Discrimination and Harassment Policy

Discrimination and Harassment

The Library is committed to maintaining a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment based on race, color, ancestry, religion, national origin, citizenship, gender, pregnancy, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, veteran or military status, disability, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. This policy applies to all employees, including non-supervisory personnel, supervisors, managers, and executives. It also applies to non-employees such as visitors, customers, volunteers, patrons, and vendors who have business contact with employees.

Harassment consists of unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, nonverbal, written, pictorial, physical, or visual, that is based on any characteristic protected by law, when that conduct affects tangible job benefits, interferes unreasonably with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. This conduct includes slurs, epithets, or other degrading or offensive remarks or jokes. The Library will not tolerate harassment or discrimination. The Library will promptly investigate claims of harassment and discrimination and will take prompt and appropriate action against anyone who harasses or discriminates against another in violation of this policy.

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and verbal, nonverbal, written, pictorial, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature where: (1) submission to that conduct is made an express or implied term or condition of employment; (2) submission to or rejection of that conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions; or (3) that conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. This definition includes many forms of offensive conduct. It also includes harassment of a person by another person of the same gender. Examples of prohibited conduct include, but are not limited to:

1. Offering employment benefits, such as favorable assignments, reviews, promotion, or the like, in exchange for sexual favors;

2. Denying or threatening to deny employment benefits for rejecting sexual advances;

3. Unwanted sexual advances, propositions, flirtations, or repeated unwanted requests for or efforts to make social contact;

4. Verbal conduct of a sexual or gender-based nature, such as using sexually degrading, vulgar, or discriminatory words to describe an individual; making sexually suggestive comments about an individual’s body; discussing sexual activity; or making derogatory, sexual, gender-related or discriminatory comments, slurs, taunts, jokes, or epithets;

5. Non-verbal conduct of a sexual or gender-based nature, such as whistling, unwelcome staring, or leering; displaying sexually suggestive, gender-based, or discriminatorily-based objects, pictures, videos, posters, or cartoons; making sexual, derogatory, obscene, or discriminatory gestures; or giving, sending, or circulating sexual, derogatory, obscene, or discriminatory letters, e-mail messages, social media

messages or postings, voicemail messages, gifts, notes, or invitations;

6. Unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual or gender-based nature, such as touching, patting, pinching, brushing the body, or impeding, by blocking, an individual’s movements;

The objective of this Library policy is to create a positive work environment that is free from hostile, offensive, intimidating, harassing, or discriminatory conduct that unreasonably interferes with an employee’s work due to any of the types of harassment described within this policy. This policy is meant to prevent unwelcome conduct, so all forms of unlawful harassment are prohibited.

If an employee is the subject of, or becomes aware of, harassment or discrimination, the employee must immediately communicate this information – without fear of retaliation – to one or more of the following individuals: the Library Director, the employee’s supervisor, or a representative of Human Resources. If, for any reason, an employee prefers not to discuss the issue with any of these individuals, the employee is encouraged to report the issue to the Personnel Committee of the Board of Trustees.

The Library strongly encourages employees to come forward promptly. Timely reporting is vital to the Library’s ability to investigate complaints of harassment or discrimination. Prompt reporting also discourages the spread of harmful rumors. Complaints and investigations will be kept as confidential as possible. The Library takes prompt and necessary steps to investigate and, where appropriate, correct any form of harassment or discrimination. All employees are expected to cooperate in any investigations of wrongdoing. Failure of any employee to cooperate in an investigation is grounds for disciplinary action against that employee, up to and including termination.

No reprisal, retaliation, or other adverse action will be taken against any employee who in good faith reports harassment or discrimination or assists in the investigation of any such matter. The Library will not tolerate any retaliatory conduct or false accusations of harassment or discrimination, and any such acts will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Members of the public who engage in harassing or discriminatory conduct may be denied access to Library buildings and programs.