Sexual and Other Harassment


MacArthur seeks a collegial, productive, supportive, tolerant, respectful, and appreciative culture. A workplace where all individuals are treated with dignity and respect is consistent with the Foundation’s values of Creativity; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Empathy; Integrity; and Learning. Respectful interactions among Staff are necessary to achieve our goals. Harassment in any form or retaliation against anyone raising concerns is antithetical to our goals and values. This policy addresses our approach to preventing, addressing, and mitigating any behavior that could constitute sexual or other prohibited harassment or retaliation for raising concerns.

Policy Statement

The Foundation is committed to maintaining a work environment that is free of harassment and of retaliation for any concerns that may be raised. The Foundation strongly disapproves of and prohibits harassment based on an individual’s actual or perceived gender, race, pregnancy, color, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, tribe, caste, disability, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law in the cities, states, and countries where the Foundation has offices (any such characteristic a “protected characteristic”).

Harassment is prohibited by and against all employees, applicants, and third parties (including visitors, vendors, independent contractors, grantees, customers, and clients). Prohibited harassment can be verbal, non-verbal, physical, or visual representations (such as pictures, drawings, videos, movies, GIFs, emojis, and similar items), and may occur at or outside of work. It includes harassment in person, by phone, computer, tablets, letters, text (and platforms that allow for text messaging), social media platforms, and at social functions (whether or not Foundation-sponsored).

Prohibited Statement

In General

Prohibited harassment includes but is not limited to unwelcome behavior based on an individual’s actual or perceived protected characteristic where the purpose or effect of the behavior is to substantially interfere with the individual’s work performance or to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment or where the behavior otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities. For purposes of this policy, the phrase “working environment” is not limited to the Foundation’s offices but can be wherever someone is working, including at events, visiting grantees or vendors, or other work functions.

Prohibited harassment may include, but is not limited to, the following: epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; unwanted touching or conduct; threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; denigrating jokes and display or circulation of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion towards an individual or group (including through email); or “pranks” or other forms of “humor” that are demeaning or hostile toward an individual or group because of that individual or group’s protected characteristic(s) as described above.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is illegal in Chicago and the Foundation has a strict zero tolerance policy against all forms of sexual harassment. All violators will be held accountable. Anyone who supervises or manages employees shall participate in a minimum of two hours of sexual harassment prevention training annually, and all employees must participate in one hour of bystander training annually.

Sexual harassment includes but is not limited to:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances or unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature;
  • Requests for sexual favors or conduct of a sexual nature such as verbal, visual, or physical conduct when
    • Submission to or rejection of such advances or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, or
    • As the basis for any employment decision affecting the individual, or
    • Such advances or conduct have the purpose or the effect of substantially interfering with the affected individual’s work performance or to create an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment (even if the individual who complains of it is not the intended target of the sexual harassment);
  • Sexual misconduct, which means any behavior of a sexual nature which also involves coercion, abuse of authority, or misuse of an individual’s employment position;
  • Lewd or sexually suggestive comments, gestures, or actions;
  • Explicit sexual propositions;
  • Sexual innuendo;
  • Foul or obscene sexual language or gestures;
  • Sexually oriented "kidding," "teasing," or "practical jokes"; Jokes or slurs about gender-specific traits;
  • Display of foul, obscene, or sexually explicit printed or visual material, including pictures, greeting cards, articles, books, magazines, photos, or cartoons;
  • Physical contact such as patting, pinching, or intentionally brushing against another's body;
  • Slurs, jokes or degrading comments concerning sexual preferences, orientation or gender identity or expression.

In addition, the Foundation specifically prohibits the access, copying, download or dissemination of documents and information which violate this policy, including but not limited to sexually explicit, graphic, or demeaning materials, messages, statements, or photos, via all Foundation-related technology and communications systems (including but not limited to email, voicemail, internet, smart phones, computers, etc.) and otherwise in the workplace.

