Town of DeRuyter, New York

Non-Discrimination Policy

TOWN OF DERUYTER POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

 

I.          SUBJECT:    NON-DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT IN THE WORK-PLACE POLICY (INCLUDING SEXUAL HARASSMENT)

 

II.        ADOPTED:   October 11, 2012       

           

III.       PURPOSE:    The Town of DeRuyter is committed to securing for Town of DeRuyter employees a workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment.

 

  1. POLICY:

     

    It is the policy of Town of DeRuyter to promote a productive work environment and to prohibit conduct that disrupts or interferes with an employee’s work performance or that creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile work environment.  In keeping with this goal, the Town is committed to educating employees in the recognition and prevention of workplace discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment, and to providing an effective means of eliminating such harassment from the workplace. 

     

    Any conduct that discriminates against, denigrates or shows hostility or aversion towards a person on the basis of gender, race, color, national origin, religion, disability, pregnancy, age, marital status, veteran status, military status, sexual orientation or any other legally protected status or classification is strictly prohibited.  In short, the Town of DeRuyter will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment, and will take all steps necessary to prevent and stop the occurrence of such harassment in the workplace. 

     

    Furthermore, the Town does not tolerate any retaliation against anyone who in good faith complains of harassment or discrimination or who participates in any type of protected activity. The accompanying complaint procedure is intended to provide an effective mechanism for reporting, and promptly resolving, complaints of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment, without any risk of retaliation to an employee who files such complaint or who cooperates with the investigation of a complaint.

     

    Applicability of Policy - This policy applies to all employees of the Town of DeRuyter and prohibits harassment, discrimination and retaliation whether engaged in by fellow employees, supervisors or managers, elected officials, or by third parties not directly connected to the Town such as outside vendors, consultants or citizens. Conduct prohibited by this policy is unacceptable in the workplace and in any work-related setting such as during business trips, business meetings, and business-related social events.

     

    Supervisory Responsibility – Department Heads and supervisory personnel are responsible for ensuring a work environment that is free from discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment.   Supervisors must take immediate and appropriate corrective action when instances of discrimination or harassment come to their attention in order to assure compliance with this policy.

     

Definition of Sexual Harassment - This policy places special attention on the prohibition of sexual harassment in the workplace.  Generally, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

 

  • Submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment; or

     

  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions, such as promotion, transfer, or termination, affecting such individual; or

  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonable interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

     

    Sexual harassment refers to behavior that is not welcome, that is personally and objectively offensive, that fails to respect the rights of others, that lowers morale and that, therefore, interferes with an employee’s work performance and/or effectiveness or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.  Exposure to such conduct that serves to alter the terms and conditions of employment is prohibited by this policy as well as state and federal law.

     

    Forms of Sexual Harassment - Specific forms of behavior that the Town of DeRuyter considers sexual harassment and which are prohibited include, but are not limited to, the following:

     

  • Quid pro quo threats or promises by a supervisor (loss of job or promise of job, promotion, or other employment benefit).

     

  • Verbal harassment of a sexual nature related to an employee’s gender, including sexual innuendoes, slurs, sexual slurs, suggestive, derogatory, insulting or lewd comments or sounds, whistling, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propositions and/or threats.

     

  • Sexually-oriented comments about an employee’s body that are unwelcome and/or unreasonably interfere with an employee’s work performance or create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

     

  • Any sexual advance that is unwelcome or any demand for sexual favors.

     

  • Sexually suggestive written, recorded or electronically transmitted material showing or displaying pornographic or sexually explicit objects or pictures, graphic commentaries, leering or obscene gestures in the workplace such that it unreasonably interferes with an employee’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

 

  • Physical contact of any kind which is not welcome, including touching, grabbing, hugging, fondling, jostling, petting, pinching, coerced sexual intercourse or sexual relations, assault or intentional brushing up against a person’s body.

     

    Consensual Relationships and Contact - Clearly, unwanted sexual advances and requests for sexual favors that are made a condition of employment are violations of the law and are prohibited by this policy.  However, dating and consensual relationships are not prohibited by this policy.  Dating and consensual, physical relationships that may exist between 1) employees, or 2) between employees and outside vendors or customers, can have an impact on the workplace.  Employees who engage in dating or in a consensual, physical relationship that falls within the categories described above must maintain professionalism at work at all times.  Any and all physical displays of affection are prohibited in the workplace at all times, including sexual activities.  In addition, all other relationship-related behavior that may create a hostile work environment for others or that makes others uncomfortable is prohibited.  This related behavior includes, but is not limited to, flirting, fighting or other similar activities.  Consensual relationships between supervisors and subordinates are discouraged as the real or perceived power of a supervisor over a subordinate may result in complaints of sexual harassment if the relationship changes or ends.  

     

    Reporting of Discrimination and Harassment (including Sexual Harassment) - Employees are encouraged and responsible to report incidents of discrimination and harassment (including sexual harassment) as soon as possible after the occurrence.  Reports should be made to the employee’s immediate supervisor, the Department Head, or to the Town Supervisor or their designee.  Contact information for the Town Supervisor is as follows:

     

                The Town of DeRuyter

                Attn: Town Supervisor

                P.O. Box 735

                DeRuyter, NY 13052

                (315) 852-9650

     

    Employees who work second and third shifts are encouraged to contact their supervisor, the Department Head or the Town Supervisor during their normal working hours.  Emergency situations should be reported in accordance with departmental policies and procedures. 

     

    Discrimination and Harassment (including Sexual Harassment) Complaint Form - To ensure that all discrimination and harassment complaints are managed appropriately, effectively and in accordance with the Town’s policy, such complaints will be recorded using the Town-sanctioned Complaint Form.  Only those individuals authorized to receive a complaint may do so.  Complaint forms can be obtained from the Town Clerk.

     

    Confidentiality - Complaints of discrimination and harassment will be handled and investigated promptly and in a manner that is as impartial and confidential as possible.  Although complete confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, the Town of DeRuyter will endeavor to limit the number of people who know about the complaint. Any witnesses who are interviewed will be instructed to maintain confidentiality.

     

Investigation of Complaint - The investigation of a complaint will be conducted by the Town Supervisor, or by a third party investigator appointed by the Town Board, and will normally include conferring with the parties involved and any named or apparent witnesses.  The particular facts of the allegation will be examined individually, with a review of the nature of the behavior and the context in which the incident(s) occurred. 

 

Employee Defense - Any employee who is the subject of a complaint alleging workplace discrimination or harassment will be afforded a full and fair opportunity to offer and present information in the employee’s defense.  Such information will be confidential to the extent possible.

 

Disciplinary Action - Any employee or official who is found to have committed an act of workplace discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment, will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, as provided by applicable Town operating procedures, including Civil Service Law Section 75 or the disciplinary procedures contained in a collective bargaining agreement, where applicable.

 

Post-Remedial Action - Following a finding of discrimination or harassment, victims may be periodically interviewed to ensure that discrimination or harassment has not resumed and that no retaliation has occurred.

 

Notices and Training - The Town of DeRuyter will distribute this policy to all new employees at the time of hire, and to all existing employees on a periodic basis. Additionally, the Town will arrange for periodic training of all personnel on the issue of workplace discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment, as a further means of preventing such conduct in the workplace.

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