POLICY OF EQUITY

PROHIBITED CONDUCT

Definition of Prohibited Conduct

DISCRIMINATION

Discrimination is the disparate or adverse treatment of an individual based on or because of that individual’s status including:

  • age (40 and over)
  • ancestry
  • color
  • ethnicity
  • religious creed (including but not limited to, religious dress and grooming practices)
  • denial of family and medical care leave
  • disability (including mental and physical disability)
  • marital status
  • medical condition (cancer and genetic characteristics
  • genetic information
  • military and veteran status
  • national origin (including language use restrictions)
  • race
  • sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding)
  • gender
  • gender identity
  • gender expression
  • sexual orientation
  • any other characteristic protected by state or federal law

 

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Sexual Harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature which meets any one of the following criteria:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of one’s employment;
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s employment or creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive, or abusive working environment.
RETALIATION

Retaliation for the purposes of this Policy is an adverse employment action against another for reporting a protected incident or filing a complaint of conduct or opposing conduct that violates this Policy or the law, or participating in an investigation, administrative proceeding or otherwise exercising their rights or performing their duties under this Policy or the law.

UNLAWFUL HARASSMENT

Unlawful Harassment of an individual based on or because of that individual’s status including:

  • age (40 and over)
  • ancestry
  • color
  • ethnicity
  • religious creed (including but not limited to, religious dress and grooming practices)
  • denial of family and medical care leave
  • disability (including mental and physical disability)
  • marital status
  • medical condition (cancer and genetic characteristics
  • genetic information
  • military and veteran status
  • national origin (including language use restrictions)
  • race
  • sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding)
  • gender
  • gender identity
  • gender expression
  • sexual orientation
  • any other characteristic protected by state or federal law

is also discrimination and prohibited. Unlawful harassment is conduct which has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive, or abusive work environment.

 

THIRD PERSON HARASSMENT

Third Person Harassment is indirect harassment of a bystander, even if the person engaging in the conduct is unaware of the presence of the bystander. When an individual engages in harassing behavior, he or she assumes the risk that someone may pass by or otherwise witness the behavior. The County considers this to be the same as directing the harassment toward that individual.

 

INAPPROPRIATE CONDUCT TOWARD OTHERS

Inappropriate Conduct Toward Others is any physical, verbal, or visual conduct based on or because of that individual’s status including:

  • age (40 and over)
  • ancestry
  • color
  • ethnicity
  • religious creed (including but not limited to, religious dress and grooming practices)
  • denial of family and medical care leave
  • disability (including mental and physical disability)
  • marital status
  • medical condition (cancer and genetic characteristics
  • genetic information
  • military and veteran status
  • national origin (including language use restrictions)
  • race
  • sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding)
  • gender
  • gender identity
  • gender expression
  • sexual orientation
  • any other characteristic protected by state or federal law

when such conduct reasonably would be considered inappropriate for the workplace.

This provision is intended to stop inappropriate conduct based on a protected status before it becomes discrimination or unlawful harassment. As such, the conduct need not meet legally actionable state and/or federal standards of severe or pervasive to violate this Policy. An isolated derogatory comment, joke, racial slur, sexual innuendo, etc. may constitute conduct that violates this policy and is grounds for discipline. Similarly, the conduct need not be unwelcome to the party against whom it is directed; if the conduct would reasonably be considered inappropriate by the County for the workplace, it may violate this Policy.

REPORTING VIOLATIONS

Any County Employee who believes they have been subjected to conduct that potentially violates the County’s Policy of Equity is strongly encouraged to report the matter to:

FILE A COMPLAINT

ALL MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS DUTY TO REPORT

All Managers and Supervisors

  • Have an affirmative duty to report potential violations of the Policy (even when a complaining or reporting party requests that no action be taken) to the County Intake Specialist Unit;
  • Must immediately notify the County Intake Specialist Unit of the incident(s) or complaint and any initial steps take by the supervisor or manager; and
  • Complete a County Policy of Equity report form and promptly file the original with the County Intake Specialist Unit.

ADDITIONAL DUTIES OF ALL SUPERVISORS AND MANAGERS

All Supervisors and Managers must

  • Be aware of and understand the Policy and procedures and any modifications to them;
  • Actively monitor the work environment to ensure it is free from discrimination, sexual harassment, unlawful harassment, retaliation and inappropriate conduct toward others based on a protected status;
  • Inform County Employees under their supervision of the types of behavior prohibited and the County’s procedures for reporting and resolving complaints arising under this Policy;
  • Stop conduct that potentially violates the Policy and take immediate and appropriate administrative action even if the parties involved are not under their direct line of supervision;
  • If a situation requires separation of the involved parties, particular care must be take to avoid actions that appear to punish the complaining party. Note: Supervisors are not required to place themselves in harms way to separate the parties.

Department Heads must

  • Ensure that blank County Policy of Equity forms (CPOE) and access to online reporting are maintained in a prominent and accessible place in every Unit. It is the further duty of the Department to ensure that the location, availability, and purpose of these items are made known to each employee; and
  • Ensure that the County’s Policy of Equity is disseminated to every employee in their Department.

NON-SUPERVISORY DEPARTMENT MEMBERS

If you believe you have knowledge of a potential violation, you are strongly encouraged to report the matter to a supervisor, a manager, or the County Intake Specialist Unit.

DUTY TO COOPERATE

All employees are responsible for cooperating fully in any administrative investigation.