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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Non Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy

In accordance with Board Policy 3410, it is the policy of Antelope Valley Community College District to maintain
a learning and working environment that is free from discrimination on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental
disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation, or Vietnam era veteran’s status, or because he or she is perceived to be in a protected category or associated with those in a protected category.

Policy/Complaint Procedure

The policy regarding discrimination and sexual harassment as well as the Discrimination Complaint Form is available in the Office of Human Resources and Employee Relations.

Students or employees with complaints of discrimination, sexual harassment, Title IX violations, or ADA matters involving Section 504 should direct them to the District Compliance Officer at (661) 722- 6300, extension 6311.

Copies of the complaint procedure are available from the Office of Human Resources and Employee Relations.

The Vice President of Human Resources and Employee Relations, who serves as the District’s Compliance Officer, is the administrator responsible for receiving complaints of discrimination based on age as well as disability, race, religion and sex, including sexual harassment.

Questions or concerns should be directed to:

Human Resources and Employee Relations
3041 West Avenue K
Lancaster, CA 93536-5426
(661) 722-6300 ext. 6311

Sex Discrimination

Sex discrimination is defined as the differential treatment of students and staff within the college community on the basis of sex in employment, educational programs and activities.

Sex discrimination examples in the treatment of students include, but are not limited to:

  • Admissions.
  • Access to programs and facilities.
  • Vocational education.
  • Physical education.
  • Competitive athletics.
  • Graduation requirements.
  • Student rules, regulations and benefits.
  • Treatment of married and/or pregnant students.
  • Financial assistance.
  • Extracurricular activities.
  • Comments consistently targeted only at one gender.

Sexual harassment and/or sex discrimination and the associated behaviors as stated, but not limited to the examples, are unacceptable within the college environment and during any offcampus college-sponsored activities. The standard for determining whether conduct constitutes sexual harassment is whether a reasonable person of the same gender as the victim would perceive the conduct as harassment based on sex.

This policy covers all individuals in the workplace. Antelope Valley College will not tolerate, condone, or allow sexual harassment and/or sex discrimination, whether engaged in by employees or nonemployees who conduct business with the district. The district encourages reporting of all incidents of sexual harassment and/ or sex discrimination, regardless of who the offender may be, or the offender’s relationship to the district. Sanctions shall be taken against any student, employee, or non-employee conducting business with the district who engages in sexual harassment and/or sex discrimination.

Sexual Harassment

Purpose of Policy

The purpose of the district’s sexual harassment policy is to:

  1. Prohibit and discourage any person in the work or education setting from sexually harassing any other person including students in the work or educational setting;
  2. Provide a harassment-free work and educational environment;
  3. Remedy in a speedy manner and consequences of sexual harassment;
  4. Provide on-going education and awareness of the problem of sexual harassment; and,
  5. Provide information about how to pursue claims of sexual harassment.

General Definitions

To be unlawful , gender- based harassment has to be pervasive and severe enough to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment or educational environment. Trivial, isolated incidents will not necessarily create a hostile atmosphere. Moreover, the conduct generally must be repetitive, although when physical behavior is involved, a one-time occurrence sometimes will be sufficient.

Generally, sexual harassment occurs when unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature:

  1. Is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s education status or employment.
  2. Is used as a basis for educational or employment decisions affecting such individual.
  3. Creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational or working environment.

Specific Examples

For the purpose of further clarification, sexual harassment includes but is not limited to:

  1. Continuing unsolicited and/or unwelcome written, verbal, physical and/or visual contact with sexual overtones.
    Written examples include, but are not limited to: suggestive or obscene letters, notes, invitations.
    Verbal examples include, but are not limited to: derogatory comments, innuendoes, slurs, jokes, epithets.
    Physical examples include, but are not limited to: assault, touching, impeding or blocking movement.
    Visual examples include, but are not limited to: leering, gestures, display of sexually offensive objects or pictures, cartoons, or posters.
  2. Continuing to express sexual interest after being informed that the interest is unwelcome. (Reciprocal attraction is not considered sexual harassment, however, this type of situation could create a hostile environment for others.)
  3. Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct by the individual is used as the basis for any decision affecting the individual regarding benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through the educational institution. For example, within the work environment, either implying or actually withholding support for an appointment, promotion, or change of assignment; suggesting a poor performance evaluation will be prepared, or suggesting probation will be failed. Within the educational environment, either implying or actually withholding grades earned or deserved; or suggesting a scholarship recommendation or college application will be denied.
  4. Within the work environment, engaging in implicit or explicit coercive sexual behavior which is used to control, influence, affect the career, salary and/or work environment of another employee. Within the educational environment, engaging in implicit or explicit coercive sexual behavior which is used to control, influence, or affect the educational opportunities, grades and/or learning environment of a student.
  5. Offering favors or educational or employment benefits, such as grades or promotions, favorable performance evaluations, favorable assignments, favorable duties or shifts, recommendations, reclassifications, etc., in exchange for sexual favors.
  6. A pattern of conduct that would cause discomfort and/or humiliate a reasonable person at whom the conduct was directed and that includes one or more of the following:
    1. Unnecessary touching, patting, hugging, or brushing against a person’s body.
    2. Remarks of a sexual nature about a person’s clothing or body; or remarks about sexual activity or speculations about previous sexual experiences.

General Provisions and Guidelines Charges/Complaints

  1. Filing
    Charges/complaints should be in writing and shall be filed with the district compliance officer or designee. Any charge/complaint received, whether in writing or not, shall be investigated.
  2. Content of Charge/Complaint
    The charge/complaint shall identify the offending person or persons; include reference to specific examples of offensive conduct, including dates, times and places; identify the remedy sought; and describe the informal efforts made to correct the situation.
  3. Review and Disclosure of Charge/Complaint
    The district compliance officer or designee shall review the charge/ complaint. As soon as reasonably possible after receipt of the charge/ complaint, the student, employee, or other person who is accused of sexual harassment will be informed of the contents of the charge/complaint.
  4. Time Limits
    A charge/complaint shall be filed within one year of the date of the alleged unlawful discrimination or within one year of the date on which the complainant knew or should have known of the facts underlying the allegation of unlawful discrimination*.

Reference: Education Code Sections 66250, et seq.; 87100, et seq. Title 5, Section 53000, et seq.

Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations is available at http://ccr.oal.ca.gov and in the AVC Library.