PJSTA Harassment-Free Workplace Policy

It is the official policy of the PJSTA that it does not tolerate any form of harassment between, among, by, or of employees which is based upon race, color, sex, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, military status, marital status, predisposing genetic characteristics, or gender identity or expression.

 

 

I.       STATEMENT OF POLICY

The PJSTA believes all employees have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.  The PJSTA is committed to maintaining a workplace free from harassment.  This policy protects employees from harassment based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, military status, marital status, predisposing genetic characteristics, or gender identity or expression.  The procedure outlined below has been established to encourage any employee who feels that they have been subjected to harassment, in any workplace or work-related setting, based upon one or more of the listed protected classifications to report such conduct to ensure that the report will be investigated and responded to appropriately. The PJSTA takes all allegations of harassment seriously.  The conduct that is proscribed in this policy will not be tolerated.  The PJSTA will respond promptly to all complaints of harassment.  Further, the PJSTA will not tolerate any retaliation against the complaining individual or individuals for cooperating with an investigation of a complaint.

II.     INDIVIDUALS COVERED UNDER THIS POLICY

This policy applies to, and protects all employees of the PJSTA whether related to conduct engaged in by a PJSTA officer, employee, or someone not directly connected to the PJSTA (e.g., a PJSTA outside vendor, member, client, independent contractor).  The policy covers harassment at the workplace and in any work-related setting outside the workplace, such as during business trips, or business-related social events.

III.    DEFINITION OF HARASSMENT

Harassment directed at an individual on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, military status, marital status, predisposing genetic characteristics, gender identity, or expression is illegal.  While people often may make comments or jokes without intending harm, or realizing that such conduct is offensive to another, such actions can be unwanted.  Preventing harassment in its various forms requires awareness by everyone at the PJSTA of the impact that these actions may have on others.

Courts describe harassment directed at individuals based upon race, color, national origin, sex, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, military status, marital status, predisposing genetic characteristics, gender identity or expression, as any type of conduct, whether intentional or not, that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create an environment that a reasonable person would objectively consider, and the targeted individual subjectively considers, to be hostile or abusive.

A.       Sexual Harassment

For purposes of this policy, sexual harassment is defined, as described in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s  (“EEOC”) Guidelines, as sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when, for example:  (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term of condition of a person’s employment, (2)  submission to or rejection of such conduct by a person is used as the basis of employment decisions affecting the person; or (3)  such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not so subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender.  It refers to behavior that is not welcome, is personally offensive, fails to respect the rights of others, lowers morale and interferes with our work effectiveness.  While it is not possible to list all circumstances that may constitute sexual harassment, a partial list of behavior that may be considered sexual harassment include:

  • Sexual language, epithets, advances, or propositions;
  • Written or spoken abuse of a sexual nature;
  • Sexually degrading or vulgar descriptions of a person;
  • The display of sexual pictures, posters, or cartoons;
  • Circulating, whether in print or in electronic form, literature or communications (articles, magazines, or e-mails) of a sexual nature;
  • Comments about a person’s body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies;
  • Questions about sexual conduct;
  • Harassment consistently targeted at only one sex, even if the content is not sexual;
  • Touching, sexual leering, “elevator eyes”, whistling, brushing against the body, or suggestive, insulting, or obscene comments or gestures;
  • Suggesting or demanding sexual favors in exchange for favorable reviews, assignments, promotions, continued employment or promises of the same; and
  • Assault or coerced sexual acts.

B.       Other Forms of Harassment

Harassment directed at an individual based on race, color, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability, military, marital status, predisposing genetic characteristics, gender identity or expression, is also unlawful and a violation of PJSTA policy.  Harassment is verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, military status, marital status, predisposing genetic characteristics, gender identity or expression; and that:

1.       creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment;

2.       unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance; or

3.       otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities.

Harassing conduct may include a range of subtle and not so subtle behaviors, including, but not limited to:

  • Epithets;
  • Derogatory comments or slurs;
  • Negative stereotyping;
  • Derogatory posters, notices, bulletins, cartoons or drawings or circulated in the workplace on paper or electronically with normal work or movement.

If you are unsure whether the unwanted behavior directed at you constitutes unlawful harassment based on any of the protected categories mentioned above, you are encouraged to speak to the PJSTA President or any officer of the PJSTA Executive Board.

IV.     DISCIPLINARY ACTION

All employees are to comply with this policy and take appropriate measures to ensure that the harassing conduct does not occur.  Appropriate action will be taken against any employee who violates this policy against harassment.  Based on the seriousness of the offense, disciplinary action may include verbal or written reprimand, suspension or termination.

V.      REPORTING HARASSMENT

Non-specific or anonymous complaints are difficult to investigate and/or remedy.  Therefore, individuals having a complaint about a person’s conduct are urged to process the complaint in accordance with the Harassment Complaint Procedure contained at page 4 of this policy.

The PJSTA encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of harassment, regardless of the offender’s identity or position.  The PJSTA designed these procedures to encourage an environment in which people who believe they have experienced harassment may feel free to discuss those situations or concerns with someone in a position to do something about them, secure in the knowledge that they will be listened to and treated with respect.  The PJSTA will not tolerate retaliation of any kind against anyone who files a complaint under the procedures contained in this policy, or who participates in the investigation of a complaint.  After a fair investigation, if your complaint is found to have merit, appropriate action to resolve the problem will be undertaken.

All information will be handled with the highest degree of confidentiality possible under all circumstances and with due regard for the rights and wishes of all parties, recognizing that there are circumstances where complete confidentiality may not be possible.

A.       Self Help

Sometimes a person engaging in offensive conduct is unaware that his or her behavior is unwelcome.  The PJSTA encourages you to advise the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome and request that it be discontinued.  This message can be delivered orally, or in writing.  Often this action alone will resolve the problem.  If you choose this method, you have the full support of the PJSTA and retaliation by any person receiving such message is a violation of this policy.  However, it is not necessary for you to talk directly to the offender if you feel uncomfortable doing so.  Additionally, you should not take self-help if you feel physically threatened.

B.       Procedure

The PJSTA recognizes that the issue of whether harassment has occurred requires a factual determination based on all evidence received.  The PJSTA also recognizes that false accusations of harassment can have serious effects on innocent men and women.  The PJSTA trusts that all employees will continue to act in a responsible and professional manner to establish a pleasant working environment free of any form of harassment.

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