Prohibition Against Retaliation

Retaliation for reporting sexual harassment is illegal in Chicago and the Foundation prohibits retaliation against an individual because that person reported behavior which may violate this Policy or participated in an investigation or proceeding into behavior which may violate this Policy. Retaliation can take many forms and can be subtle. It includes, but is not limited to, any negative job action, such as demotion, discipline, firing, salary reduction, or job or shift reassignment. The Foundation encourages Staff to come forward if a Staff member believes they have been retaliated against for making a claim under this policy or participating in an investigation even if the alleged retaliation is not an official act such as those described in this paragraph.

Reporting Sexual and Other Prohibited Harassment and Retaliation

Individuals who believe that they have encountered or witnessed behavior which may violate this policy should immediately report the behavior to any one of the following persons or avenues:

  • The Vice President and General Counsel;
  • Managing Director, People and Culture;
  • Any other member of the Leadership Advisory Team;
  • The Chair of the Foundation’s Audit Committee (the current Chair can be found on the Board of Directors page on our website);
  • A designated outside law firm who will follow up with the Vice President and General Counsel or the Chair of the Audit Committee based on its determination of the allegations;
  • An employee may also report the matter anonymously online to EthicsPoint, a third-party service provider, or by phone at 844-773-7421. EthicsPoint will then communicate with the Foundation to the Vice President and General Counsel and the Chair of the Audit Committee so appropriate investigation and action can be taken.

The Foundation encourages Staff to raise concerns they may have regarding conduct they believe is objectionable under this Policy or otherwise. Staff should not try to make a legal judgment whether the behavior fits under the Policy and to report all concerns so that the authorized persons can assess the report and determine the appropriate next steps.

If a supervisor is notified of behavior which may violate this Policy or observes it, the supervisor must immediately report the behavior to the Vice President and General Counsel, Managing Director, People and Culture, or any other member of the Leadership Advisory Team. The supervisor may not report this alleged violation anonymously.

Applicable law in Chicago provides that victims will have 365 days to report all forms of discrimination, including sexual harassment. Respondents (those alleged to have caused the harm) will receive a notification by the Chicago Commission on Human Relations (CCHR) up to thirty days following receipt of the complaint.

Investigation of Complaints

The Foundation will promptly investigate all complaints of sexual or other harassment made to any of the persons or mechanisms described in this Policy or of retaliation prohibited by this Policy. To protect the safety, well-being, and rights of a person making a complaint, every effort will be made to treat all complaints as confidential consistent with the need to investigate and take corrective action. Confidentiality cannot, however, be guaranteed in all instances because of the need to investigate and the legal rights of the accused.

Resolution of Complaints

Individuals who are found to have violated this Policy (including a supervisor who fails to report as required) will be subject to corrective action, up to and including termination, as deemed appropriate by the Foundation in its sole discretion. An applicant who violates this Policy may have his or her offer of employment withdrawn or may be denied the opportunity to interview for the position at issue. An employee can be terminated for a single violation of this Policy. Penalties for all forms of discrimination per violation range from $5,000 - $10,000 under the Chicago ordinance.


This Policy is not a contract or agreement to provide any particular term or condition of employment. This Policy is subject to revision at any time in the sole discretion of the Foundation. Nothing in this Policy changes the fact that employees at the Foundation are employed on an “at-will” basis, meaning that the employee or the Foundation may terminate the employment relationship at any time, with or without notice or cause.

Compliance with Law

The Foundation will revise this Policy as necessary to comply with changes in the law and to ensure a tolerant, civil, and respectful workplace in which all Staff are treated with dignity. Without limiting the foregoing, in compliance with Illinois law and Chicago ordinances, the Foundation will provide annual training on issues related to workplace conduct and sexual harassment.



The Foundation has retained an ombuds service to address interpersonal conflicts or other concerns that may arise during the course of Foundation business but do not rise to the level of harassment under this Policy.  Conduct covered by this Policy should be reported through any of the mechanisms described above in this Policy.  Should the Ombuds receive any report of conduct that may be subject to this Policy, the Ombuds will inform the person raising the issue to bring the concern to the attention of the appropriate person(s).


Updated April 2023

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