This document is a draft of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii Sexual Harassment Policy and procedure and will serve as the policy in place until the Final Policy is adopted. Please read and contact us with any suggestions.  (new revision:  December, 1997)


The Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii (hereinafter "the KYODAN") is a religious organization which seeks to guide all of its members to hear the Nembutsu and to make the Buddhadharma available to all persons. In order for the KYODAN to fulfill its goals and purposes, its members must all be able to enjoy an atmosphere of mutual respect, trust and personal security within the KYODAN and during all KYODAN sponsored activities.

The KYODAN recognizes that any form of sexual intimidation or exploitation of, by, or among members of the KYODAN constitutes a particularly invidious violation of that essential respect, trust and security. In order to preclude harm to its members or obstruction to its goals, the KYODAN and all KYODAN-sponsored activities must be free of sexual harassment and all other forms of intimidation and exploitation.

Therefore, the KYODAN voluntarily adopts the following sexual harassment policy and complaint procedure.

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A. It is the policy of the KYODAN to provide employment and education environments, as well as environments in all KYODAN-sponsored activities which are free of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct or communications constituting sexual harassment as defined below.

B. The KYODAN will take all reasonable steps to prevent and/or remedy any acts of sexual harassment committed by any member of KYODAN listed below. Any such person who is found to have engaged in such misconduct will be subject to appropriate sanctions.

C.  The Kyodan and all Branch Temples will conduct annual orientation and/or review sessions on this policy for members.

D.  New hires will be given orientation on this policy within thirty days of employment.

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A. Members of KYODAN who are covered by this policy shall include all of the following persons.

  1. All ministers of the Kyodan (full-time, part-time, active or retired).
  2. All employees of the KYODAN.
  3. All officers of the KYODAN, and committee members, including all exofficio or honorary members.
  4. All officers and members of Branch Temples.
  5. Employees and agents of all temple sponsored schools and programs including, but not limited to Fujinkai, Jr. YBA, Dharma School, child care programs, language schools, martial arts, scouts and athletic programs.
B. All faculty members (full-time, part-time, permanent or adjunct), all students and employees of the Buddhist Study Center.

C. KYODAN-sponsored activity shall include:

  1. All employment relationships at the KYODAN Headquarters and Buddhist Study Center.
  2. All activities at the Buddhist Study Center.
  3. All activities performed by any member of the KYODAN who is listed in Section II A in the course of his/her employment, educational or administrative functions within the KYODAN.


D. Sexual harassment shall be defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that:

  1. are made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's education status or employment or
  2. are used as basis for education or employment decisions affecting such individual; or
  3. have the purpose or the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's educational or work-performance or which creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational or work environment.
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Specific Examples (Copyright permission from California Chamber of Commerce granted 6/1/93.to BCA) (Permission granted from BCA 3/95).

For the purpose of clarification, examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

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This policy will be disseminated to all KYODAN employees and members of the KYODAN and its existence will be announced throughout all temples, BSC and affiliated organizations. All KYODAN employees and members of the KYODAN are responsible for knowing of its existence and substance, and of their responsibility for its implementation. It is the responsibility of the KYODAN to take all reasonable steps to provide training to all ministers, employees of the KYODAN and BSC (Buddhist Study Center.)and KYODAN leaders.

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 KYODAN encourages reporting of all incidents of sexual harassment, regardless of who the offender may be or the offender's relationship to KYODAN.

The KYODAN will take immediate and appropriate action when it knows that sexual harassment has been committed by any member of the KYODAN listed in Section II A. Effective action will be taken to stop any further harassment and to ameliorate any effects of the harassment.

A sexual harassment complaint procedure will be established by the KYODAN and disseminated to all members of the KYODAN. The complaint procedure will include provisions to

  1. Sanctions will be taken against any member of the KYODAN listed in Section II A who engages in sexual harassment.
  2. Nothing in this policy shall be construed as replacing or limiting the rights and obligation of KYODAN ministers as set forth in the Bylaws of the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha.

Nothing in this policy shall prevent any person from seeking any remedy which he/she may otherwise be entitled under the law.
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I.  The KYODAN sexual harassment complainant procedure allows for resolution prior to filing a written complaint.


  1. The privacy of both the complainant and respondent will be strictly protected by the KYODAN.
  2. Sexual harassment is a matter requiring prompt attention by the KYODAN because failure to act may cause damage to the complainant and to the respondent. Since the KYODAN recognizes the sensitive nature of such situations, each step in the complaint procedure must be conducted with discretion. It is the intent of this procedure to result in prompt recourse and to ensure fairness and equity to both the individual alleging sexual harassment and to the person accused of such behavior.
  3. In an effort to safeguard individual privacy, information relating to sexual harassment complaints shall be given only to those individuals who have a legitimate need to know the information to facilitate this procedure.
KYODAN is committed to ensuring that all members of KYODAN are not adversely affected for having brought forward a sexual harassment complaint. All participants in these procedures shall be protected from retaliatory acts by KYODAN and its members. If retaliation or reprisal does occur sanctions shall be imposed by KYODAN.

