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Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation and Bullying
Include this language in your company's employee handbook.
BS
Beth Scheer

Equal Employment Opportunity/Anti-Discrimination

It is the policy of the Company to provide equal employment opportunity for all applicants and employees. The Company does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical and/or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, age, sexual orientation, and military or veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. It also prohibits unlawful discrimination and harassment based on the perception that anyone has any of those characteristics, or is associated with a person who has or is perceived as having any of those characteristics. This policy applies to all areas of employment, including recruitment, hiring, training, promotion, compensation and benefits. You should report any incident of discrimination or harassment, including work-related harassment by Company personnel or any other person, to your supervisor or [the Human Resources Manager – of if Company does not have an HR manager, then list CEO or comparable point-person] , who will investigate the matter.

The Company is committed to complying with all applicable laws providing equal employment opportunities and banning discrimination, harassment and retaliation in the workplace. This commitment applies to all persons involved in the operations of the Company, including contractors, vendors and volunteers, and prohibits unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation by any Company employee, including any supervisor, manager or co-worker or by any vendor or customer.

The Company also makes reasonable accommodations for handicapped and disabled veteran employees and for employees' observance of religious holidays and practices, unless the accommodation would cause an undue hardship on the Company’s operations. The Company does not tolerate unlawful retaliation against employees, including against employees who request a disability or religious observance or religious practice accommodation.

It is the responsibility of every manager, supervisor and employee to conscientiously follow this policy.

If you have any questions regarding this policy, you should discuss them with [Human Resources Manager,] your supervisor, any manager with whom you feel comfortable discussing this matter, or the CEO of the Company. See Complaint Procedures below for additional information.

Harassment

Harassment in employment on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical and/or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, age, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, or any other protected characteristic is unlawful under federal and state law. The Company does not tolerate harassment of employees, applicants, contractors, unpaid interns or volunteers in the workplace or in a work-related situation, and harassment is a violation of the Company’s rules of conduct. This commitment applies to all persons involved in the operations of the Company, including contractors, vendors and volunteers, and prohibits harassment, discrimination and retaliation by any Company employee, including any supervisor or co-worker or by any vendor or customer.

Unlawful harassment
in employment (or in the service relationships set forth above) may take many different forms. Some examples are:
Verbal conduct
such as epithets, derogatory comments, slurs, or unwanted comments and jokes;
Visual conduct
such as derogatory posters, cartoons, drawings or gestures;
Physical conduct
such as blocking normal movement, restraining, touching, or otherwise physically interfering with the work of another individual;
Threatening or demanding
that an individual submit to certain conduct or perform certain actions in order to keep or get a job, to avoid some other loss, or as a condition of job benefits, security or promotion; and
Retaliation
by any of the above means for having reported harassment or discrimination, or having assisted another employee to report harassment or discrimination.

Sexual harassment
under these laws includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
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 an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
Note that sexual harassment does not have to be motivated by sexual desire. Sex discrimination and harassment also may be based on gender identity (a person’s identification as male, female, a gender different from the person’s sex at birth, or transgender), gender expression (a person’s gender-related appearance or behavior, whether or not stereotypically associated with the person’s sex at birth), transgender (a person whose gender identity differs from the person’s sex at birth), or sex stereotyping (assumptions about a person’s appearance, behavior, or ability to perform certain types of work based on a myth, social expectation, or generalization about the individual’s sex). Further, a person alleging sexual harassment is not required to sustain a loss of tangible job benefits to establish sexual harassment.

Internal Complaint Procedure

Both as a matter of law and of common decency, each employee of the Company is entitled to pursue his or her employment free of discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical and/or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, and military and/or veteran status. Similarly, contractors, unpaid interns and volunteers are entitled to pursue their service relationship with the Company free of discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on the above-listed protected categories. Accordingly, discrimination, harassment and retaliation of any Company employee, applicant, contractor, unpaid intern and volunteer by another employee, supervisor, manager or third party, such as a vendor or customer, will not be tolerated.

