Jill Albrecht | May. 21, 2019

Anti-Harassment Policy Bank – State Policy Templates

Impactly Anti-Harassment Policy Bank – State Policy Templates

Note: These templates are not intended to apply to any particular employer or to provide legal advice or opinion. Such advice may only be given when related to specific policies and specific fact situations. In no circumstances should any policy be adopted and issued to employees before the final draft has been approved by experienced employment counsel. The templates do not include policies specific to government contractors.

CALIFORNIA – For Employers with 5+ Employees

Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Prevention Policy  

Equal Employment Opportunity

[Company Name] is an equal opportunity employer. In accordance with applicable law, we prohibit discrimination and harassment against employees, applicants for employment, individuals providing services in the workplace pursuant to a contract, unpaid interns and volunteers based on their actual or perceived: race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status (including registered domestic partnership status), sex and gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, lactation and related medical conditions), gender identity and gender expression (including transgender individuals who are transitioning, have transitioned, or are perceived to be transitioning to the gender with which they identify), age (40 and over), sexual orientation, Civil Air Patrol status, military and veteran status and any other consideration protected by federal, state or local law (collectively referred to as “protected characteristics”).

For purposes of this policy, discrimination on the basis of “national origin” also includes discrimination against an individual because that person holds or presents the California driver’s license issued to those who cannot document their lawful presence in the United States, as well as discrimination based upon any of the following: an individual’s or individual’s ancestors’ actual or perceived physical, cultural or linguistic characteristics associated with a national origin group; marriage to or association with individuals of a national origin group; tribal affiliation; membership in or association with an organization identified with or seeking to promote the interests of a national origin group; attendance or participation in schools, churches, temples, mosques or other religious institutions generally used by persons of a national origin group; or a name that is associated with a national origin group. An employee’s or applicant for employment’s immigration status will not be considered for any employment purpose except as necessary to comply with federal, state or local law.

The Company allows employees to self-identify their gender, name and/or pronoun, including gender-neutral pronouns.  The Company will use an employee’s gender or legal name as indicated on a government-issued identification document, only as necessary to meet an obligation mandated by law.  Otherwise, the Company will identify the employee in accordance with the employee’s current gender identity and preferred name.

The Company will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based upon these protected characteristics or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local law. The Company also does not retaliate or otherwise discriminate against applicants or employees who request a reasonable accommodation for reasons related to disability or religion.  Our commitment to equal opportunity employment applies to all persons involved in our operations and prohibits unlawful discrimination and harassment by any employee, including supervisors and co-workers.

Prohibited Harassment

[Company Name] is committed to providing a work environment that is free of illicit harassment based on any protected characteristics. As a result, the Company maintains a strict policy prohibiting sexual harassment and harassment against employees, applicants for employment, individuals providing services in the workplace pursuant to a contract, unpaid interns or volunteers based on any legally-recognized basis, including, but not limited to, their actual or perceived race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status (including registered domestic partnership status), sex and gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, lactation and related medical conditions), gender identity and gender expression (including transgender individuals who are transitioning, have transitioned, or are perceived to be transitioning to the gender with which they identify), age (40 or over), sexual orientation, Civil Air Patrol status, military and veteran status, immigration status or any other consideration protected by federal, state or local law.

For purposes of this policy, discrimination on the basis of “national origin” also includes harassment against an individual because that person holds or presents the California driver’s license issued to those who cannot document their lawful presence in the United States and based on any of the following[AEM9] : an individual’s or individual’s ancestors’ actual or perceived physical, cultural or linguistic characteristics associated with a national origin group[AEM10] ; marriage to or association with individuals of a national origin group; tribal affiliation; membership in or association with an organization identified with or seeking to promote the interests of a national origin group; attendance or participation in schools, churches, temples, mosques or other religious institutions generally used by persons of a national origin group; or a name that is associated with a national origin group.  All such harassment is prohibited.

