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Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Policy

Global Youth United

Philadelphia, PA  

 

Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Policy

I. General

Global Youth United (GYU or the Organization) strives to create and maintain an environment in which its Staff, Board Members, Mentors, students, and staff applicants (the Members) are treated with dignity, decency and respect. The accomplishment of this goal is essential to the mission of the Organization. The Organization does not tolerate unlawful discrimination or harassment of any kind. All Members, regardless of their positions, are bound by and expected to comply with this policy and to take appropriate measures to ensure that prohibited conduct does not occur. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against any employee who violates this policy. Based upon the seriousness of the offense, disciplinary action may include verbal or written reprimand, suspension or termination of employment.

 

II. PROHIBITED CONDUCT UNDER THIS POLICY

1. Discrimination

a) It is a violation of this Policy to discriminate in the provision of employment opportunities, benefits or privileges; to create discriminatory work conditions; or to use discriminatory evaluative standards in employment if the basis of that discriminatory treatment is, in whole or in part, the person's race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information or marital status.

b) Discrimination of this kind also may be strictly prohibited by a variety of federal, state and local laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. This policy is intended to comply with the prohibitions stated in these antidiscrimination laws.

c) Discrimination in violation of this policy will be subject to severe sanctions up to and including termination.

2. Harassment

Harassment, including sexual harassment, is prohibited by federal and state laws. This Policy prohibits harassment of any kind, and the Organization will take appropriate action swiftly to address any violations of this policy.

Harassment is defined as verbal or physical conduct designed to threaten, intimidate or coerce. Included in this definition is verbal taunting (including racial and ethnic slurs) that, in the Member’s opinion, impairs his or her ability to perform his or her job.

Examples of harassment are:

  1. Verbal: Comments that are not flattering or are unwelcome regarding a person's nationality, origin, race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, body disability or appearance. Epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping.

  2. Nonverbal: 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 national origin, race color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, appearance disability, gender identity, marital or other protected status.

3. Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment in any form is prohibited under this policy. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination and is unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment is defined as "unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature...when...submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions...or such conduct has the purpose or effect of...creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment."

Sexual harassment includes unsolicited and unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when such conduct:

  1. Is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment.

  2. Is used as a basis for an employment decision.

  3. Unreasonably interferes with an employee's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or otherwise offensive environment.

Sexual harassment does not refer to behavior or occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature. It refers to behavior that is unwelcome, that is personally offensive, that lowers morale and therefore interferes with work effectiveness. Sexual harassment may take different forms.

There are two generally recognized types of sexual harassment. Both are prohibited by this Policy.

  1. "Quid pro quo" harassment, where submission to harassment is used as the basis for employment decisions.  Employee benefits such as raises, promotions, better working hours, etc., are directly linked to compliance with sexual advances.

  2. "Hostile work environment," where the harassment creates an offensive and unpleasant working environment.  Hostile work environment can be created by anyone in the work environment, whether it be supervisors, other employees or customers. Hostile environment harassment consists of verbiage of a sexual nature, unwelcome sexual materials or even unwelcome physical contact as a regular part of the work environment. Texts, emails, cartoons or posters of a sexual nature, vulgar or lewd comments or jokes, or unwanted touching or fondling all fall into this category.

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" that is oriented toward a prohibitive form of harassment, including that which is sex oriented and considered unwelcome.

  2. Nonverbal: The distribution, display or discussion of any written or graphic material, including calendars, posters and cartoons that are sexually suggestive or show hostility toward an individual or group because of sex; suggestive or insulting sounds; leering; staring; whistling; obscene gestures; content in letters and notes, facsimiles, email, photos, text messages, Internet postings, etc., 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.

Normal, courteous, mutually respectful, pleasant, noncoercive interactions between employees, including men and women, that are acceptable to and welcomed by both parties, are not considered to be harassment, including sexual harassment.

