Sample Contract Language
Presented below are three examples of contract language that AFSCME has negotiated. These are not "model provisions" but are representative samples of sexual harassment clauses.
Under the Wisconsin agreement, the employer has a contractual duty to take affirmative steps to provide a harassment-free environment, but no internal grievance or complaint procedure is established to handle complaints. Instead, victims must pursue legal remedies.
The Minnesota agreement utilizes the employer's complaint procedure with a special provision made for the right of the union to participate in the procedure on the victim's behalf.
The Massachusetts agreement utilizes the regular grievance procedure.
Each of these examples also includes the EEOC definition of sexual harassment, which was edited from these examples to avoid redundancy. It is recommended that sexual harassment be defined in the contract or by reference to the EEOC definition.
State of Wisconsin and AFSCME Council 24
Section 1: Discrimination
Employees covered under this Agreement shall be covered by Subchapter II (State Fair Employment Act), Chapter 111, Wis. Stats., and have a discrimination-free environment assured for all protected purposes.
The Employer and the Union agree that all State Employees should be able to work in an environment free of sexual harassment and that no employee should be subject to sexual harassment. Sexual harassment, which may involve a person of either sex against a person of the opposite and same sex, undermines the integrity of the workplace and should be eliminated.
In order to prevent and eliminate sexual harassment. The Employer shall fulfill its contractual obligations with regard to this section by:
(a) including in the affirmative action plan a statement of the policy on preventing and eliminating sexual harassment and identifying available complaint procedure(s); and
(b) distributing to all employees appropriate information concerning the nature of sexual harassment, methods by which it may be prevented or eliminated, and avenues through which victims may seek assistance; and
(c) briefing supervisory personnel on the problem of sexual harassment and their role in taking corrective action; and
(d) posting a copy of Executive Order No. 63 on all Management bulletin boards; and
(e) providing each Local Union with a copy of Executive Order No. 63 for posting on Union bulletin boards; and
(f) appointing, in those departments which have or create committees to deal with sexual harassment, one employee of the department to such committees to represent all WSEU bargaining units. Such employee(s) shall be selected by Council 24.
Any allegations of sexual harassment concerning supervisory personnel or co-employees shall be restricted to the remedies available under State and Federal Statutes. The grievance procedure in Article IV shall not be used to resolve any matters involving any allegations of sexual harassment.
When an employee is being interviewed by an official investigator in regard to charges of sexual harassment that has been filed by said employee with said investigator's agency the employee's participation in said interview shall be without loss of pay.
State of Minnesota and AFSCME Council 6
It is agreed by the Employer and the Union that all employees have a right to a workplace free of verbal and/or physical sexual harassment. The employer agrees that all agency complaint procedures for sexual harassment shall be opened to Union participation at the request of the complaining employee and that each appointing Authority/designee shall inform a complaining party of this right.
Further, the Employer and Union agree that agency complain procedures covering sexual harassment are modified to include these additional requirements.
(1) When a complaint of sexual harassment is initiated, a notice of complaint in progress will be sent by the Appointing Authority/designee to the Union. If in filing a complaint an employee states that she/he is unable to function in the worksite from which the complaint arose, the Appointing Authority/designee shall conduct a preliminary investigation establishing that a reasonable basis for the employee's concern about continuing in the work situation exists, the situation which may include temporarily reassigning either party until such time as the complaint is fully investigated, there is a finding, and corrective action, if required, is implemented.
(2) Within twenty-one (21) calendar days, the Appointing Authority/designee shall conduct a full investigation and prepare a report along with designated actions to be taken to remedy the involvement in the complaint, the Union's representative as well as the complaint shall be provided a written summary of the findings and resolution. The Union and Employer agree that all hearings and records shall be private and that reprisal against an aggrieved employee or a witness is prohibited.
(3) If the Appointing Authority fails to respond or fails to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the appealing party, then the complaint may be referred to the Equal Opportunity Division of the Department of Employee Relations for review within twenty-one (21) calendar days of the response of the Appointing Authority. The Equal Opportunity Division shall confer within ten (10) working days with the Appointing Authority/designee involved in an attempt to resolve the complaint.
(4) Any complaint which is not resolved by this procedure is not subject to the provisions of Article XVII of the Master Agreement between the Union and the Employer. Such unresolved complaints, if pursued, must be filed with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights within six (6) months of the occurrence of the alleged harassment.
State of Massachusetts and Council 93
ANTI-DISCRIMINATION AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
Section 1. The Employer and the Union agree not to discriminate in any way against employees covered by this Agreement on account of race, religion, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, mental or physical handicap.
Section 2. The Union and the employer agree that when the effects of employment practices, regardless of their intent, discriminate against any group of people on the basis of race, religion, age, sex, national origin, or mental or physical handicap, specific positive and aggressive measures must be taken to redress the effects of past discrimination, to eliminate present and future discrimination, and to ensure equal opportunity in the areas of hiring, upgrading, demotion or transfer, recruitment, layoff or termination, rate of compensation, and in-service or apprenticeship training programs. Therefore, the parties acknowledge the need for positive and aggressive affirmative action.
Section 3. The State-Wide Labor/Management Committee established pursuant to ARTICLE 26 shall give priority to the area of affirmative action. The Committee shall review affirmative action programs and shall devote its best efforts to alleviating any obstacles that are found to exist to the implementation of the policy and commitments contained in the Governor's Executive Order No. 116 dated May 1, 1975, or as subsequently amended.
Section 4. The Employer and the Union acknowledge that sexual harassment may be a form of unlawful sex discrimination, and the parties mutually agree that no employee should be subjected to such harassment.
Section 5. A grievance alleging a violation of Section 4 of this article shall be filed initially at Step II of the grievance procedure. Such action must be brought within 21 days from the alleged act or occurrence.