Fri, 03/15/2019 - 22:48

ANTI-HARASSMENT POLICY 
 
Harassment of Commissioners, employees, applicants, and citizens on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, religion, age, disability or any other legally protected characteristic is prohibited. Supervisory or managerial personnel are responsible for taking proper action to end such behavior in their workplace. Positive action will be taken to ensure that all Commissioners and employees comply with the effort to make our work environment free from harassment. 
 
Prohibited Conduct

  • Verbal: Negative comments regarding a person's sex, nationality, ancestry, race, marital status, color, religion, gender, age, disability, or other protected characteristic. Epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping.
  • Non-verbal: Distribution, display or discussion of any written or graphic material that ridicules, denigrates, insults, belittles, or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual, or group because of sex, nationality, ancestry, race, marital status, color, religion, gender, age, disability, or other protected characteristic.
  • Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is prohibited under state and federal law, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.; the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law, La. R.S. 23:302 et seq., and La. R.S. 42:341 et seq.  Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, physical, or inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature that explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.  Sexual harassment may take different forms.
  • Examples of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment are:
    • (1) Verbal: Sexual innuendoes, suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propositions, lewd remarks, threats. Requests for any type of sexual favor (this includes repeated, unwelcome requests for dates). Verbal abuse or "kidding" which is oriented towards a prohibited form of harassment, including that which is sex-oriented and considered unwelcome
    • (2) Non-verbal: The distribution, display, or discussion of any written or graphic material, including calendars, posters, and cartoons that are sexually suggestive, or shows hostility toward an individual or group because of sex; suggestive or insulting sounds; leering; staring; whistling; obscene gestures; content in letters and notes, facsimiles, e-mail, that is sexual in nature.
    • (3) Physical: Unwelcome, unwanted physical contact, including but not limited to, touching, tickling, pinching, patting, brushing up against, hugging, cornering, kissing, fondling; forced sexual intercourse or assault. 

 
Training Requirements

1. All Commissioners and employees are required to complete at least one hour of education and training on preventing sexual harassment each calendar year. This training is to be completed by December 31 of each calendar year.

2. The Executive Director, Chair Designee, all Department Heads, and any other employee specified by the Executive Director, in addition to the one hour of education and training required for all employees, must complete additional training each year. This training is to be completed by December 31 of each calendar year.

3. The education and training may be received in person or online through materials or courses approved by the Executive Director.

4. A certificate of completion for the annual training, if available from the provider, must be provided. If not available, Commissioners and employees must sign a certification form indicating completion of the training. These certificates will be retained at the RRWC office. 
 
Complaint Procedures

1. Any Commissioners or employees who feel that they have encountered sexual, racial, religious, age, disability, or other prohibited harassment should contact the Executive Director. If the Executive Director is unavailable, the complaint is about him, or the Commissioner or employee believes it would be inappropriate to contact that person, the Commissioners or employee should contact the Chair Designee of the RRWC.

2. The Executive Director or the Chair Designee, as applicable, will process all complaints of harassment and will be responsible for coordinating investigations.

3. All complaints and investigations will be kept as confidential as possible under the circumstances of each complaint. 
 
Enforcement and Discipline

1. After an investigation, prompt and appropriate corrective action will be taken with respect to any violations of this policy. 

2. Depending on all of the circumstances, violations of this policy may warrant discipline, up to and including discharge.

3. The Executive Director or the Chair Designee, as applicable, shall document any action taken on the basis of a complaint. 
 
Retaliation

1. The RRWC will not retaliate against Commissioners or employees for filing a complaint of harassment under this policy or testifying or participating in an investigation or other proceeding involving a complaint of harassment, including sexual harassment.

2. Commissioners and employees are prohibited from retaliating against other Commissioners or employees for filing a complaint of harassment or participating in an investigation or other proceeding involving a complaint of harassment, including sexual harassment.

3. Any Commissioners or employees who feel they have been retaliated against in violation of this policy should submit a complaint in accordance with the procedure above.  
 
Compliance

1. The Executive Director shall maintain records of Commissioners’ and employees’ attendance at, or completion of, mandatory training, complaints submitted under this policy, and action taken on the basis of complaints submitted under this policy.

2. By February 1 of each year, beginning on February 1, 2020, the Executive Director shall prepare an annual report regarding compliance with La. R.S. 42:341 et seq.  The report shall include the following information:

                     a. The number and percentage of RRWC Commissioners and employees who have completed the training required under this policy                                and under Louisiana law.
                     b. The number of sexual harassment complaints received by the RRWC.
                     c. The number of complaints that resulted in a finding that sexual harassment occurred.
                     d. The number of complaints in which the finding of sexual harassment resulted in discipline or corrective action.
                     e. The amount of time it took to resolve each complaint. 3. This policy shall be prominently posted on the RRWC’s website.

4. The annual report and certificates of completion for each Commissioner and employee are considered a public record and are available to the public in accordance with the Public Records Law.