Policy 108: Harassment & Discrimination
Covered Individuals: All CEI Employees
CEI is committed to maintaining a work environment that is free from harassment and unlawful discrimination. Harassment or discrimination based on age, race, color, creed, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, or gender is prohibited. Harassing conduct that affects tangible job benefits, interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment will not be tolerated by CEI. Violation of this policy shall be considered grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Sexual harassment is illegal. Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature. Such unwelcome conduct involving individuals of the same gender can also be sexual harassment, regardless of sexual orientation. Such conduct constitutes sexual harassment when any of the following are met:
- Submission to the conduct is an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment
- Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting the individual
- The conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Sexual harassment may include explicit sexual propositions, sexual innuendo, suggestive comments, sexually oriented “bantering” or “practical jokes,” jokes about gender specific traits, sexually oriented or obscene language or gestures, displays of foul or obscene printed or visual material, and unwelcome physical contact.
Inappropriate displays of physical affection or romantic intentions are to be avoided during work hours and while on or in CEI property, buildings, or vehicles, or at CEI sponsored events. In addition, romances between an employee and his/her immediate supervisor are to be avoided.
Harassment or discrimination based on age, race, color, creed, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, gender, or any other protected class, includes behavior such as:
- Verbal conduct such as threats, epithets, derogatory comments, or racial slurs;
- Visual conduct such as derogatory posters, photographs, cartoons, drawings, or gestures;
- Physical conduct such as assault, unwanted touching, or blocking normal movement; and
- Retaliation for reporting harassment or threatening to report harassment
Any employee who is a victim of harassment or unlawful discrimination should report the matter to the HR Executive Director through the most confidential and direct means possible. The HR Executive Director will assist the employee to determine if the CEI grievance procedure offers an appropriate method for resolution. Due to the sensitivities associated with this subject, any person or step normally part of the grievance procedure may be bypassed if the complainant feels it is necessary to do so. If an employee so chooses, he/she may bypass the procedure entirely and file a complaint directly with the Idaho Human Rights Commission and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The HR Executive Director will investigate the complaint by obtaining a written statement from the employee regarding the times, dates, places, and circumstances surrounding the allegations; discussing the matter with the accused; obtaining statements from witnesses, if any; and submitting a report of the investigation to the President. All investigations surrounding such matters will be confidential and designed to protect the privacy of those involved. Only those persons who are responsible for investigating or are a direct party to the matter will have access to confidential information. The HR Executive Director has ten (10) working days to complete the investigation and submit a report to the President. The HR Executive Director will also coordinate reporting the complaint to ICRMP.
The President has five (5) working days, excluding days the President is out of the office on business or on leave, to notify the parties in writing of his or her decision. Based on the report, the President will take immediate and appropriate corrective action. In determining whether conduct constitutes harassment or unlawful discrimination, the President will consider all the circumstances including the nature of the charges and the context in which they occurred.
If a foundation for the allegation exists, disciplinary action against the offending employee will follow. The disciplinary action will be commensurate with the scope and severity of the occurrence, and may include, but is not limited to, warnings, reprimands, demotion, suspension, or dismissal. If appropriate, the case will be referred to proper authorities.
If there appears to be no foundation to the allegations, no record shall be made of the allegation in either the accused or accuser’s personnel records. Bad faith allegations or misuse of this policy may result in disciplinary action against the accuser and may include, but is not limited to, warnings, reprimands, demotion, suspension, or dismissal.
All employees are responsible for helping to ensure that harassment and unlawful discrimination are avoided. Any employee aware of or suspecting the occurrence of harassment or unlawful discrimination is expected to report the matter to the HR Executive Director through the most confidential and direct means possible and avoid discussing the matter with co-workers and persons not directly responsible for investigating the matter.
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