4.8 - Consensual Relations Policy

: Human Resources
: President
: 09/20/2018
: 09/20/2018
: 09/20/2019
Comment on Policy

4.8.1 - AUDIENCE

All University employees.


The purpose of this Policy is to prohibit Consensual Relations between University employees and students, as well as prohibit Consensual Relationships between a University employee with supervisory or evaluation authority and a fellow employee who is supervised or evaluated by that employee.


Consensual Relationship: one in which two people are engaged by mutual consent in an emotionally (romantic) and/or physically (sexually) intimate relationship. 

4.8.4 - THE POLICY

Except in rare circumstances as delineated below, Thomas More University prohibits a Consensual Relationship between employees and students.  Nor may a faculty member exercise academic responsibility over a student with whom the faculty member has or had Consensual Relationship.  Employees must disclose and discuss with the employee’s supervisor any relationship with a student that could be perceived as inappropriate or in violation with this Policy.

Because of the potential for abuse or the appearance of abuse and the inherent differential in authority, the University also prohibits any employee of the University from engaging in Consensual Relations with any employee whom that person supervises or evaluates in any way.  Moreover, no University supervisor may participate in the hiring, promotion, or setting of wages or salaries, or direct supervision of any University employee with whom the supervisor has or has had Consensual Relations. 

If a relationship should develop contrary to this Policy, it is the responsibility and obligation of the supervisor involved in the relationship to disclose the existence of the relationship to Human Resources.  The non-supervisor employee may make the disclosure as well, but the burden of doing so shall be on the supervisor. 

Violation or failure to promptly disclose and correct violation of this Policy is grounds for corrective action, up to and including termination from employment.  The individuals concerned may be given the opportunity to decide who is to be transferred to another available position, if any.  If that decision is not made within 30 calendar days, the area vice president or Provost, as applicable, will decide who is to be transferred or, if necessary, terminated from employment. 

In rare instances, exceptions to this Policy may be considered by the area vice president or Provost, as applicable, on a limited, case-by-case basis.  When this occurs, procedures will be implemented to avoid or reasonably manage conflicts of interest.

In keeping with this Policy, the existence of a Consensual Relationship in either of the contexts stated above in violation of this Policy shall not be a defense in any proceeding that may result from charges of sexual harassment.

No person shall retaliate against an individual for reporting a relationship in violation of this Policy or participating in an investigation.  Any act of retaliation or reprisal violates this Policy and will be treated as a separate matter.  Anyone found to have retaliated against someone making a report or participating in an investigation or disciplinary proceeding will be subject to corrective actions.


Sexual Misconduct Policy


Not Applicable.


4.8.8 - HISTORY

This is a new policy, replacing language from the Staff Manual (May 2014).

4.8.9 - APPENDIX

There are no appendices to this Policy.

4.8.10 - APPROVALS

Laura Custer, Director of Human Resources

Dr. Kathleen Jagger, Acting President