A hostile work environment exists when an employee experiences workplace harassment and fears going to work because of the offensive, intimidating, or oppressive atmosphere generated by the harasser based on race, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or, in some jurisdictions, sexual orientation, political affiliation, citizenship status, marital status, or personal appearance.
Harassment includes unwelcome, hostile, or offensive conduct. It includes sexual harassment. All workplace harassment is a form of discrimination that is explicitly prohibited by ABC Board Policy and law.
Harassment is severe or pervasive verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or slanders, or shows hostility or aversion (intense dislike) toward an individual. Pervasive behavior is repeated, widespread, and/or common that alters working conditions and creates an abusive workplace environment. Behavior may be considered severe when it would be objectionable to a reasonable person within the same circumstances.
Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following: The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex. The harasser can be the victims supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee.
The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct. Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim. The harassers conduct must be unwelcome.
Petty slights Minor annoyances Simple lack of good manners Badmouthing employee outside of job context
Any employee who feels that he or she has been unlawfully harassed should take action to see that the harassment stops by: Telling the other person to stop the offensive behavior. Informing a supervisor, or someone in the chain of command, that the behavior is offensive. Contacting the agency personnel manager.
( a) Any employee who believes that he/she has been/is being subjected to sexual harassment, or any other employee who is aware of sexual harassment, must report the allegation as soon as possible to his/her immediate supervisor, other supervisor in his/her chain of supervision, the Personnel Manager, or the Administrator, preferably in writing (see Chapter ABC-4-13, Employee Complaint Procedures). A female in the Personnel Division is available to receive complaints if the employee would feel uncomfortable discussing the specifics of the complaint with a male.
(b) The personnel Manager shall be notified of any complaint of sexual harassment. Upon such notification, he/she shall conduct an investigation and submit a report to the Administrator, recommending appropriate action. (c) All complaints will be treated seriously and will be investigated promptly. At the option of the complainant, and in the interest of privacy for all parties, confidentiality will be maintained, consistent with the need to investigate.
Respect any indication that conduct or attention is not welcome. Participation in or acquiescence to objectionable behavior does not mean the behavior is welcome. Avoid any behavior that may be interpreted as possible harassment. Some examples are: Verbal: unwelcome comments, yelling, telephone calls, offensive jokes or stories; Visual: offensive pictures, cartoons, posters, calendars, magazines, or objects;
Physical: unwelcome touching, hugging, kissing, stroking, ogling, or suggestive gestures; Written: unwelcome letters, notes, or emails of a personal nature. If you are a supervisor, ensure that there is no retaliation for those reporting harassment. Violations of ABC Board harassment policies may include disciplinary action up to and including termination.
ProfessionalismAppropriatenessRespect To get it, you must give it!
Some types of behavior are always inappropriate when in the workplace.
Know that jokes about someone's gender, race, cultural background, religion or other personal characteristics are very inappropriate. Remember that touching someone else's body or making comments that are sexual in any way are always inappropriate behaviors.
Understand that dating among co- workers is usually inappropriate. Discrimination based on age, gender, disability, national origin, race and religion is always inappropriate in the workplace.
Again, you are free to believe what you wish, but realize that pushing religion or political views in the workplace is inappropriate. Sometimes people just don't take inappropriate workplace behavior seriously, and the only way to get them to stop is to report them to a supervisor.
Harassment and discrimination in the workplace is a very serious issue with serious possible consequences whether you are the victim or the harasser. If you, or if you know somebody else who is a victim of discrimination or harassment, speak up! Report it! Not just because its the law, but also because it is the right thing to do!
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