information or disability. Under the Maine Civil Rights Act, violence or threats of violence against a person or their property based on their sexual orientation are also illegal.
Unwelcome sexual advances, suggestive or lewd remarks, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an employee’s work environment or employee benefits;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an employee is used as the basis for decisions on employment benefits; and/or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
Any employee who engages in harassment or sexual harassment will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.
All complaints of harassment will be investigated in accordance with the Employee & Third Party Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Procedure.
Notice and Training
Annually, each employee shall receive a copy of this policy and the Employee & Third Party Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Procedure. This may be accomplished by including the policy/procedure with employee paychecks or by using other appropriate means to ensure that each employee receives a copy. All newly hired employees shall be provided training about sexual harassment in accordance with Maine law.
The Superintendent is responsible for ensuring that the school unit complies with all legal requirements for posting, notification and training of employees regarding harassment and sexual harassment.
26 MRSA §§ 806-807
20 MRSA § 6553
5 MRSA §§ 4602; 4681 et seq.
Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (42 U.S.C. § 2000ff et seq.)
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (29 USC §623)
Title VII (42 USC § 2000c-2; 29 CFR § 1604.11)
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) (29 USC § 794 et seq.), as amended
Americans with Disabilities Act (42 USC § 12101 et seq.), as amended
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 USC § 2000d)
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 USC § 1681 et seq.)
AC- Nondiscrimination/Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
ACAB-R- Employee & Third Party Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Procedure