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Approved by Executive Council on 2/3/09
The State University of New York, College at Plattsburgh (SUNY Plattsburgh or the College) is an educational community bound by common standards of conduct and a commitment to ensuring a safe and supportive learning and working environment for all students and employees. This policy establishes procedures for responding to incidents of intimate partner violence (IPV), including procedures to assist victims, procedures to hold perpetrators accountable, and procedures to reduce the incidence of IPV.
2.0 Revision History
Created January, 2004
Revised November 2008
Reviewed by: Arlene Sabo, Chief, University Police
Lynda J. Ames, Ph.D., Title IX Coordinator
Larry Mills, Executive Director, Human Resource Services
Steve Matthews, Dean of Students
Bryan Hartman,, Director of Residence Life
3.0 Persons Affected
All college employees and all college students, as well as visitors to campus.
It is the policy of SUNY Plattsburgh that intimate partner violence will not be tolerated.
Further, it is the policy of the College to support and assist victims in attaining the services they may need and/or to report the assault to appropriate College offices and/or police agencies. It is the policy of the
College to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions, through campus judicial or personnel procedures if appropriate, and by working with community agencies and law enforcement as appropriate.
This policy will be reviewed annually by the Executive Director of Human Resource Services, the Affirmative Action Officer, and the Chief of University Police.
Stalking and intimate partner violence are related phenomena and can often occur in the same relationship. (Also see the College's Policy on Sexual Assault.)
Intimate Partner Violence (also called domestic violence, dating violence, relationship violence, wife abuse, or battering) is a pattern of abusive behavior-physical (e.g., striking, shoving, kicking, punching, strangling, restraining); sexual (rape, sexual assault); emotional (e.g., isolation from friends and family, verbal abuse); and psychological (e.g., threats of harm to victim or self, a third party, pets, or property, humiliation and degradation, harassment)-that is used by one person to gain power and control over a current or former spouse or intimate partner, or current or former dating partner. This definitions includes heterosexual couples and gay couples.
Stalking is a pattern of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment that is intended to cause or does cause a reasonable person (or others important to that person) to fear or suffer: death; assault; bodily injury; sexual assault; involuntary restraint; damage to property; confinement; or threats of harassment via electronic devices. The individual knows or should know that such conduct is likely to cause reasonable fear of material harm to physical health, safety, or personal property of such person, a member of such person's family, or a third party with whom the person is acquainted.. Stalking can involve a range of behaviors including, but not limited to, following someone on foot or in a car; showing up at a victim's place of work; repeatedly calling; sending flowers and gifts; contact through e-mails or letters; breaking into the victim's home or car; homicide.
Many, but not all, of the behaviors involved in IPV or stalking break New York State law. (This policy is not intended to substitute for or supplant those laws.)
6.0 Procedures and Responsibilities
All College Employees:
•Are encouraged to be familiar with campus and community resources available to victims and survivors, and offer support and assistance as appropriate. (See "Resources" below.)
•Should assist the victim/survivor-with her/his consent-to seek services (hospital, medical, crisis intervention) and report the incident to authorities (University Police, Judicial Affairs, Human Resource Services).
See the attached Intimate Partner Violence flowchart ( .pdf file 44KB )
•Should, when learning of an incident of stalking or IPV, complete a confidential report form with Judicial Affairs, 564-3282. This is especially important when students are involved.
•Will maintain confidentiality to the extent possible-see Appendix A.
In addition, various offices have these further responsibilities:
Judicial Affairs will:
•Collect confidential report forms in cases involving students and summarize to College officials and the University Police (UP).
•Respond to allegations of student misconduct consistent with the Student Conduct Manual. Such allegations can be made by victims or witnesses. This procedure is independent of any criminal procedure.
•Hold student perpetrators accountable.
•Organize training for members of the Judicial Board concerning the dynamics of stalking and intimate partner violence.
•Organize educational sessions regarding IPV and stalking prevention during New Student Orientation.
Human Resource Services will:
•Respond to allegations of employee misconduct consistent with College policy. (See Appendix D.) Such allegations can be made by victims or witnesses. This procedure is independent of any criminal procedure.
•Endeavor to keep victims safe in the workplace. (See Appendix B and C.)
•Organize periodic training sessions for staff on this policy and on the dynamics of stalking and IPV assault. Such training will be strongly encouraged for supervisors and administrators.
•Disseminate information to College employees concerning this policy. Convey copies of the policy to new employees.
•Report cases confidentially to the Office of Judicial Affairs (which keeps the statistics).
University Police will:
•Investigate reports and/or refer perpetrator for prosecution, personnel action, or judicial sanction as appropriate.