If you believe that you are the object of harassment or discrimination on any prohibited basis or retaliation for complaining about harassment or discrimination, or if you have observed such harassment or discrimination, you should notify your supervisor, any other manager with whom you feel comfortable[, the Human Resources Manager] or the Company’s CEO. Supervisors and managers must report all complaints of discrimination, retaliation and/or harassment to [the Human Resources Manager / the CEO] so that a prompt internal investigation can occur.

Your complaint should include details of the incident or incidents, names of the individuals involved and names of any witnesses. [The Human Resources Manager / CEO] will immediately undertake an effective, thorough and objective investigation of the discrimination, retaliation and/or harassment allegations. [The Human Resources Manager / CEO] will document the investigation, including all interviews conducted. A reasonable conclusion based on all evidence collective will be promptly reached. The investigation will be handled in as confidential a manner as possible consistent with a full, fair, and proper investigation.

If the Company determines that discrimination, retaliation or harassment has occurred, effective remedial action will be taken in accordance with the circumstances involved. Appropriate action will also be taken to deter any future discrimination, retaliation and/or harassment. Any employee determined by the Company to be responsible for discrimination, retaliation and/or harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Violation of this policy by a third party, such as a vendor or customer, will result in prompt remedial action, as appropriate. The Company will advise all parties concerned of the results of the investigation.

The Company will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint made in good faith or for cooperating with an investigation of a discrimination or harassment complaint and will not tolerate or permit retaliation by management, employees, co-workers or third parties, such as vendors and customers. The Company encourages all employees, applicants, contractors, interns and volunteers to report any incidents of discrimination, retaliation or harassment forbidden by this policy immediately so that complaints can be quickly and fairly resolved.

Agency Complaint Procedure

Both the state and federal governments have agencies whose purpose is to address unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation in the workplace. If you believe you have been harmed by an unlawful practice, and are not satisfied with the Company’s response to the problem, you may file a written complaint with these agencies. For the State of California, the agency is called the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”); the local address for the DFEH can be located in the white pages of the local telephone directory or on the Internet. If you work for the Company outside the State of California, please check the white pages of your local telephone directory or the Internet for the contact information of the comparable state agency. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) also processes administrative charges of discrimination, retaliation and harassment; the local address for the EEOC can be located in the white pages of your local telephone directory or on the Internet.

If, after an investigation and hearing, any of these agencies finds that unlawful discrimination has occurred, depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to reinstatement or promotion, with or without back pay.

Employees and applicants are protected by law from retaliation by their employer/company to whom they provide services for opposing unlawful discriminatory practices, for filing a complaint with the DFEH, comparable state agency or the EEOC, or for otherwise participating in any proceedings conducted by any of these agencies. Similarly, contractors, interns and volunteers are also protected by law from retaliation by the company to whom they provide services for opposing unlawful discriminatory practices, for filing a complaint with the DFEH, comparable state agency or the EEOC (to the extent contractors, interns and volunteers can bring such claims before these agencies), or for otherwise participating in any proceedings conducted by any of these agencies.

Bullying

Bullying consists of repeated unnecessary and rude behavior towards a co-worker that is intended to be offensive and cause emotional distress, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against one or more co-workers, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment. It is Company policy that all employees will be treated with dignity and respect by their co-workers and the Company. Bullying violates that policy.

The Company considers the following types of behavior examples of bullying:
Verbal conduct such as screaming or yelling, inappropriate threats, epithets, or slurs;
Visual conduct such as insulting posters, photography, cartoons, drawings or gestures directed towards a co-worker; and
Physical conduct such as assault, unwanted touching or blocking normal movement.

Retaliation for reporting bullying, supporting another employee in reporting bullying, threatening to report bullying or participating in an investigation into an incident of bullying is a violation of this policy.

An individual subjected to what he/she believes is bullying or retaliation for reporting bullying, supporting another employee in reporting bullying, threatening to report bullying or participating in an investigation into an incident of bullying should immediately report that behavior, preferably in writing, to the [Human Resources Manager, but if none, the CEO] or any Company executive. If any further incident(s) of bullying or retaliation occur, the incident(s) must be immediately reported.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RECEIPT OF POLICY AGAINST DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, RETALIATION & BULLYING

I acknowledge that I have received and read a copy of the Company’s Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation and Bullying, and I agree to comply with it.


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Employee Name

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Employee Signature

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Date


Updated 5.8.20


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