Every nonprofit (even those with only volunteers) must now have a written policy against sexual harassment. The following is The Foundation for Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School’s (“The Foundation for MERS”) policy.
The Foundation for MERS does not permit or allow sexual abuse, molestation or harassment to occur in its meetings or at any activity sponsored by or related to it. To make this “zero—tolerance” policy clear to all employees, contractors, volunteers and board members, we have adopted mandatory procedures that employees, volunteers, contractors, board members, individuals and victims must follow when they learn of, or witness sexual abuse or molestation. Those reasonably suspected or believed to have committed sexual abuse or misconduct will be immediately placed on leave or prohibited from volunteering for The Foundation for MERS until an investigation is completed. Any allegation reasonably substantiated after an investigation will immediately and permanently terminate all relationships between the individual and The Foundation for MERS. No employee, volunteer, trustee or other person, regardless of his or her title or position has the authority to commit or allow sexual abuse or misconduct. Sexual abuse includes sexual assault, exploitation, molestation or sexually related injury. Sexual harassment can include verbal harassment which is sexual in nature, whether in person, over the phone, or online; physical harassment, such as unwanted touching; or visual harassment, such as exposing oneself, displaying or emailing pornographic images, cartoons, or drawings.
Immediately report suspected sexual abuse or misconduct to (insert name) at (insert email address) or (insert phone #) It is not required to directly confront the person who is the source of the report, question or complaint before notifying any of the individuals listed. The Foundation for MERS’s Governance Committee will take every reasonable measure to ensure that those named in complaint of misconduct or are too closely associated with those involved in the complaint will not be part of the investigative team.
Investigation & Follow Up
The Foundation for MERS will take all allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct seriously and will promptly, thoroughly, and equitably investigate whether misconduct has taken place. The Foundation for MERS may utilize an outside third party to conduct an investigation of misconduct or rely on the investigation of law enforcement. Our organization will cooperate fully with any investigation conducted by law enforcement or other regulatory/protective services agencies. To the fullest extent possible, but consistent with our legal obligation to report suspected abuse to appropriate authorities, we will endeavor to keep the identities of the alleged victims and the investigation’s subject confidential.
If the investigation substantiates the allegation, our policy provides for disciplinary actions up to and including the termination of the actor’s relationship with our organization.
We prohibit any retaliation against anyone, including an employee, volunteer, board member, student or individual, who in good faith reports sexual abuse, alleges that it is being committed or participates in the investigation. Intentionally false or malicious accusations of sexual abuse are prohibited.
Anyone who improperly retaliates against someone who has made a good faith allegation of sexual abuse, or intentionally provides false information to that effect, will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination.
Reporting to Law Enforcement or Appropriate Child or Adult Protective Services
The Foundation for MERS is committed to following the state and federal legal requirements for reporting allegations or incidents of sexual abuse or misconduct to appropriate law enforcement and child or adult protective services organizations. It is the policy of The Foundation for MERS not to attempt to investigate or assess the validity or credibility of an allegation of sexual or physical abuse as a condition before reporting the allegation to proper law enforcement authorities or protective services organizations.