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Disability Allies Harassment Policy – DRAFT

Note: This policy is a draft. It is being published solely for information. Any DA employees who have concerns about harassment should report it to their supervisor or an HR representative immediately.

Disability Allies is committed to providing a work environment for all employees that is free from sexual harassment and other types of discriminatory harassment. Employees are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and to show respect for their co‐workers.

Disability Allies’s commitment begins with the recognition and acknowledgment that sexual harassment and other types of discriminatory harassment are, of course, unlawful. To reinforce this commitment, Disability Allies has developed a policy against harassment and a reporting procedure for employees who have been subjected to or witnessed harassment. This policy applies to all work‐related settings and activities, whether inside or outside the workplace, and includes business trips and business‐related social events.

Disability Allies’s property (e.g. telephones, copy machines, facsimile machines, computers, and computer applications such as e‐mail and Internet access) may not be used to engage in conduct that violates this policy. Disability Allies’s policy against harassment covers employees and other individuals who have a relationship with Disability Allies which enables Disability Allies to exercise some control over the individual’s conduct in places and activities that relate to Disability Allies’s work (e.g. directors, officers, contractors, vendors, volunteers, etc.).

Prohibition of Sexual Harassment: Disability Allies’s policy against sexual harassment prohibits sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature, when: (1) submission to such conduct is made an express or implicit condition of employment; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the individual who submits to or rejects such conduct; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or offensive working environment.

While it is not possible to list all of the circumstances which would constitute sexual harassment, the following are some examples: (1) unwelcome sexual advances ‐‐ whether they involve physical touching or not; (2) requests for sexual favors in exchange for actual or promised job benefits such as favorable reviews, salary increases, promotions, increased benefits, or continued employment; or (3) coerced sexual acts.

Depending on the circumstances, the following conduct may also constitute sexual harassment: (1) use of sexual epithets, jokes, written or oral references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one’s sex life; (2) sexually oriented comment on an individual’s body, comment about an individual’s sexual activity, deficiencies, or prowess; (3) displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons; (4) unwelcome leering, whistling, deliberate brushing against the body in a suggestive manner; (5) sexual gestures or sexually suggestive comments; (6) inquiries into one’s sexual experiences; or (7) discussion of one’s sexual activities.

While such behavior, depending on the circumstances, may not be severe or pervasive enough to create a sexually hostile work environment, it can nonetheless make co‐workers uncomfortable. Accordingly, such behavior is inappropriate and may result in disciplinary action regardless of whether it is unlawful.

It is also unlawful and expressly against Disability Allies policy to retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint of sexual harassment or for cooperating with an investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment.

Prohibition of Other Types of Discriminatory Harassment: It is also against Disability Allies’s policy to engage in verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his or her race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, or other protected category (or that of the individual’s relatives, friends, or associates) that: (1) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or offensive working environment; (2) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance; or (3) otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities.

Depending on the circumstances, the following conduct may constitute discriminatory harassment: (1) epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, jokes, or threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts that relate to race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or disability; and (2) written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual or group because of race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or disability and that is circulated in the workplace, or placed anywhere in Disability Allies’s premises such as on an employee’s desk or workspace or on Disability Allies’s equipment or bulletin boards. Other conduct may also constitute discriminatory harassment if it falls within the definition of discriminatory harassment set forth above.

It is also against Disability Allies’s policy to retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint of discriminatory harassment or for cooperating in an investigation of a complaint of discriminatory harassment.

Reporting of Harassment: If you believe that you have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment or other discriminatory harassment by any employee of Disability Allies, you should report the incident immediately to your supervisor, the HR Manager, or to the Chief Executive Officer. Possible harassment by others with whom Disability Allies has a business relationship, including customers and vendors, should also be reported as soon as possible so that appropriate action can be taken.

Disability Allies will promptly and thoroughly investigate all reports of harassment as discreetly and confidentially as practicable. The investigation would generally include a private interview with the person making a report of harassment. It would also generally be necessary to discuss allegations of harassment with the accused individual and others who may have information relevant to the investigation. Disability Allies’s goal is to conduct a thorough investigation, to determine whether harassment occurred, and to determine what action to take if it is determined that improper behavior occurred.

If Disability Allies determines that a violation of this policy has occurred, it will take appropriate disciplinary action against the offending party, which can include counseling, warnings, suspensions, and termination. Employees who report violations of this policy and employees who cooperate with investigations into alleged violations of this policy will not be subject to retaliation. Upon completion of the investigation, Disability Allies will inform the employee who made the complaint of the results of the investigation.

Compliance with this policy is a condition of each employee’s employment. Employees are encouraged to raise any questions or concerns about this policy or about possible discriminatory harassment with the Chief Executive Officer. In the case where the allegation of harassment is against the Chief Executive Officer, please notify the staff member designated as grievance officer.