Employee Assistance Program will:
•Refer employees to appropriate services.
Center for Student Health and Psychological Services will:
•Provide appropriate medical services, including counseling, for students.
•Report incidents involving students to Judicial Affairs (which keeps the statistics).
Offices of Housing/Residence Life will:
•Report all incidents to the Director of Residential Life at 564-3824, who will refer as appropriate.
•Place this policy in the manual for RAs and RDs.
•Report incidents involving students to Judicial Affairs (which keeps the statistics).
•Work with community agencies on safety planning with victims.
•564-2022 University Police
•564-3282 Judicial Affairs
•564-5062 Human Resource Services
•564-3824 Housing and Residence Life
•564-2187 Center for Student Health and Psychological Services
Off Campus: NOTE that these agencies may change; the listings are current for 2008
•563-6904 STOP Domestic Violence/Behavioral Health Services North
•563-3411 Plattsburgh City Police
•563-3761 NY State State Police
APPENDIX A: CONFIDENTIALITY
Information related to an employee being a victim of domestic violence shall be kept confidential, to the extent permitted by law and campus policy, and shall not be divulged without the consent of the victimized employee, unless the campus determines that maintaining said confidentiality puts the victim or other employees at risk of physical harm, is required by law, or is deemed necessary to enforce an order of protection. In such circumstances where a determination has been made that maintaining confidentiality puts the victim or other employees at risk of physical harm, only those individuals deemed necessary by the campus to protect the safety of the victim and/or other employees or to enforce an order of protection shall be given such information. SUNY Plattsburgh shall disclose only the minimum amount of information necessary to protect the safety of the victim and/or other employees or enforce an order of protection. Where possible, SUNY Plattsburgh will provide to the victim of domestic violence notice of the intent to provide information to other employees and/or safety personnel. Nothing herein shall prevent SUNY Plattsburgh from investigating an act or acts of domestic violence occurring in the workplace. Some examples of situations where confidentiality cannot be maintained include the following:
1. Supervisors/managers may be informed about a domestic violence incident that happens in the workplace, or a report of domestic violence, if it is necessary to protect the safety of the employee or the employee's co-workers.
2. First aid and safety personnel may be informed about a domestic violence incident that happens in the workplace or a report of domestic violence, if it is necessary to protect the safety of the employee or the employee's co-workers.
3. Government officials investigating a domestic violence incident that occurs in the workplace, or a report of domestic violence, shall be provided relevant information upon request and in accordance with legal requirements.
APPENDIX B: SPECIFIC PERSONNEL POLICIES
Non-Discriminatory and Responsive Personnel Policies for Victimized Employees
SUNY Plattsburgh shall ensure that personnel policies and procedures do not discriminate against victims of domestic violence and are responsive to the needs of victims of domestic violence.
1. New York State law makes it a crime for employers to penalize an employee who, as a victim or witness of a criminal offense, is appearing as a witness, consulting with a district attorney, or exercising his/her rights as provided in the Criminal Procedure Law, the Family Court Act, and the Executive Law. This law requires employers, with prior day notification, to allow time off for victims or subpoenaed witnesses to exercise his/her rights as provided in the Criminal Procedure Law, the Family Court Act, and the Executive Law [Penal Law §215.14]. If there are any questions or concerns regarding the leave that must be granted to victims or subpoenaed witnesses, contact the Executive Director of Human Resource Services or the Attendance and Leave Unit at the Department of Civil Service.
2. SUNY Plattsburgh, upon request, will assist the employee in determining the best use of his/her attendance and leave benefits when an employee needs to be absent as a result of being a victim of domestic violence. If an employee requests time off to care for and/or assist a family member who has been a victim of domestic violence, SUNY Plattsburgh will evaluate the employee's request for leave for eligibility under existing law and collective bargaining agreements applicable to the employee and the attendance rules.
3. SUNY Plattsburgh understands that victims of domestic violence may lack the required documentation or have difficulty obtaining the required documentation to justify absences without compromising their safety. Therefore, the Executive Director of Human Resource Services will consult with the employee to identify what documentation she/he might have, or be able to obtain, that will not compromise his/her safety-related needs and will satisfactorily meet the documentation requirement of the employer. Because there are confidentiality issues associated with the submission of documentation in these instances, SUNY Plattsburgh may choose to consult with the Attendance and Leave Unit at the Department of Civil Service when questions arise.
4. Employees who are victims of domestic violence and who separate from a spouse (or terminate a relationship with a domestic partner, if covered), shall be allowed to make reasonable changes in benefits at any time during the calendar year where possible, in accordance with statute, regulation, contract and policy.