This policy applies to all persons involved in our operations, including coworkers, supervisors, managers, temporary or seasonal workers, agents, clients, vendors, customers, or any other third party interacting with the Company (“third parties”) and prohibits proscribed harassing conduct by any employee or third party of [Company Name], including nonsupervisory employees, supervisors and managers. If such harassment occurs on the Company’s premises or is directed toward an employee or a third party interacting with the Company, the procedures in this policy should be followed.

Sexual Harassment Defined

Sexual harassment includes unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  •  Submission to such conduct is made a term or condition of employment; or
  • Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the individual; or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

Sexual harassment also includes various forms of offensive behavior based on sex and includes gender-based harassment of a person of the same sex as the harasser. The following is a partial list:

  •       Unwanted sexual advances.
  •       Offering employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors.
  •       Making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to sexual advances.
  •       Visual conduct: leering; making sexual gestures; displaying sexually suggestive objects or pictures, cartoons, posters, websites, emails or text messages.
  •      Verbal conduct: making or using derogatory comments, epithets, slurs, sexually explicit jokes, or comments about an employee’s body or dress.
  •       Verbal sexual advances or propositions.
  •       Verbal abuse of a sexual nature; graphic verbal commentary about an individual’s body; sexually degrading words to describe an individual; suggestive or obscene letters, notes or invitations.
  •       Physical conduct: touching, assault, impeding or blocking movements.
  •       Retaliation for reporting harassment or threatening to report sexual harassment.

An employee may be liable for harassment based on sex even if the alleged harassing conduct was not motivated by sexual desire. An employee who engages in unlawful harassment may be personally liable for harassment even if the Company had no knowledge of such conduct.

Other Types of Harassment

Harassment on the basis of any legally protected characteristic, as identified above, is prohibited.  Prohibited harassment may include behavior similar to the illustrations above pertaining to sexual harassment. This includes conduct such as:

  •       Verbal conduct including threats, epithets, derogatory comments or slurs based on an individual’s protected characteristic;
  •       Visual conduct, including derogatory posters, photographs, cartoons, drawings or gestures based on protected characteristic; and
  •       Physical conduct, including assault, unwanted touching or blocking normal movement because of an individual’s protected characteristic.

[OPTIONAL] Abusive Conduct Prevention

It is expected that the Company and persons in the workplace perform their jobs productively as assigned, and in a manner that meets all of managements’ expectations, during working times, and that they refrain from any malicious, patently offensive or abusive conduct including but not limited to conduct that a reasonable person would find offensive based on any of the protected characteristics described above.  Examples of abusive conduct include repeated infliction of verbal abuse, such as the use of malicious, derogatory remarks, insults, and epithets, verbal or physical conduct that a reasonable person would find threatening, intimidating, or humiliating, or the intentional sabotage or undermining of a person’s work performance.

Protection Against Retaliation

Retaliation is prohibited against any person by another employee or by [Company Name] for using the Company’s complaint procedure, reporting proscribed discrimination or harassment or filing, testifying, assisting or participating in any manner in any investigation, proceeding or hearing conducted by a governmental enforcement agency. Prohibited retaliation includes, but is not limited to, termination, demotion, suspension, failure to hire or consider for hire, failure to give equal consideration in making employment decisions, failure to make employment recommendations impartially, adversely affecting working conditions or otherwise denying any employment benefit.

Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation and Abusive Conduct Complaint Procedure

Any employee who believes that he or she has been harassed, discriminated against, or  subjected to retaliation or abusive conduct by a co-worker, supervisor, agent, client, vendor, customer, or any other third party interacting with [Company Name] in violation of the foregoing policies, or who is aware of such behavior against others, should immediately provide a written or verbal report to his or her supervisor, any other member of management, Human Resources, or [as required, this should be customized to include at least one company-specific employee reporting mechanism, such as (1) the title of a designated company representative (e.g., HR manager, EEO officer, or other supervisor), and/or (2) contact details for a complaint hotline, and/or (3) contact details for an ombudsperson.]. Employees are not required to make a complaint directly to their immediate supervisor. Supervisors and managers who receive complaints of misconduct must immediately report such complaints to [insert title of a designated company representative or contact details for a complaint hotline] who will attempt to resolve issues internally.  When a report is received, the Company will conduct a fair, timely, thorough and objective investigation that provides all parties appropriate due process and reaches reasonable conclusions based on the evidence collected. The Company expects all employees to fully cooperate with any investigation conducted by the Company into a complaint of proscribed harassment, discrimination or retaliation, or regarding the alleged violation of any other Company policies. The Company will maintain confidentiality surrounding the investigation to the extent possible and to the extent permitted under applicable federal and state law.

Upon completion of the investigation, the Company will communicate its conclusion as soon as practical.  If the Company determines that this policy has been violated, remedial action will be taken, commensurate with the severity of the offense, up to and including termination of employment. Appropriate action will also be taken to deter any such conduct in the future.

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) will accept and investigate charges of unlawful discrimination or harassment at no charge to the complaining party. Information may be located by visiting the agency website at www.eeoc.gov or www.dfeh.ca.gov.

Impactly Note:  San Francisco ordinances prohibit discrimination against employees based on their domestic partner status, AIDs/HIV status, weight and height.

MASSACHUSETTS

Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment

[Company Name] is committed to providing a work environment free of harassment. The Company complies with Massachusetts law and maintains a strict policy prohibiting sexual harassment and harassment against employees or applicants for employment based on race, color, religious creed, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions), gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, age (40 and over), military status, certain criminal records, genetic information or testing, HIV testing, a personal admission to a facility for the care and treatment of a mentally ill person and taking of parental leave. The Company will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based upon these characteristics or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local law.

All employees are expected to comply with the Company’s Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment policy.  While the Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment policy sets forth the Company’s goals of promoting a workplace that is free of harassment, the policy is not designed or intended to limit the Company’s authority to discipline or take remedial action for workplace conduct that we deem unacceptable, regardless of whether that conduct satisfies the definition of unlawful harassment.

Any employee who believes that he or she has been harassed or discriminated against should provide a written or verbal report to his or her supervisor, another member of management, to Human Resources [or insert name and department of appropriate company representative] as soon as possible. The responsibility to investigate complaints of harassment has been assigned to [insert name and contact details of appropriate company representative]. [Insert name of appropriate company representative] can be reached at [insert contact information]. Employees who believe they have been harassed or discriminated against may also file a formal complaint with either or both of the government agencies listed below:

  •       The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) is the state agency responsible for handling complaints of harassment, including sexual harassment. The MCAD can be reached at the following locations:
  •       Boston Office: One Ashburton Place, Sixth Floor, Room 601, Boston, MA 02108, telephone number (617) 994-6000
  •       Springfield Office: 436 Dwight Street, Second Floor, Suite 220, Springfield, MA 01103, telephone number (413) 739-2145
  •       Worcester Office: 488 Main Street, Room 320, Worcester, MA 01608, telephone number (508) 453-9630
  •       New Bedford Office: 436 Dwight Street, Rm. 220, 128 Union St, suite 206, Springfield, MA 01103, telephone number (774) 510-5801
  •       The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency that investigates harassment claims, including claims of sexual harassment. The EEOC can be reached at:
  •       John F. Kennedy Federal Building, Government Center, 475 Government Center, Boston, MA 02203, telephone number (800) 669-4000.

Complaints filed with the MCAD and the EEOC must be filed within 300 days of the incident giving rise to the claim.

