Feb 28, 2024  
DMACC Policies and Procedures 
    
DMACC Policies and Procedures
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HR3006 - Consensual Relationships


Procedures

Section: Human Resources

SubSection: EEO/AA

I.     Institutional Regulations

A.  Consensual relationships between an employee and student, or between employees that may create the appearance of impropriety are considered contrary to the interest of the College and the public interest which it serves. That conduct includes behavior that may be perceived as a conflict of interest, coercion, favoritism, or bias in an academic, counseling, evaluative, or supervisory situation. Personal nonprofessional relations between employees, or between employees and students, with whom they also have a counseling, academic, evaluative, or supervisory role, create the appearance of impropriety and could make it very difficult to prove immunity from a subsequent charge of sexual harassment, even when the relationship is genuinely consensual.

B.  Employees will not evaluate, grade, counsel, or supervise students or employees with whom they currently have or develop a consensual relationship.

II.    Definition

A.  Consensual relationships are defined as any relationship, either past or present, which is romantic, physically intimate, or sexual in nature, and to which the parties consent or consented.

III.   Procedure

A.  Consensual relationships between employees and students, or with other employees over whom they have perceived power, can result in a real or perceived conflict of interest, coercion, favoritism or bias. The significant power differential that exists between these individuals:

      1.  Makes voluntary consent suspect;

      2.  Makes such relationships particularly susceptible to exploitation;

      3.  Renders the involved employee(s) and the College vulnerable to potential allegations of sexual harassment.

       B.  If a consensual relationship situation begins in a situation where there is an instructor/coach or supervisory conflict, the employee(s)

            shall report the situation immediately to the appropriate supervisor.

     1.  The supervisor shall take effective steps to ensure unbiased instruction, supervision or evaluation by another employee.

     2.   The supervisor shall advise Human Resources of the situation.

C.  If a consensual relationship situation exists or begins in a situation where there is not an instructor/coach or supervisory conflict, the employee(s) shall report the situation immediately to their direct supervisor(s).  The supervisor(s) shall advise Human Resources of the situation.

D. Employees are cautioned that even in consenting relationships, the instructor/coach or senior level/supervisory employee would bear a special burden of accountability if charges of sexual harassment were to arise.

E.  For purposes of this procedure “Employee” shall include all regular, adjunct, temporary and/or student employees of the College.

IV.    If an employee is involved in a relationship that violates this policy, or fails to report an allowable relationship, the College may take disciplinary action up to and including termination to ensure that there is no conflict of interest or power differential that may compromise the professional relationships which are essential to the mission of the College.

Cross Reference:
Board Policy 402 - Consensual Relationships  

Adopted: October 1, 2002
Reviewed: 2023

Revised:
December 1, 2003

November 1, 2010

May 1, 2023



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