5. SUNY Plattsburgh will not make inquiries about a job applicant's current or past domestic violence victimization, and employment decisions will not be based on any assumptions about or knowledge of such exposure.
6. In cases in which it is identified that an employee's work performance difficulties are a result of being a victim of domestic violence, said employee shall be afforded all of the proactive measures outlined in this policy, and shall be provided clear information about performance expectations, priorities, and performance evaluation. If a disciplinary process is initiated, special care will be taken to consider all aspects of the victimized employee's situation. SUNY Plattsburgh shall utilize all reasonable available options to resolve work-related performance problems, and may make a referral to the Employee Assistance Program, consistent with existing collective bargaining unit agreements, statute, regulations and agency policy.
7. If reasonable measures have been taken to resolve domestic violence-related work performance problems of victimized employees, but the performance problems persist and the employee is terminated or voluntarily separates from employment due to these domestic violence related issues, and the employee conveys to SUNY Plattsburgh that the separation is due to these domestic violence issues, SUNY Plattsburgh shall inform the employee of his or her potential eligibility for unemployment insurance and respond quickly to any requests for information that may be needed in the claims process. New York State law provides that a victim of domestic violence who voluntarily separates from employment may, under certain circumstances, be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. [§593 of NYS Labor Law.]
SUNY Plattsburgh Responsibility
1. SUNY Plattsburgh believes that domestic violence is behavior that cannot be tolerated and, to that end will, actively provide information and support to employees who are victims of such abuse.
2. SUNY Plattsburgh will disseminate copies of this Domestic Violence and the Workplace Policy to all employees upon implementation and to all new employees upon hiring or appointment.
3. SUNY Plattsburgh encourages all employees to review and follow this policy and the procedures set forth herein.
4. SUNY Plattsburgh will, consistent with applicable law and campus policy, document all incidents of domestic violence that happen in the workplace. Such documents should be provided to the designated liaison to System Administration as soon as practicable. Such documents shall be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law and campus policy and the provisions of section g detailed below.
5. All SUNY Plattsburgh employees providing domestic violence information and support services shall document, consistent with applicable law and agency policy, the number of employees who report domestic violence, the number of employees that request information/services, and the number of referrals made to domestic violence service providers. All information about employees who seek assistance shall be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law and campus policy and the provisions of section g detailed below, and documentation should not include any personal information. The number of employees seeking assistance as outlined above shall be reported to the designated liaison to System Administration.
6. The designated liaison to System Administration shall, consistent with applicable law and SUNY Plattsburgh policy, provide information about the number and general nature of domestic violence incidents that happen in the workplace, the number of employees who report domestic violence, the number of employees that request information/services, and the number of referrals made to domestic violence service providers, with no personally identifying information, to OPDV at the time and in a manner determined by OPDV.
7. While reported information is kept private to the greatest extent possible by Federal law, State law, and campus policy, New York State law includes clear limitations on legal confidentiality. Information reported to anyone not in a position listed below may have to be disclosed pursuant to a subpoena, where otherwise required by law or in accordance with Section VII, paragraph g above. Such confidentiality exists in certain (but not all) instances for certain medical personnel and counselors, social workers, clergy, attorneys, and rape crisis counselors and may in fact be required to be turned over in these cases through a subpoena or court order. Please note that where medical information is received from an employee who is the victim of domestic violence, such medical information shall be kept confidential to the extent required by and permitted by New York State and Federal laws including, but not limited to, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act, if they apply to the employee's situation.
Information to be Included in Campus Postings Regarding Domestic Violence and the Workplace
At a minimum, the following information shall be provided to current employees and new employees and included in posters posted in areas where employment information is ordinarily posted:
1. Information regarding domestic violence and available resources in the work site. Such information shall include available sources of assistance such as Employee Assistance Program, local domestic violence service providers, the NYS Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault hotline, and/or human resources personnel who are trained and available to serve as confidential sources of information, support, and referral. Additionally, the posters may include information regarding domestic violence programs located on the OPDV website http://www.opdv.state.ny.us/about_dv/fss/resource.html
2. A statement informing employees that New York State law prohibits insurance companies and health maintenance organizations from discriminating against domestic violence victims or designation of domestic violence as a pre-existing condition [§2612 of the Insurance Law].
Additionally, SUNY Plattsburgh shall integrate information on domestic violence and this domestic violence and the workplace policy into existing materials and literature, policies, protocols, and procedures, including the Public Employer Workplace Violence Prevention Programs as appropriate.
