§ 50-1General provisions.
§ 50-2Policy against harassment.
§ 50-3Sexual harassment.
§ 50-4Procedures for making complaints.
§ 50-5Procedure for investigating and resolving complaints.
Employees are the most important part of this organization. They deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. It is the policy of the Village of Sloan that all of our employees be able to enjoy a work environment free from all forms of employment discrimination, including all forms of illegal harassment based upon sex, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, national origin, age, physical or mental disability or legally protected activities. It is equally important that all employees interacting with Village residents treat them with the same respect and dignity they would their fellow employees.
To prevent harassment in the workplace, the Village of Sloan has adopted this policy against harassment. This policy applies to all work-related settings, activities and property (e.g., telephones, copy machines, facsimile machines, computers and computer applications such as e-mail and Internet access). This policy covers conduct between all employees, including, in the case of sexual harassment, male/female, female/male and members of the same sex. This policy also covers conduct between employees and nonemployees while the employee is acting as a representative of the Village or involved in a Village-sponsored activity or function.
The following are examples of acts which violate the Village of Sloan's sexual harassment policy. This is not to be construed as an all-inclusive list of prohibited acts under the policy.
Physical assaults of a sexual nature, such as:
Rape, sexual battery, molestation or attempts to commit those offenses, or committing an act with intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death; and
Intentional physical conduct which is sexual in nature, such as touching, pinching, patting, grabbing, brushing against another employee's body, or poking another employee's body, or touching the clothing covering the immediate area of the complainant's intimate parts.
Unwelcome sexual advances, propositions or other sexual comments, such as:
Sexually oriented gestures, sounds, remarks, jokes or comments about a person's sexuality or sexual experience directed at or made in the presence of any individual;
Preferential treatment or promise of preferential treatment for submitting to sexual conduct, including soliciting or attempting to solicit any individual to engage in sexual activity for compensation or reward; and
Subjecting or threatening to subject an individual to unwelcome sexual attention or conduct or intentionally making job performance more difficult because of the individual's gender.
Display of publications anywhere in the Village's workplace, such as:
Displaying pictures, posters, cartoons, calendars, graffiti, objects, promotional materials, reading materials, music or other materials that are sexually suggestive, sexually demeaning or pornographic; exceptions will be considered in situations where nudity or sexually explicit language is necessary to convey a message important to public health and/or safety;
Displaying or publicizing, in the work environment, materials that are in any way sexually revealing, sexually suggestive, sexually demeaning or pornographic;
Displaying signs or other material purporting to segregate an individual by gender in any area of the workplace (other than rest rooms and similar semiprivate lockers/changing rooms);
Production, transmission or display of any sexually explicit material electronically via fax, e-mail, Internet postings or similar modes of communication; and
Possession of such material in a manner that they may be seen by others.
Sexual favoritism. Impact on other employees.
The granting or withholding of employment opportunities and benefits, including, but not limited to, job assignments, unequal discipline, promotion, evaluation and compensation, constitutes sexual harassment when it is based on sexual favoritism, and is prohibited.
Other forms of prohibited sexual harassment. Other conduct that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with work performance or working conditions on the basis of gender may also constitute sexual harassment and, therefore, is prohibited. Examples of conduct which, when based upon gender, constitute prohibited sexual harassment include:
Assigning disagreeable or unsafe duties or not making comparable assignments that would tend to disadvantage an employee's development or career;
Withholding information, materials, equipment or supplies which are necessary for the efficient performance of a job;
Unreasonably failing to cooperate or assist employees with work-related matters;
Interfering with an employee's efforts to satisfactorily complete a job assignment;
Maintaining unequal standards of performance;
Ostracizing individuals or otherwise making it known that they are not welcomed in the workplace because of their gender;
Referring to individuals by sexually denigrating or insulting names because of their gender; and
Slurs, disparaging remarks, spreading rumors, participating in conversations about another's real or perceived sexual activity.
