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 (inclusive of traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles)
  • 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, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature which meets any one of the following criteria:

  • 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 by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or
  • 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, and a reasonable person subjected to the conduct would find that the harassment so altered working conditions as to make it more difficult to perform the job.
RETALIATION

This Policy prohibits retaliation. Retaliation for the purposes of this Policy is an adverse employment action against another for:

  • reporting a protected incident;
  • filing a complaint of conduct or opposing conduct that violates this Policy or related State or Federal law; or
  • participating in an investigation, administrative proceeding or otherwise exercising their rights or performing their duties under this Policy or related State or Federal law.

Retaliatory conduct not rising to a violation of this provision may nonetheless violate the Inappropriate Conduct Toward Others policy provision.

HARASSMENT (OTHER THAN SEXUAL)

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 (inclusive of traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles)
  • 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. 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 (based on or because of any of the protected characteristics delineated in this Policy).

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 potentially harassing behavior, that person 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 conduct (based on or because of any of the protected characteristics or activity delineated in this Policy) when such conduct reasonably would be considered inappropriate for the workplace.

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

REPORTING VIOLATIONS

Any member of the County workforce who believes they have been subjected to conduct that potentially violates this Policy has the right to, without undue obstruction or interference, report the potential violation to 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 within a reasonable time under the circumstances notify the County Intake Specialist Unit of the incident(s) or complaint and any initial steps taken 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;
  • To the extend reasonable, stop conduct that potentially violates the Policy and take an appropriate administrative action regardless of whether the involved County employees are within their line of supervision;
  • If a situation requires separation of the involved parties, particular care must be taken to avoid actions that punish the complaining party. Note: Supervisors and managers are not required to place themselves in harms way to separate the parties.

Department Heads must

  • Ensure that each County workforce member is provided access to a computer or mobile device capable of utilizing the County’s online CPOE reporting portal, and reasonable time to make use of the portal or file a CPOE Report form, and ensuring that blank CPOE Report forms are maintained in a prominent and accessible place. It is the further duty of the Department Head to ensure that the location, availability, and purpose of the computer portal or mobile device and the CPOE Report forms are made known to all department members; and
  • Ensure that the County’s Policy of Equity is disseminated to all employees within in their Department.

NON-SUPERVISORY MEMBERS OF THE COUNTY WORKFORCE

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.

CONFIDENTIALITY

The County shall maintain all complaint-related information in confidence to the extent possible and permitted by law.