NEW YORK CITY

Sexual Harassment

[Company Name] is committed to providing a work environment that is free of unlawful sexual harassment.  The Company strictly prohibits sexual harassment by or against any individuals involved in our operations, including employees (regardless of position), applicants, interns (paid or unpaid), vendors, contractors, sub-contractors, consultants and any other third party involved in our operations.   If such harassment is committed in the workplace by someone not employed by the Company, the reporting and complaint procedure in this policy should still be followed. The workplace includes: actual worksites, any setting in which work-related business is being conducted (whether during or after normal business hours), online and electronic interactions with company employees and third parties involved in our operations, company-sponsored events, and company owned/controlled property.

Sexual Harassment Defined

Sexual harassment is unwelcome verbal or physical behavior based upon a person’s gender/sex and includes unwanted verbal or physical sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  •       Submission to such conduct is made a term or condition of employment; or
  •       Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the 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, even if the individual making the report is not the intended target of such conduct.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of the types of conduct prohibited by this policy:

  •       Unwanted sexual advances or propositions (including repeated and unwelcome requests for dates);
  •       Offers of employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors;
  •       Making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to sexual advances;
  •       Visual conduct: leering, making sexual gestures, displaying of pornographic or sexually suggestive images, objects, pictures, cartoons, graffiti, posters or websites on computers, emails, cell phones, bulletin boards, etc.;
  •       Verbal conduct: making or using sexist remarks or derogatory comments based on gender, innuendos, epithets, slurs, sexually explicit jokes, whistling, suggestive or insulting sounds or lewd or sexual comments about an individual’s appearance, body, dress, sexuality or sexual experience;
  •       Verbal and/or written abuse of a sexual nature, graphic verbal and/or written sexually degrading commentary about an individual’s body or dress, sexually suggestive or obscene letters, notes, invitations, emails, text messages, tweets or other social media postings;
  •       Physical conduct: unwelcome or inappropriate touching of employees or customers, physical violence, intimidation, assault or impeding or blocking normal movements;
  •       Hostile actions taken against an individual because of that individual’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or the status of being transgender, such as:

o   Interfering with, destroying or damaging a person’s workstation, tools or equipment, or otherwise interfering with the individual’s ability to perform the job;

o   Sabotaging an individual’s work; and

o   Bullying, yelling, name-calling.

  •       Retaliation for making reports or threatening to report sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment can occur regardless of the gender of the person committing it or the person exposed to it. Harassment on the basis of an individual’s sexual orientation, self-identified gender, perceived gender, or transgender status are all forms of prohibited sexual harassment.

Individuals who observe conduct that may violate this policy are encouraged, but not required, to communicate to the offending person that the conduct is offensive and unwelcome.  Individuals who observe any behavior directed at others that may violate this policy are encouraged to take reasonable action to defuse such behavior, if possible, such as intervening directly, alerting a supervisor or Human Resources to assist or making a report under this policy.

Protection Against Retaliation

Retaliation is prohibited against any person covered by this policy who, in good faith: makes a complaint of sexual harassment, either internally or with a government agency, using the complaint procedures described below; objects to, opposes or speaks out against sexual harassment; participates in a sexual harassment investigation;  encourages another person to report harassment; or files, testifies, assists or participates in any manner in any investigation, proceeding or hearing conducted by a governmental enforcement agency. Prohibited retaliation includes, but is not limited to, termination, demotion, suspension, failure to hire or consider for hire, failure to give equal consideration in making employment decisions, failure to make employment recommendations impartially, adversely affecting working conditions or otherwise denying any employment benefit. Retaliation is unlawful and a form of misconduct that will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Individuals who believe that they or any other individual have been subjected to retaliation should report this concern using the complaint procedure set forth below.

Complaint Procedure

Individuals who believe that they or another individual have been subjected to sexual harassment, should, as soon as possible, report it to their manager, equal employment opportunity officer, or any Human Resources Representative by [insert contact information].  Employees are not required to make the report to their immediate supervisor, manager or person who has engaged in the complained of conduct. Reports of sexual harassment can be made verbally or in writing. To submit a complaint in writing, individuals can use the complaint form [indicate placement of complaint form (e.g, attached to this policy or attached as an Appendix to Company handbook)], but are not required to do so.

