Memorandum Number 677


October 29, 1992

Review of Bishop's Decision Concerning Final Approval and Adoption of Sexual Harassment Policy by Task Force.


At the regular session of the Southern New Jersey Annual Conference held on June 8-11, 1992, resolutions were adopted relating to proposed legislation presented by the Northern New Jersey and Southern New Jersey Conferences Task Force entitled "Sexual Harassment Policy Northern and Southern New Jersey Conferences."

On June 10, 1992, Bishop Neil Irons was requested in writing to rule on three questions of law, including, "was the conference acting within its rights to 'refer the final resolution of the policy as a policy of the Annual Conference to the Area Task Force on Sexual Harassment Policy and to the Area Cabinet?'" Bishop Irons responded on June 10, 1992 by answering that the Annual Conference "was within its rights."

The Annual Conference has the authority, as the basic body of the church, to adopt a sexual harassment policy.

The Annual Conference does not have the authority to delegate to a task force the right to make changes in that policy.

Changes made will not be binding on the Annual Conference until adopted by the Annual Conference.

The final policy adopted must conform in every detail to the 1992 Discipline .

The Judicial Council retains jurisdiction over the question in order to examine the final document, as adopted by the Annual Conference, to determine the legality of its provisions.

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