Retaliation for sexual harassment complaints. Examples of retaliation may include:
Arbitrary discipline, unwarranted change of work assignments, providing inaccurate work information, or failing to cooperate or discuss work-related matters with any individual because that individual has complained about, been a witness to or resisted harassment, discrimination or retaliation; and
Intentionally pressuring, falsely denying, lying about, or covering up or attempting to cover up conduct such as that described in any item above.
The Village is committed to resolving these complaints as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you believe that you have been harassed or have knowledge that others have been harassed, you are encouraged to contact your immediate supervisor or the designated Village Equal Employment Opportunity Officer (Mayor).
An individual may seek either an informal or formal resolution to their complaint:
Informal. Where behaviors may be offensive and the offended party has a desire to stop the behaviors without formal procedure, the individual may notify the offending party directly, but is not required to do so. The employee may also request a supervisor to intervene by notifying the alleged offender or the entire work unit that the specific offensive behavior(s) will not be tolerated. In such case the supervisor must discuss the matter with the alleged offender and, if warranted, require that he/she participate in nondisciplinary counseling. The supervisor shall document actions taken and inform the EEO Officer in writing. Copies will also be forwarded to the Village Solicitor's office.
An individual who believes that he/she has been harassed can file a complaint requesting an investigation into the allegation. Formal complaints shall be taken in writing and signed by the complainant. A thorough and complete investigation shall be conducted by the EEO Officer.
To the extent possible, confidentiality shall be maintained within the confines of the investigation of the alleged behavior prohibited. All parties will be treated with dignity and respect.
Equal Employment Opportunity Officer. The Village of Sloan has an EEO Officer (Mayor) capable of conducting a thorough investigation. Each department shall routinely and continuously post notice of the role of the EEO Officer along with the name, work location and telephone number where he/she can be reached.
Any supervisor or the EEO Officer receiving a complaint of harassment shall take the details of the complaint in writing and have the complainant sign it. Copies of this document will be forwarded to the EEO Officer. All complaints of harassment against a Village employee shall be received, investigated and disposed of in accordance with the procedures set forth in this policy, and complainants shall be notified of the final disposition/action taken by the EEO Officer.
If the complaint involves sexual assault, rape or conduct of a criminal nature, the Cheektowaga Police Department shall be contacted and a report of the incident made. If there is any question in the mind of the EEO Officer of whether the conduct complained of constitutes criminal activity, the Village Solicitor's office should be contacted.
The EEO Officer shall attempt to secure statements from all participants in and witnesses to the alleged incident. The accused shall have the right of representation during his/her interview as required by law. All investigations shall be completed by the EEO Officer within 60 days from the filing date of the complaint. Extenuating circumstances for not being able to comply with the deadline must be communicated to the complainant within this time period.
Within 15 days of the completion of the investigation, the EEO Officer will make a determination if the facts and findings revealed in the investigation result in the charge being substantiated or unsubstantiated.
If the charge is substantiated, the EEO Officer shall, after review and consultation with the Village Solicitor's office, determine the appropriate level of discipline. Such discipline as is deemed appropriate will be initiated within five working days of the conclusion of consultation and in accordance with disciplinary procedures and applicable collective bargaining agreements. Documents regarding substantiated charges of sexual harassment are permitted to be placed in the accused employee's personnel file. Documents regarding unsubstantiated charges shall not be placed in personnel files but shall be maintained by the EEO Officer in a confidential EEO file established expressly for retaining complaints of sexual harassment against employees of the Village. The EEO Officer shall forward a copy of the entire investigation file as well as the written conclusion and recommendation of the investigation to the Village Solicitor and any appropriate Village official.
It is the responsibility of each EEO Officer to ensure that all supervisors receive the appropriate training to enforce this policy.
Employees who, in the opinion of the EEO Officer, and who by the nature of their position, situation or behavior would benefit from harassment prevention training can be scheduled to receive prevention training.
It is the responsibility of the EEO Officer to ensure that all employees, both current and new hire, receive and sign for a copy of this policy.