APPENDIX C: SAFETY OF EMPLOYEES
Workplace Safety Plans
By means of a domestic violence workplace safety response plan, SUNY Plattsburgh shall make employees aware of their options and available resources and help employees safeguard each other and report domestic violence to designated officials.
a. The designated liaison between SUNY Plattsburgh and SUNY System Administration is the Executive Director of Human Resource Services. This liaison will ensure campus wide implementation of this policy, and serve as the primary liaison with System Administration regarding this policy. The System Administration designated liaison will communicate with the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) on behalf of campuses as it relates to reporting.
b. Additionally, the following individuals/offices are designated as available to support those in need of assistance concerning domestic violence:
a. University Police at campus extension 564-2022 or 911
b. The Office of Human Resource Services at campus extension 5062
c. SUNY Plattsburgh complies with enforcement of all known valid court orders of protection that are brought to the attention of SUNY Plattsburgh. SUNY Plattsburgh shall comply with Federal and State Law when information is requested by domestic violence victims or law enforcement regarding an alleged violation of an order of protection.
d. SUNY Plattsburgh will discuss with a known victim of domestic violence the limitations on confidentiality under New York State Law (See Section VII [h]; NYS Agencies Responsibility d – g).
e. SUNY Plattsburgh shall take actions to assist in mitigating reoccurrence of domestic violence in an effort to protect all employees including the victim. These actions may include, but are not limited to, advising co-workers and, upon request, the employee's bargaining representative, of the situation; setting up procedures for alerting University Police; temporary relocation of the victim to a secure area; options for voluntary transfer or permanent relocation to a new work site; change of work schedule, reassignment of parking space; escort for entry to and exit from the building; responding to telephone, fax, e-mail or mail harassment; and keeping a photograph of the abuser and/or a copy of any existing court orders of protection in a confidential on-site location and providing copies to University Police. SUNY Plattsburgh will address any additional concerns raised by a situation in which both the victim and offender are employed by SUNY Plattsburgh.
f. This policy shall be reviewed annually by the Executive Director of Human Resource Services, the Affirmative Action Officer, and the Chief of University Police. Any substantive policy revisions and updates shall be forwarded to OPDV.
APPENDIX D: ACCOUNTABILITY
Accountability for Employees Who Are Offenders
SUNY Plattsburgh will hold employees accountable for engaging in the following behavior: (1) using state resources to commit an act of domestic violence; (2) committing an act of domestic violence from or at the workplace or from any other location while on official state business; or (3) using their job- related authority and/or state resources in order to negatively affect victims and/or assist perpetrators in locating a victim and/or in perpetrating an act of domestic violence.
a. In cases in which SUNY Plattsburgh has found that an employee has threatened, harassed, or abused an intimate partner at the workplace using state resources such as work time, workplace telephones, FAX machines, mail, e-mail or other means, said employee may be subject to corrective or disciplinary action in accordance with existing collective bargaining unit agreements, statutes and regulations.
b. In cases in which SUNY Plattsburgh has verification that an employee is responsible for a domestic violence-related offense, or is the subject of any order of protection, including temporary, final or out-of-state order, as a result of domestic violence, and said employee has job functions that include the authority to take actions that directly impact victims of domestic violence and/or actions that may protect abusers from appropriate consequences for their behavior, SUNY Plattsburgh shall determine if corrective action is warranted, in accordance with existing collective bargaining unit agreements, statutes and regulations.
c. In cases in which any employee intentionally uses his/her job-related authority and/or intentionally uses state resources in order to negatively impact a victim of domestic violence, assist an abuser in locating a victim, assist an abuser in perpetrating acts of domestic violence, or protect an abuser from appropriate consequences for his behavior, said employee may be subject to corrective or disciplinary action, in accordance with existing collective bargaining unit agreements, statutes and regulations.
Pursuant to New York State and federal law, a person convicted of a domestic violence-related crime or subject to an order of protection, under certain circumstances, forfeits the right to legally possess a firearm or long gun. Additionally, federal law contains prohibitions relating to shipping, transportation, or receiving firearms or ammunition.
a. In addition to complying with the law, employees who are authorized to carry a firearm as part of their job responsibilities are required to notify the campus if they are arrested on a domestic violence- related offense and/or served with an order of protection. Under certain circumstances, such employees are responsible for surrendering their firearms to the firearm-issuing agency or to the appropriate police agency.
b. Should an employee fail to comply with the requirements set forth in V. a., said employee may be subject to corrective or disciplinary action, in accordance with existing collective bargaining unit agreements, statute or regulations. In addition, the appropriate law enforcement agency shall be notified for possible criminal action.
For more information about Administrative Policies, please contact:
Associate Vice President for Administration
Office: Kehoe 710-11
Phone: (518) 564-2539
Fax: (518) 564-2540