Sexual Harassment Policy

Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) has pledged to preserve a work environment free from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment in the workplace or in other setting in which employees, interns or anyone associated with the program may find themselves in connection with their employment or service is unlawful gender discrimination under federal and state law. The aim of this policy is to prevent sexual harassment towards any VVM employee, intern or participant

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct which involves sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to or rejection of such advances, requests or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or as a basis for employment decisions; or when such advances, requests or conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or sexually offensive work environment.  

Examples of conduct which may constitute sexual harassment include:

  • Explicit or implicit demands for sexual favors in exchange for job benefits or an individual’s educational status or preferential treatment;
  • Unwelcome and deliberate touching, patting, grabbing or pinching of another person, including that person’s private body parts and whether that person is of the same sex or the opposite sex
  • Coercing, forcing or attempting to coerce or force the touching of anyone’s intimate parts
  • Coercing, forcing or attempting to coerce or force sexual intercourse or a sexual act on another
  • Unwelcome and sexually explicit letters, telephone calls, voicemails, emails, texts or graphics, downloaded materials or websites, including social media websites
  • Graffiti of a sexual or jokes of a sexual nature
  • Unwelcome sexual gestures or looks 
  • Touching oneself sexually or talking about one’s sexual activity in front of others
  • Spreading rumors about or rating others as to sexual activity or performance

All VVM employees, interns and participants are responsible for helping ensure that our workspace is kept free of sexual harassment. If you feel you have been a victim of sexual harassment or have witnessed sexual harassment, report the behavior to one of the following individuals: our Human Resources Coordinator [Lynn Kucejko] or to Dorota Glosowitz, Jen Gallant, or Liz Roberts

Because VVM takes all allegations of sexual harassment seriously, we will respond promptly to complaints of sexual harassment and will conduct a prompt investigation of the complaint.  When it is determined that such inappropriate conduct has occurred, we will take effective action to eliminate the harassment.  Such action may range from counseling to immediate dismissal.  To the extent appropriate, the person who made the complaint will be informed of the results of the investigation.  VVM will make every reasonable effort to treat complaints and investigations of sexual harassment confidentially.

It is unlawful to retaliate against a VVM employee, intern or participant for reporting sexual harassment or cooperating with an investigation of a complaint for sexual harassment.

Regardless of whether a complaint of sexual harassment is brought to the attention of VVM as described above, an employee, intern or participant who believes he or she has been sexually harassed may report such conduct to the MASSACHUSETTS COMMISSION AGAINST DISCRIMINATION, 436 Dwight Street, Springfield, MA 01103 (413-739-2145); MASSACHUSETTS COMMISSION AGAINST DISCRIMINATION, One Ashburton Place, Room 601, Boston, MA 02108 (617-994-6000); or to the EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, John F. Kennedy Federal Building, 475 Government Center, Boston, MA 02203 (800-669-4000).

VVM has a separate policy dealing with unlawful harassment.  

I acknowledge that I have received the Valley Venture Mentors Sexual Harassment Policy. I understand that it is my responsibility to be familiar with and conform to the procedures contained in this policy. I am expected to abide by the rules and requirements contained in the policy with regard to the reporting of harassment, including the obligation to report violations of the policy and not to retaliate against anyone for exercising his/her rights under this policy.