Nothing in this procedure shall affect the right the complainant may or may not have to pursue his/her complaint according to law. The filing of a complaint pursuant to this procedure may not constitute the time filing of a legal action in accordance with any applicable statutes of limitation.
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The purpose of the complaint procedure is to ensure that the rights of all individuals are protected through due process.


  1. A complaint is initiated by a member of the KYODAN Sexual Harassment Panel on behalf of Kyodan.
  2. A complaint is an oral or written complaint of sexual harassment submitted by a member of KYODAN to the Sexual Harassment Panel.
  3. A complainant is a person who brings forward a complaint of alleged sexual harassment.
  4. A respondent is a person against whom a claim of sexual harassment has been made.
  5. The KYODAN Sexual Harassment Panel  mediates and conciliates sexual harassment complaints.
  6. The KYODAN Sexual Harassment Panel shall consist of appropriate individuals who are designated by the President and Bishop of the Kyodan to receive and process all complaints under this procedure. The panel members shall be selected on the basis of their expertise in human resources and legal issues concerning sexual harassment and shall include male and female members and minister and lay members. The Panel shall serve for a term of two years.


KYODAN encourages prompt reporting of complaints so that rapid response and appropriate action may be taken. This procedure not only aids the complainant and respondent, but also helps to maintain an environment free from discrimination.


A. The Kyodan Sexual Harassment Panel has three main functions:

  1. To help educate KYODAN community about sexual harassment.
  2. To assist in the informal resolution of complaints of sexual harassment brought by a member of KYODAN.
  3. To mediate and conciliate complaints of sexual harassment brought against a member of KYODAN. Upon conclusion of each intervention the Panel member will report the outcome of the mediation and advise the KYODAN President and the Bishop of the KYODAN of the finding
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  1. KYODAN will maintain a complete written record of each complaint, the investigation and the resolution.
  2. Written record shall be maintained in a confidential manner at the KYODAN Headquarters. These files shall be maintained for a period of five years from the date of resolution unless circumstances dictate that the files should be kept for a longer time.
  3. If any member of KYODAN is found to have engaged in sexual harassment, a summary letter including the sanctions shall be placed in the member's personnel file if applicable.

A. While KYODAN encourages individuals who believe they have been harassed to notify the offender that the behavior is unwelcome, KYODAN recognizes that power and status dispath between an alleged harasser and a target may make such action impossible. In the event that such informal, direct communication between individuals is either ineffective or impossible, the following steps may be followed in reporting a sexual harassment complaint.

B. A member of KYODAN who believes that sexual harassment has occurred should file a complaint using under one of the following options.

1. Option 1. The complainant may seek informal resolution by addressing the complaint to:

  1. the respondent's supervisor when the respondent is employee of the KYODAN Headquarters or BSC or KYODAN temple;
  2. the chairperson of the District Ministers Association when the respondent is a minister;
  3. or the president of the temple in which the respondent is a member.
The person receiving the complaint must maintain a record of the contact under the direction of a member of the Kyodan Sexual Harrasment Panel and keep the Kyodan Sexual Harassment Panel, the KYODAN President and the Bishop of the KYODAN informed.

2. Option 2. The complainant may seek informal resolution by addressing the complaint to a member of the Kyodan Sexual Harassment Panel.

The Kyodan Sexual Harassment Panel member contacted by a person alleging sexual harassment will provide the complainant with a copy of the Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures under both options.. The Panel member will establish and maintain a record of the contact and keep the KYODAN President and the Bishop of the KYODAN informed.

At any time during the process, the complainant and the respondent may have someone of their choice present.
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1. A complainant may pursue a complaint using options 1 and 2 above.