After a report is received or the Company otherwise becomes aware of a possible violation of this policy, a fair, timely, thorough and objective investigation will be undertaken if needed and will reach reasonable conclusions based on the information collected. The Company will maintain confidentiality surrounding the investigation to the extent possible, consistent with a thorough and objective investigation, and to the extent permitted or required under applicable law.  Both the person(s) raising the complaint and the person(s) about whom the complaint was made will be permitted to provide information that may be relevant to the investigation. The Company also will gather information and speak with witnesses, as applicable. Once the investigation is completed and a determination is made, the complaining party will be advised that the investigation has been completed and may be informed of the resolution. The individual about whom the complaint was made will be informed of the outcome and, if the Company determines that this policy has been violated, will be subject to disciplinary action. The Company expects all employees to fully cooperate with any investigation conducted by the Company into a complaint of sexual harassment.

Supervisory Responsibilities

All supervisors or managers who receive a complaint or information about suspected sexual harassment, observe behavior that may violate this policy or for any other reason suspect that sexual harassment is occurring, are required to report such suspected sexual harassment to [insert title of a designated company representative or contact details for a complaint hotline].

In addition to being subject to discipline for engaging in sexually harassing conduct themselves, supervisors and managers will be subject to discipline (up to and including termination) for failing to report suspected sexual harassment or otherwise knowingly allowing sexual harassment to continue. Supervisors and managers will also be subject to discipline for engaging in prohibited retaliation.

Discipline

If the Company determines that this policy has been violated, including in the event that a manager knowingly allows the policy to be violated without reporting it, prompt remedial action will be taken, commensurate with the severity of the offense, up to and including termination of employment. Appropriate action will also be taken to deter any such conduct in the future.

Good Faith Reporting

The initiation of a good faith complaint of sexual harassment or retaliation will not be grounds for disciplinary or other retaliatory action, even if the allegations cannot be substantiated or the employee was mistaken about aspects of the complaint.  Any individual who makes a complaint that is demonstrated to be intentionally false may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination.

Other Information

Sexual harassment is illegal under the New York State Human Rights Law, Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of l964, and some local laws [Insert for New York City employers: including the New York City Human Rights Law].  Employees may file a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights, [Insert for New York City employers: the New York City Commission on Human Rights], another enforcement agency (if applicable) or in certain courts of law. Agencies accept and investigate charges of sexual harassment.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has district, area and regional offices and may be contacted by visiting www.eeoc.gov, emailing info@eeoc.gov or by telephone at 1-800-669-4000 (TTY 1;800-669-6820).  The New York State Division of Human Rights may be contacted by visiting www.dhr.ny.gov, by telephone at 718-741-8400, or by mail to One Fordham Plaza, Fourth Floor, Bronx, New York 10458. [Insert for New York City employers: The New York City Commission on Human Rights can be contacted by visiting http://www.nyc.gov/html/cchr/html/home/home.shtml or by telephone at (212) 306-7450.] Employees subjected to unlawful harassment may be entitled to certain remedies, including monetary damages, civil penalties, and injunctive relief (such as an order that certain action be taken or certain behavior stop). [OPTIONAL: Individuals can also contact the town, city or county in which they live or work to find out whether other local agencies may be able to receive complaints.] [OPTIONAL: Additional information, including the physical location of agency offices and the rules and requirements for filing complaints, can also be found at the respective agency websites.]

[Insert for New York City employers:  A Stop Sexual Harassment Act Fact Sheet  is attached to this [insert appropriate term (e.g., policy, handbook, New York Handbook Supplement)] and posted [indicate common area or electronic site where the notice is posted].

RHODE ISLAND

Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment

[Company Name] is committed to providing a work environment free of harassment. The Company complies with Rhode Island law and maintains a strict policy prohibiting sexual harassment and harassment against employees or applicants for employment based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions), country of ancestral origin, disability, age (40 and over), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, homelessness, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, lawful use of tobacco products outside of the workplace, military/reservist status and any other category protected under applicable federal, state or local law.

