Title: Consensual Relationships
Number: AP 4.09
Adopted: August 2017
Reviewed: June 2020
Revised: June 2020
Consensual amorous or sexual relationships between a supervisor and an employee or between employee and students at Nicolet Area Technical College (“Nicolet College”) may result in claims of sexual harassment, even when both parties appear to have consented to the relationship. The power differential inherent in such relationships may compromise an employee or student’s free choice. When those in authority abuse or appear to abuse their power in a relationship, trust and respect in the Nicolet College community are diminished. Moreover, others who believe they are treated or evaluated unfairly because of such a relationship may make claims of favoritism, discrimination, and/or harassment.
Therefore, it is a violation of this policy if employees become involved in amorous or sexual relationships with students who are enrolled in their classes or subject to their supervision, even when both parties appear to have consented to the relationship. No employee shall become involved in an amorous relationship, consensual or otherwise, with a student for whom that person currently has College related responsibility including but not limited to, teaching, counseling, advising, coaching, or supervision.
Additionally, it is a violation of this policy for a supervisor and a directly reporting employee to have a consensual amorous or sexual relationship with each other. In cases in which a consensual sexual or amorous relationship exists or develops between a supervisor and a directly reporting employee, it is the obligation of the supervisor to disclose the relationship immediately to their supervisor, who will contact Human Resources for assistance in how to avoid an appearance of impropriety and a potential conflict of interest.
In all cases in which an amorous or sexual relationship exists or develops, it is the obligation of the employee whose college position carries the presumption of greater power to disclose the relationship immediately to the appropriate supervisor, who will contact Employee Relations for assistance in avoiding an appearance of impropriety and a potential conflict of interest.