Presentation on theme: "Sexual Harassment Policy & Procedures 2013. Traditional Harassment Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis."— Presentation transcript:
Traditional Harassment Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of: – Race – Color – Religion – Age – National Origin – Sex
Traditional Harassment The Act has been expanded by courts to include the following protected classes: – Pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions – Medical conditions – Marital Status – Sexual Orientation – Disabilities – Membership in the uniformed services – Any other basis protected by federal, state, or local law, ordinance, or regulation
Sexual Harassment It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.
Sexual Harassment Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex. The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.
Sexual Harassment Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).
Sexual Harassment Two categories: – Quid Pro Quo (“This for that”) – Hostile Work Environment
Sexual Harassment Quid Pro Quo (“This for that”) – Employee is forced to submit to unwanted or unwelcome advances to get or keep their job.
Sexual Harassment Hostile Work Environment – The harassment itself is intended to or does interfere with the employee’s work or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment whether or not there is any other unfavorable job action.
Sexual Harassment Hostile Work Environment Examples: – Sexually explicit jokes, pinups, or graffiti – Vulgar statements or sounds – Abusive language – Indirect comments of a sexual nature – Overt sexual conduct – Offensive email communications
Sexual Harassment Profanity and Vulgarity in the Workplace – Claims of sexual harassment in the workplace are often based on Hostile Work Environment resulting from vulgar language and conduct directed at the employee
Sexual Harassment Even vulgarities not directed at the employee can form the basis of a sexual harassment claim. – Gender specific vulgar/profane words – Offensive words referencing women’s anatomy or promiscuity – Exposing female employees to humiliations that male co-workers do not face
Sexual Harassment Things To Consider… – Profanities spoken in anger can cause relationship problems – They project an unprofessional image – Shows weakness – Liability risk around employees/customers – Can be a form of bullying
Sexual Harassment Harassment test is subjective and from the victim’s perspective – Interferes with work environment – Interferes with work performance – Creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment – Ruins an employee’s work environment
Supervisor Responsibilities Know and comply with company policy Demonstrate a willingness to hear and objectively discuss complaints Inform all employees that they must immediately report all complaints to HR/Legal Confidentiality must be respected as much as possible
Supervisor Responsibilities Don’t object if employee prefers or does bypass standard chain of command Respond immediately Cooperate with investigations Make sure the victim is not adversely affected Make sure the harassment stops Zero tolerance for retaliation
Retaliation Retaliation is taking adverse action against an employee who has complained of sexual harassment. It is just as illegal as sexual harassment and our policy strictly prohibits it.
“Sexting” (Textual Harassment) Sending inappropriate messages to co-workers Potential to create significant legal risk Texting and “Sexting” both create a permanent record
B.J. Alan Company Policy An Employer has an affirmative duty to provide a harassment free workplace Our policy is that all employees should be able to enjoy a work environment free from harassment and discrimination.
B.J. Alan Company Policy Scope of our policy: – Age- Sex or gender – Race- Sexual orientation – Color- Disability – National Origin – Pregnancy, childbirth or related conditions – Medical conditions – Marital status – Religion – Membership in uniformed services – Any other basis protected by law
B.J. Alan Company Policy Trend is for victims to sue individual supervisors Actions to prevent illegal harassment: – Written policy – Training of supervisors – Training of employees – Posting of policies – “Policing” of the workplace
B.J. Alan Company Policy Managers and Supervisors must: – Deal appropriately with complaints of sexual harassment; and – Deal appropriately with sexual harassment or other illegal and potentially harassing situations, without complaint, in your areas or responsibility
B.J. Alan Company Policy Sexual harassment requires no intent on the part of the employer for the employer to be liable
Complaints Individuals who believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment from a coworker, supervisor, customer, vendor/supplier, or visitor should make it clear to the offender that such behavior is offensive to them If the behavior continues, it should immediately be brought to the attention of HR/Legal or company management
Complaints The company encourages all employees to report any incidents of harassment forbidden by company policy immediately, so that complaints can be quickly resolved
Complaints Right to File a Complaint – An employee has the right to file a complaint with the company May be done verbally or in writing – Contact the HR/Legal department – HR Department is also available to discuss any concerns employees have about sexual harassment and provide information on the company policy and the complaint process – An employee is not required to report the complaint to the accused individual
Complaints EEOC Complaints – Anyone who feels they have been subjected to sexual harassment by an employee may contact the federal EEOC listed on the EEOC posters or the appropriate state agency responsible for complaints of sexual harassment, which are listed on the bulletin boards
Complaints - Reporting Receiving/Observing Complaints – Report the complaint to HR/Legal immediately – If there is no complaint and you observe harassment, you have a duty to report the situation
Complaints - Investigation The Company will promptly investigate all allegations in a fair and expeditious manner with confidentiality to the extent practicable Investigation will include an interview with the person filing the complaint and with any witnesses The person alleged to have committed the harassment will also be interviewed
Complaints - Investigation When the investigation is complete, to the extent appropriate, the person filing the complaint and the person(s) alleged to have committed the conduct will be informed of the results of the investigation
Complaints – Disciplinary Action If it is determined that inappropriate conduct has occurred, such action will be taken to eliminate the offending conduct as well as other actions as deemed appropriate
Questions If you have questions regarding the sexual harassment policy, please contact the HR or Legal Departments.