Sexual harassment includes unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  •       Submission to such conduct is made a term or condition of employment; or
  •       Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the individual; or
  •       Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

Sexual harassment includes various forms of offensive behavior based on sex. The following is a non-exhaustive list of the types of conduct prohibited by this policy:

  •       Unwanted sexual advances or propositions (including repeated and unwelcome requests for dates);
  •       Offers of employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors;
  •       Making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to sexual advances;
  •       Visual conduct: leering, making sexual gestures, displaying of sexually suggestive objects or pictures, cartoons, posters, websites, emails or text messages;
  •       Verbal conduct: making or using sexually derogatory comments, innuendos, epithets, slurs, sexually explicit jokes, or comments about an individual’s body or dress, whistling or  making suggestive or insulting sounds;
  •       Verbal and/or written abuse of a sexual nature, graphic verbal and/or written sexually degrading commentary about an individual’s body or dress, sexually suggestive or obscene letters, notes, invitations, emails, text messages, tweets or other social media postings;
  •       Physical conduct: touching, assault or impeding or blocking normal movements;
  •       Retaliation for making reports or threatening to report sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment in the workplace is unlawful. It is also unlawful to retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint of harassment, including a complaint of sexual harassment, or for cooperating in an investigation of a complaint for harassment, including sexual harassment.

Any employee who believes that he or she has been harassed or discriminated against should provide a written or verbal report to his or her supervisor, another member of management, to Human Resources [or insert name and department of appropriate company representative] as soon as possible. The responsibility to investigate complaints of harassment has been assigned to [insert name and contact details of appropriate company representative]. [Insert name of appropriate company representative] can be reached at [insert contact information].

Employees who believe they have been harassed or discriminated against may also file a formal complaint with either or both of the government agencies listed below:

  •       The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency that investigates harassment complaints, including claims of sexual harassment. The EEOC can be reached at:

John F. Kennedy Federal Building

475 Government Center

Boston, MA 02203

Tel: 800-669-4000

Fax: 617-565-3196

TTY: 800-669-6820

  •       The Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights (RICHR) is the state agency responsible for handling complaints of harassment, including sexual harassment. The RICHR can be reached at:

180 Westminster Street, 3rd Floor

Providence, RI 02903

Tel: 401-222-2661

Fax: 401-222-2616

TTY: 401-222-2664

TENNESSEE

[Company Name] is committed to providing a work environment free of unlawful harassment. [Company Name]’s policy prohibits sexual harassment and harassment based on the following legally protected characteristics: disability (including physical, mental or visual or use of a guide animal), off-duty use of tobacco products, affiliation or refusal to affiliate with a union or other employee organization, or membership in the Tennessee National Guard or the need for special education services, and any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local law. [Company Name] will not tolerate such harassment.

Sexual harassment includes unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  •       Submission to such conduct is made a term or condition of employment; or
  •       Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the individual; or
  •       Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

Sexual harassment includes various forms of offensive behavior based on sex. The following is a non-exhaustive list of the types of conduct prohibited by this policy:

  •       Unwanted sexual advances or propositions (including repeated and unwelcome requests for dates);
  •       Offers of employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors;
  •       Making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to sexual advances;
  •       Visual conduct: leering, making sexual gestures, displaying of sexually suggestive objects or pictures, cartoons, posters, websites, emails or text messages;
  •       Verbal conduct: making or using sexually derogatory comments, innuendos, epithets, slurs, sexually explicit jokes, or comments about an individual’s body or dress, whistling or  making suggestive or insulting sounds;
  •       Verbal and/or written abuse of a sexual nature, graphic verbal and/or written sexually degrading commentary about an individual’s body or dress, sexually suggestive or obscene letters, notes, invitations, emails, text messages, tweets or other social media postings;
  •       Physical conduct: touching, assault or impeding or blocking normal movements;
  •       Retaliation for making reports or threatening to report sexual harassment.

