Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment Handbook Statement: Maine
When to Include This Statement
Maine employers should include this statement in their handbook to demonstrate their commitment to a workplace free of harassment and to comply with the Maine law requiring annual distribution of a written policy describing the process for filing internal complaints and setting forth the name, address and telephone number of the person or persons to whom complaints should be reported, as well as contact information for the state agency that receives such complaints.
Customizable Handbook Statement
Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment
[Company Name] is committed to providing a work environment free of harassment. Sexual harassment and harassment based on race, color, sex (including pregnancy and related medical conditions), sexual orientation (including gender identity or expression), physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, HIV/AIDS status, genetic information, membership in the National Guard or United States reserves or because the employee filed a claim or asserted a right under Maine's Workers' Compensation Act or Whistleblowers' Protection Act are unlawful in the workplace. The Company will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on these characteristics or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local law.
All employees are expected to comply with the Company's Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment policy as set forth in the National Handbook. While the Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment policy sets forth the Company's goals of promoting a workplace that is free of harassment, the policy is not designed or intended to limit the Company's authority to discipline or take remedial action for workplace conduct that we deem unacceptable, regardless of whether that conduct satisfies the definition of unlawful harassment.
Any employee who is found to have engaged in discriminatory or harassing conduct will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Retaliation against anyone reporting acts of harassment or discrimination or anyone participating in an investigation into such a report will not be tolerated.
In addition to the complaint procedures set forth in the National Handbook, any employee who believes that he or she has been harassed or discriminated against, or who is aware of harassment or discrimination against others, should immediately provide a written or verbal report to: [insert the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the specific person(s) to whom complaints should be made].
Employees who believe they have been harassed or discriminated against may also file a formal complaint with either or both of the government agencies listed below:
- The Maine Human Rights Commission (MHRC) is the state agency responsible for handling complaints of harassment, including sexual harassment. The MHRC may be reached at:
- 51 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0051; telephone number (207) 624-6290.
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency responsible for handling complaints of harassment, including sexual harassment. The EEOC may be reached at:
- John F. Kennedy Federal Building, 475 Government Center, Boston, MA 02203; telephone number (617) 565-3200 or (800) 669-4000; or fax at (207) 624-8729.
Employees who believe they have been unlawfully harassed may file a complaint with the MHRC or the EEOC.
Guidance for Employers
- This statement is intended to be used together with a national Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment policy statement.
- The Maine Human Rights Act (MHRA) prohibits "sexual harassment," defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting an individual; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
- Maine employers must annually provide all employees with an individual written notice that includes, at a minimum, the following information: (1) the illegality of sexual harassment; (2) the definition of sexual harassment under state law; (3) a description of sexual harassment, utilizing examples; (4) the internal complaint process available to the employee; (5) the legal recourse and complaint process available through the Maine Human Rights Commission (MHRC); (6) directions on how to contact the MHRC; and (7) protection against retaliation.
- Employers may comply with this requirement by issuing the required annual notice or by preparing a policy that meets all requirements of the law in a Maine-specific handbook or supplement and re-issuing the supplement or handbook annually and obtaining written verification of receipt.
- The majority of the elements required to appear in a sexual harassment policy under Maine law are included in the National Handbook. However, the final two elements required to be included in a Maine sexual harassment policy are not included in the National Handbook and, instead, are included in the Maine Supplement.
- Download the Maine Human Rights Act Prohibits Sex Discrimination poster, required for all Maine employers.
- Employers with 15 or more employees must educate and train all new employees within one year of employees' date of hire. The new employees' education and training program must include, at a minimum, the topics covered in the annual notice, as well as the definition of sexual harassment under state and federal laws and federal regulations, including the MHRA and Title VII.
- Employers with 15 or more employees must also conduct additional training for supervisory and managerial employees within one year of beginning employment. The training must include, at a minimum, the specific responsibilities of supervisory and managerial employees and methods that they must take to ensure immediate and appropriate corrective action in addressing sexual harassment complaints.