2. When sexual harassment is reported to have occurred in a group situation or complaints are received from different complaints that one individual has engaged in sexual harassment, the respondent shall be informed of the incidents without the identity of the complainants being revealed as individuals.
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  1. When the complaint is resolved, the mediator will put the findings in writing and forward them to the KYODAN President and the Bishop of the KYODAN. The complainant and the respondent will receive copies of the findings. (FORM: RESOLUTION)
  2. When the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of the mediation, the complainant will be advised, within 20 working days, of the process for filing A written complaint to initiate the formal investigation process.
  3. If a written complaint is not filed, KYODAN is still legally obligated to investigate the allegation.
  4. When, during mediation between the parties, it becomes clear to the mediator that an informal resolution cannot be reached, the mediator will convey that determination to the parties and KYODAN will initiate the formal investigation process.
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  1. Complaints shall be referred in writing to the Kyodan Sexual Harassment Panel for Formal Investigation. A three-member subcommittee of the Panel will commence an impartial fact finding investigation of the complaint and notify the complainant, the respondent, the KYODAN President and the Bishop of the KYODAN if a minister is involved.
  2. At any time during the investigation, the Kyodan Sexual Harassment Panel may report the complaint to the proper authorities, provided that the complainant is informed prior to such reporting.
  3. During the investigation, a Panel member will keep the complainant and the respondent informed as to the status of the investigation.
  4. Nothing in these procedures is intended to limit the discretion of the Panel member to investigate relevant facts which are not specified in the written complaint. Where it is appropriate, the scope of the investigation may be broadened.
  5. The Panel members will develop a plan and timeline for the investigation and will communicate the plan to the complainant and respondent. Either of the parties may comment on the plan and request the Panel members to consider modification to the plan.
  6. An investigation plan will be developed for each individual complaint. Steps to be taken during the investigation may include but are not limited to the following.
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1. The results of the investigation shall be communicated to the KYODAN President and the Bishop of the KYODAN.

a.  The results of the investigation shall be set forth in a written report which shall include at least all of the following:

  1.  a description of the circumstances giving rise to the complaint;
  2. a summary of the testimony provided by each witness including the complainant and any witnesses identified by the complainant he complaint;
  3. an analysis of any relevant data or other evidence collected during the course of the investigation;
  4. a specific finding as to whether sexual harassment did or did not occur with respect to each allegation in the complaint;
  5. any other information deemed appropriate by the Kyodan Sexual Harassment Panel member.
b. Within forty (40) working days of receiving a complaint, the Kyodan Sexual Harassment Panel member shall complete the investigation and forward the following to the complainant and the respondent;
  1. A copy or summary of the investigative report
  2. a written notice setting forth:
  3. the determination of KYODAN President andthe Bishop of the KYODAN as to whether sexual harassment did or did not occur with respect to each allegation in the complaint;
  4. a description of actions taken, if any, to prevent similar problems from occurring in the future;
  5. the proposed resolution of the complaint;
  6. the complainant's right to appeal.
  7. If the complainant or the respondent is not satisfied with the administrative decision she/he has thirty (30) working days in which to file a written appeal with the Kyodan Executive Board.
  8. Both the complainant and the respondent has a right to appeal the administrative decision.
  9. Within thirty (30) working days of receiving the appeal from the complainant or the respondent, the Kyodan Executive Board shall review the original complaint, the investigative report, the administrative determination and the appeal and issue a final decision. A copy of the final decision rendered by the Kyodan Executive Board shall be forwarded to the complainant and respondent.
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  1. The purpose of any recommended sanction is to resolve a complaint and to correct or to remedy the injury, if any, to the complainant and to prevent further harassment.
  2. Appropriate sanctions will be determined by the severity of the respondent's behavior which has been found to constitute sexual harassment. Any discipline imposed by the KYODAN must accord with all applicable laws. Appropriate sanctions may include:
a.   In the case of an employee or minister:
Verbal or written reprimand, written record in the respondent's personnel file, referral to counseling, withholding of a promotion, reassignment, temporary suspension without pay or termination. However, in the case of a minister no sanction imposed pursuant to this procedure shall replace or limit that minister's rights and obligation as set forth in the Bylaws of the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha.

b.   In the case of any other member of the KYODAN as specified in Section II A of the Policy:

  1. Verbal or written reprimand, referral to counseling and removal from KYODAN.
  2. The sanctions imposed by this procedure shall be administered by:
The complainant and respondent shall be informed of further developments including compliance or non-compliance of the sanctions or any appeals through these procedures or through any public agency or court of law.
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The Hawaii Kyodan has developed this policy and these procedures to ensure that all individuals within the KYODAN work and learn in an environment free from sexual harassment.

The KYODAN will make every effort to ensure that all members of the KYODAN are familiar with the policy and know that any complaint received will be thoroughly investigated and properly resolved.

All District organizations and local temples are strongly encouraged to adopt a policy and some procedures to prevent sexual harassment and to ensure that all individuals at the district and temple levels work and learn in an environment free from sexual harassment.
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Committee Note: Please direct all comments and suggestions on this document to the Hawaii Kyodan Salary and Personnel Committee at Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, 1727 Pali Highway, Honolulu, HI 96813, or email honpahi@aloha.net