Any applicant or employee who believes that he or she has been subjected to prohibited harassment or retaliation by a co-worker, supervisor, manager , client, visitor, vendor, customer or temporary or seasonal worker of [Company Name], or who believes another individual has been subject to such conduct, should report it immediately.  Applicants and employees are encouraged to report concerns, even if they relate to incidents in the past, involve individuals who are no longer affiliated with [Company Name], or concern conduct occurring outside of work if it impacts the individual at work.

Complaints can be made verbally, or in writing, to the highest-ranking on-site supervisor or manager or to any Human Resources Representative [insert contact information].  Employees are not required to report any prohibited conduct to a supervisor or manager who may be hostile, who has engaged in such conduct, who is a close associate of the person who has engaged in such conduct, or with whom the employee is uncomfortable discussing such matters.  [OPTIONAL:  Complaints may be made anonymously using the Company’s toll-free hotline, or by contacting [insert ethics hotline or website]].

Employees are encouraged, but not required, to communicate to the offending person that his/her conduct is offensive and unwelcome.  Any supervisor or manager who receives a complaint of harassment or retaliation must immediately report the allegation to Human Resources.

After a report is received, a thorough and objective investigation will be undertaken. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent practical and permitted by law.  Investigations will be conducted as confidentially as possible and related information will only be shared with others on a need-to-know basis. The investigation will be completed and a determination made and communicated to the employee as soon as practical.

If a complaint of prohibited harassment or discrimination is substantiated, appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, will be taken.  If a complaint cannot be substantiated, the Company may take appropriate action to reinforce its commitment to providing a work environment free from harassment.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and equivalent state agencies will accept and investigate charges of unlawful discrimination and harassment at no charge to the complaining party. The nearest office of the EEOC and equivalent state agencies can be found in your local telephone directory or online at www.eeoc.gov.

Employees who believe that they have suffered unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation may file a complaint with the Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC), as well as the EEOC. For more information, please contact the Human Resources Department. You also may contact the local office of the THRC, which can be found on their website at www.tn.gov/humanrights.

VERMONT

Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment

[Company Name] is committed to providing a work environment free of harassment. Sexual harassment and harassment based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry, place of birth, age (18 and over), physical or mental disability or medical condition, HIV status, genetic information or membership in the Reserves or National Guard are unlawful in the workplace. The Company will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on these characteristics or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local law.

While the Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment policy sets forth the Company’s goals of promoting a workplace that is free of harassment, the policy is not designed or intended to limit the Company’s authority to discipline or take remedial action for workplace conduct that we deem unacceptable, regardless of whether that conduct satisfies the definition of unlawful harassment.

Any employee who believes that he or she has been harassed or discriminated against, or who is aware of harassment or discrimination against others, should immediately provide a written or verbal report to: [insert the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the specific person(s) to whom complaints should be made].

Employees who believe they have been harassed or discriminated against may also file a formal complaint with either or both of the government agencies listed below.

  •       The state agency responsible for complaints of harassment is the State of Vermont Attorney General’s Office – Public Protection Division Civil Rights Unit.

109 State Street

Montpelier, VT 05609-1001

(888) 745-9195 (toll free VT)

(802) 828-3657

(802) 828-3665 (TTY)

(802) 828-2154 (Fax)

Website: http://www.state.vt.us/atg/

  •       The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency that investigates harassment claims, including claims of sexual harassment. The EEOC can be reached at:
  •       John F. Kennedy Federal Building, 475 Government Center, Boston, MA 02203, telephone number (800) 669-4000.

Employees who believe they have been unlawfully harassed may file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office or the EEOC. These agencies serve as neutral fact-finders and attempt to help the parties voluntarily resolve disputes.


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