Anti-Harassment Policy (Including Sexual Harassment)
It is the intent of the Library District to promote a respectful, productive, work environment and not to tolerate verbal, physical, or visual conduct by any employee, administrator, board member, or customer, that harasses, disrupts, or interferes with another person’s work performance or that creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile environment. Conduct prohibited by this policy is unacceptable in the workplace and in any work-related setting outside the workplace, such as business meetings, trips, or business-related social events.
Harassment that is based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information or other characteristics protected by law will not be tolerated. Offensive conduct may include, but is not limited to: jokes, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, offensive objects or pictures, and interference with work performance.
Definitions of Harassment
1. For the purpose of this policy, sexual harassment is defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines, as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when, for example: (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’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 an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. Sexual harassment includes many forms of offensive behavior and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. The list of behaviors and actions that may constitute sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to: unwanted sexual advances; directly or implied offering of employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors; visual conduct that includes sexual gestures, displaying sexually suggestive objects or pictures; verbal conduct that includes derogatory comments, epithets, jokes, or sexual propositions; physical conduct that includes touching, assaulting, or impeding or blocking movements.
2. Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic also is strictly prohibited. Under this policy, harassment is verbal, written or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his/her on race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information or other characteristics protected by law and that has the (i) purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment; (ii) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance; or (iii) otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities.
Harassing conduct includes but is not limited to epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; condescending jokes; and written or graphic material that shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group that is posted or circulated in the workplace, during work time, using library equipment, email, phone or voice message, text messages, or social networking sites.
Reporting an Incident of Harassment, Discrimination or Retaliation
The Library District encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of harassment, discrimination or retaliation, regardless of the offender’s identity or position. Individuals who believe that they have been a victim of such conduct or witnessed such conduct should discuss their concerns with their immediate supervisor, the Human Resources Manager, Assistant Director or Director. Any supervisory or administrative employee receiving a reported claim of harassment shall immediately and confidentially notify the Human Resources Manager, Assistant Director, or Director of such claim and forward any relevant information collected from the employee, including a copy of the Harassment Claim Form, unless the individual to be forwarded the information is alleged to be involved in the harassment. In addition, the Library District encourages individuals who believe they are being subjected to such conduct to promptly advise the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcomed and request that it be discontinued. Often this action alone will resolve the problem.
Allegations of sexual harassment will be quickly and discreetly investigated by the Human Resources Manager with involvement as necessary by the Assistant Director or Director. The investigation may include individual interviews with parties involved and, where necessary, with individuals who may have observed the alleged conduct or may have other relevant knowledge. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigation to the extent consistent with adequate investigation and appropriate corrective action. Following the investigation, any decisions for corrective action will be made by the Human Resources Manager or Assistant Director with Director approval.
The Library District prohibits any form of retaliation for reporting in good faith the incidents of harassment, pursuing any such claim or cooperating in the investigation of such reports. Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or discrimination or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and will be subject to disciplinary action. Acts of retaliation should be reported immediately and will be promptly investigated and addressed.
Misconduct constituting harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be dealt with appropriately.
Corrective action may include, but is not limited to: training, counseling, warning, suspension, or immediate dismissal. Anyone, regardless of position or title, found through investigation to have engaged in harassment will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment. If the investigation is inconclusive, the Library District may still provide counseling or take other appropriate steps.
Intentional false accusations are prohibited and can be cause for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
Distribution of this Policy
The Human Resources Manager will provide a copy of this policy to new employees no later than their first day of employment. The Director will provide a copy of this policy to a board member prior to the commencement of his or her term on the Library Board. A copy of the policy will be available on the Library website and Intranet. The Library District will provide periodic anti-harassment training to all staff.
(Revised 4/12/04, 5/13/14)