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[Employer name] ("the Company") is committed to maintaining an environment free from bullying and harassment, which can be a form of workplace discrimination. All employees have a right to work in an environment free from bullying or harassing conduct, including sexual harassment. The Company requires that all employees (including contractors) refrain from bullying or harassing anyone, including coworkers, members of the public, vendors, and clients.
Bullying is verbal or physical conduct that seeks to harm, intimidate, or coerce another person. Bullying is not necessarily based on a person's membership in a protected category like race, sex, age, or disability, among others.
Harassment is persistent and unwelcome conduct because of any of the bases protected by law (race, sex, age, disability, etc.). Harassment exists whenever
Sexual harassment is one type of harassment and includes unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome physical contact of a sexual nature or unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature includes the repeated making of unsolicited, inappropriate gestures or comments and the display of sexual materials not necessary for our work.
It is impossible to list every type of behavior that can be considered bullying or harassment in violation of this policy. In general, any conduct that could interfere with an individual's work performance or create a hostile work environment is forbidden. This is the case even if the offending employee did not mean to be offensive – employees must be sensitive to the feelings of others. Even mild offensive conduct can be considered bullying or harassment if someone has made it clear that it is unwelcome. Some examples include:
Verbal: Jokes, insults, and innuendoes; threats; degrading sexual remarks; whistling; cat calls; comments on a person's body or sex life; or pressures for sexual favors; participating in derogatory or insulting gossip.
Non-Verbal: Intimidating or confrontational body language; gestures, staring, touching, hugging, or patting; blocking a person's movement; standing too close; brushing against a person's body; display of sexually suggestive or degrading pictures; racist or other derogatory cartoons or drawings.
Employees who experience, witness or suspect bullying or harassing behavior must report the behavior to their direct supervisor, or to another supervisor or human resources if their direct supervisor is involved in the bullying or harassment. Employees that feel comfortable directly intervening in situations where they perceive bullying or harassment are encouraged to do so.
Supervisors and managers who receive a complaint of bullying or harassment, who observe such behavior, or suspect that such behavior is occurring have a duty to investigate the behavior and address it as necessary, or to report such suspected harassment to [Designee].
In addition to being subject to discipline if they engage in harassing conduct, supervisors and managers are subject to discipline for failing to report suspected harassment or otherwise knowingly allowing harassment to continue, or for engaging in retaliation or failing to report retaliatory acts.
The Company takes all reports of harassment seriously. The Company will promptly and thoroughly investigate any complaint, information, or knowledge of harassment. The investigation will be as confidential as possible. All persons involved, including complainants, witnesses, and alleged perpetrators may be required to cooperate in an investigation, will receive fair and impartial treatment, and will not be subject to retaliation for information disclosed to the Company.
The Company will take any interim actions necessary to protect complainants from further acts of bullying, harassment, or retaliation during the investigation. The Company may review documents, interview employees, or take whatever investigatory steps it deems necessary to determine whether harassment occurred.
The Company will notify the complainant of the outcome of the investigation, although the Company may decline to reveal specific disciplinary actions taken where there are confidentiality issues with such disclosures.
Harassment because of a protected characteristic (race, sex, age, disability, etc.) is illegal under applicable local, state, and federal laws. Aside from the Company's internal process, employees may choose to pursue legal remedies with appropriate governmental entities at any time, including