NON-DISCRIMINATION AND ANTI-HARASSMENT POLICY

By

Ralph J. Waldvogel, III

 

Table of Contents

·         Introduction

·         Policy

·         Discrimination/Harassment

·         Sexual Harassment

·         Enforcement Procedures

·         Retaliation

·         Responsibilities of the employees

·         Conclusion

·         Bibliography

 

Introduction

This organization is committed to maintaining a fair and respectful environment free from any form of discrimination and/or harassment.  Such behavior creates a hostile work environment.  We are an equal opportunity employer.  This organization strives to provide an environment for all staff as well as patrons that is free from harassment and/or discrimination of any kind.  Inappropriate behavior will not be allowed and will be met with appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination, in accordance with various federal and state laws and organizational policy.

Policy

This organization has a “zero tolerance policy” concerning all forms of discrimination and/or harassment including, but not limited to, race, creed, color, sex/gender (including sexual harassment), pregnancy, sexual orientation, ethnic or national origin, religion, age, disabled status, status as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era, and retaliation.  The following are some of the federal laws that protect individuals from any form of discrimination and/or harassment:  (1) Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (amended); (2) the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA); (3) the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA); (4) Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; (5) the Civil Rights Act of 1991; and (6) the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA).

Discrimination/Harassment

It is a serious violation of this organization’s policy for any employee to discriminate against or harass in word or action a fellow employee, applicant for employment, client, customer, patron, or anyone else while engaged in official organizational business on any of the bases included above (q.v.).  This policy strictly prohibits the use in the workplace of offensive language or actions which by their nature or effect degrade or insult a person, or any group of persons, on the bases included above.

The following are examples of discrimination:

·         Religious discrimination-employees forced to participate (or not participate) in a religious activity as a condition of employment.

·         Race discrimination- employers using pre-employment questionnaires about race as a basis for selection for employment.

·         Age discrimination- employees not promoted based on age, not qualifications.

·         Pregnancy discrimination- employers refusing to hire a pregnant woman because of her pregnancy.

·         Equal pay discrimination-employers may not choose to pay women less than men for the same position.  Equal skill means equal pay.

 

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment in any form is unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated.  Sexual harassment may be defined as (1) unwelcome sexual advances, (2) requests for sexual favors, or (3) other verbal or physical conduct or written communication of a sexual nature when:

·         Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment.

·         Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or

·         Such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s work or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.  

 

Frivolous or false claims of sexual harassment are considered harassment.  This is also subject to disciplinary action.

 

Enforcement procedures

 

If someone feels that he/she has been subjected to discrimination or harassment, he/she should promptly report the incident to his/her immediate supervisor.  We realize that the alleged offender may be a member of management.  Our organization has an open-door policy.  If an employee is uncomfortable speaking to his/her immediate supervisor, he/she may report the incident directly to an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) counselor, without reprisal.  There are two (2) different time periods and ways to handle a complaint:  (1) A complaint can be filed immediately after the incident occurs or (2) within thirty (30) working days of the incident.  All employees have the option to file either (1) an informal or (2) a formal complaint.

 

Informal 

 

·         The claimant may, with a supervisor and EEO counselor present, meet with the alleged offender to reach a mutual resolution.

·         An investigation is not conducted.

·         Though a formal complaint is not filed, a record of the incident is kept on file.

·         Disciplinary action is not required.

 

Formal

 

·         A written statement must be signed.

·         It must include details of the incident including the name of the alleged offender, dates and locations of the incidents, witnesses, and expected resolution.

·         The complaint is filed with the EEO office.

·         The alleged offender will be given copy of the allegations and an opportunity to respond.

·         The investigation will include interviews with all parties concerned as well as any witnesses.

·         All interviews will be documented.

·         Upon completion of the investigation, a written report will be issued to a designated Human Resources (HR) Representative containing the findings and whether a policy violation occurred.

·         Written notification of the findings will be sent to both parties.  The parties then have seven (7) working days to submit comments concerning the investigation to the designated HR Representative. 

·         Based on the submitted comments, the designated HR Representative will then dismiss the complaint, seek further investigation, or find that the policy was violated.

·         If the investigation determines that discrimination has occurred, the appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination will be taken.

·         The claimant and the respondent will be notified in writing of the final decision.

·         The employees reserve the right to an appeal.

 

Retaliation

 

This organization will make all efforts to protect employees from any form of retaliation.  Retaliation occurs when an employer takes an adverse action against a covered individual because he/she is engaged in a protected activity.

 

An adverse action involves the intentional opposition of a party involved in a discrimination case.  The following are examples of adverse actions:

 

·         Termination

·         Denial of promotion

·         Negative evaluation

·         Assault

 

A covered individual is a person who participated in a discrimination proceeding or requested accommodation related to employment discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability.  This does not protect individuals who have exposed their employer for wrongdoing that is not related to discrimination governed by EEOC laws.

 

A protected activity is when an individual opposes a practice that is believed to be unlawful.  The following are examples of protected activities:

 

·         Threatening to file a discrimination case.

·         Refusing to obey a perceived discriminatory order.

·         Speaking out against alleged discrimination against oneself or others.

 

Actions that interfere with work performance or constitute violent actions are not protected by law.

 

Responsibilities of the employees

 

Everyone has the responsibility to uphold the standards of this organization.  Observing the non-discrimination and anti-harassment policy is a responsibility of all employees.  Therefore, it is in the best interest of the entire staff to be professional and treat fellow employees with respect.

 

Conclusion

 

We strive to provide fair and equal working environment for all.  This organization is committed to affirmative action and equal employment opportunity.  Every employee deserves an environment free from discrimination and harassment.  Harassment or discrimination of any kind is unlawful and will not be tolerated.

 

Bibliography

AARP.  Retrieved May 5, 2007, from http://www.aarp.org/

 

FindLaw.  Retrieved May 5, 2007, from http://public.findlaw.com/

 

U.S. Department of Labor.  Retrieved May 4, 2007, from http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/discrimination/agedisc.htm

 

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  Retrieved May 6, 2007, from http://www.eeoc.gov/

 

Work Place Fairness.  Retrieved May 3, 2007, http://www.workplacefairness.org/

 

 

Prepared by Ralph J. Waldvogel, III for SLIS J724.