Sexual Harassment Policy

PHILOSOPHY
It is our firm and sincere conviction based upon scripture that the obedient Christian live a chaste life, avoid the appearance of evil, and take responsibility for all personal communications whether sent directly or inferred. Therefore, anyone suggesting, speaking, or making an innuendo which is implicitly or explicitly sexual will be violating the policy of Artists in Christian Testimony Intl and, therefore, subject to discipline. The State of Tennessee and the United States Federal Law forbid sexual harassment. In this they do well, but God has already charged us to walk righteously and purely. Hence, this statement is not merely a legal one, but also one of personal morality and righteousness.

POLICY
It is the policy of Artists in Christian Testimony Intl to provide all of its employees with a work environment that is as free of unlawful discrimination as possible. 

Harassment of employees by coworkers, supervisors, managers, or vendors will not be permitted regardless of their working relationship. Harassment and reprisals for reporting harassment are serious offenses of Artists in Christian Testimony Intl’s work rules, and offenders will be subject to discipline up to and including termination.

GENERAL STATEMENT
Sexual harassment is first and foremost prohibited by the standards of Christian behavior set out in scripture, and as such, it is expressly against ministry policy. It is also a violation of the sex discrimination provisions of applicable federal, state, and local law. Every applicant and employee should be free of discriminatory intimidation based on gender, as well as race, religion, color, national origin, age, or disability.

As a preventative measure, the ministry condemns any conduct under the definition of sexual harassment and will investigate and resolve all alleged complaints. There will be no retaliation against any employee for filing complaints.

DEFINITION
Sexual harassment will be defined in the following terms:

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: 
  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment (example: a promise of continued employment or a threat of termination based on submission); or
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual (example: poor job evaluations or failure to increase income as a result of rejection of such conduct); or 
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment (example: lewd comments, dirty jokes, nude pictures, obscene gestures, etc.)
Sexual harassment is not limited to supervisor/subordinate relationships, but can involve fellow employees or non-employees. As employers, we may be held responsible for the actions of our agents, managers, supervisors, and even non-managerial employees. In certain cases, we may be held responsible for acts of harassment by customers or other business visitors in the workplace if we fail to take immediate and appropriate corrective action, even though such conduct was not authorized or was clearly prohibited by ministry policy. Therefore, it is Artists in Christian Testimony Intl’s policy not only to prohibit all harassment, but also to take prompt and appropriate corrective and preventative action in the event any violation of this policy occurs.

COMPLAINT PROCEDURE
Any employee who believes he or she has been the victim of, or who is aware of, sexual harassment should promptly report this problem to his or her immediate supervisor or the executive director. All such complaints must be made and/or confirmed in writing. Supervisors are to report all complaints to the executive director for investigation. All information relating to such a complaint shall be kept absolutely confidential. 

INVESTIGATION—DETERMINATION 
Following its receipt in writing, all complaints will be investigated in accordance with the grievance procedure set out in the Staff Policy Manual. All relevant facts, including the context in which the alleged incident occurred, will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in determining whether an action does, in fact, constitute a violation of this policy. In determining whether a specific action is, in fact, a violation, the scripture will be our first point of reference. We will also utilize the criteria proscribed by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and the Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Sex issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and this policy.

Such considerations include:
  1. Whether submission to the conduct is either an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment.
  2. Whether submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for an employment decision.
  3. Whether the conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
CONFIDENTIALITY
Due to the sensitivity of sexual harassment complaints, each allegation will be expeditiously and appropriately investigated. All such investigations will be conducted in a discreet and sensitive manner. However, scripture precludes “secret investigations” and charges that each person is entitled to be confronted by his or her accuser. However, all such procedures will be conducted in a manner that will protect the privacy and minimize accusation and suspicion of all parties involved. 

EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBILITY
Recognizing that such conduct is a matter of personal morality and righteousness before God, every employee is responsible for refraining from conduct or language which would be defined as sexual harassment.

MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITY
It is the responsibility of each manager and supervisor to demonstrate and uphold scriptural behavior in all aspects of the ways in which they deal with those responsible to them. As such, they are responsible for the full implementation of this policy and for the creation and maintenance of a positive environment in the workplace free of sexual harassment. In addition, they are responsible for communication of this policy to all of their subordinates. 

REMEDIAL ACTION
Should the investigation disclose a violation of this policy, appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including discharge, will be taken.

RETALIATION OR REPRISAL
Retaliation or reprisal against persons making complaints is prohibited and will not be tolerated.
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