4. Consensual Sexual Relationships

The Organization strongly discourages romantic or sexual relationships between a management or other supervisory Member and his or her staff (a Member who reports directly or indirectly to the other Member). If any Member enters into a consensual relationship that is romantic or sexual in nature with a Member who reports directly or indirectly to him or her, or if one of the parties is in a supervisory capacity in the same department in which the other party works, the parties must notify the Board Chairman. Although the parties may feel that what they do during non-working hours is their business and not the business of the office, because of potential issues regarding "quid pro quo" harassment, the Organization has made this a mandatory requirement.

This requirement does not apply to Members who do not supervise or otherwise manage responsibilities over the other.

III. RETALIATION

No hardship, no loss or benefit, and no penalty may be imposed on an employee as punishment for:

  1. Filing or responding to a bona fide complaint of discrimination or harassment.

  2. Appearing as a witness in the investigation of a complaint.

  3. Serving as an investigator.

Retaliation or attempted retaliation is a violation of this policy and anyone who does so will be subject to severe sanctions up to and including termination.

 

IV. THE COMPLAINT PROCESS

Employees are required to utilize this procedure when reporting complaints.

Filing groundless and malicious complaints is an abuse of this Policy and is prohibited.

1. Confidentiality

During the complaint process, while the confidentiality of the information received, the privacy of the individuals involved, and the wishes of the complaining person regarding action by the Organization cannot be guaranteed in every instance, they will be protected to as great a degree as is legally possible.

Any notes or documents written by or received by the person(s) conducting the investigation will be kept confidential to the extent possible and according to any existing state or federal law.

2. Complaint Procedure

The following complaint procedure will be followed in order to address a complaint regarding harassment, discrimination or retaliation.

  1. A person who feels harassed, discriminated or retaliated against may initiate the complaint process by filing a written and signed complaint with the Board Chairman. No formal action will be taken against any person under this policy unless a written and signed complaint is on file containing sufficient details to allow the Board Chairman to determine if the policy may have been violated.

If a supervisor or manager becomes aware that harassment or discrimination is occurring, either from personal observation or as a result of an employee coming forward, the supervisor or manager should immediately report it to the Board Chairman using the same written and sign complaint process.

  1. Upon receiving the complaint, or being advised by a supervisor or manager that violation of this policy may be occurring, the Board Chairman will notify the Board Members, and review the complaint with them.

  2. Within five (5) working days of receiving the complaint, the Board Chairman will:

a) Notify the person(s) charged [hereafter referred to as "respondent(s)”] of a complaint.
b) Initiate the investigation to determine whether there is a reasonable basis for believing that the alleged violation of this policy occurred. During the investigation, the Board Chairman, together with legal counsel or other Organization Members, will interview the complainant, the respondent and any witnesses to determine whether the alleged conduct occurred.

3. Findings

If it is determined that harassment or discrimination in violation of this Policy has occurred, the Board Chairman will recommend appropriate disciplinary action. The appropriate action will depend on the following factors: (i) The severity, frequency and pervasiveness of the conduct; (ii) Prior complaints made by the complainant; (iii) Prior complaints made against the respondent; (iv) The quality of the evidence (first-hand knowledge, credible corroboration etc.).

If the investigation is inconclusive or it is determined that there has been no harassment or discrimination in violation of this policy, but some potentially problematic conduct is revealed, preventative action may be taken.

Within five (5) days after the investigation is concluded, the Board Chairman will meet with the complainant and the respondent separately in order to notify them in person of the findings of the investigation and to inform them of the action being recommended by the Board.

The complainant and the respondent may submit statements to the Board challenging the factual basis of the findings. Any such statement must be submitted no later than five (5) working days after the meeting with the Board Chairman in which the findings of the investigation is discussed.

Within 10 days from the date the Board Chairman meets with the complainant and respondent, the Board will review the investigative report and any statements submitted by the complainant or respondent, discuss results of the investigation with the Board Chairman and other Members as may be appropriate and decide what action, if any, will be taken.

The Board Chairman will report the Board’s decision to the complainant, the respondent and the appropriate management assigned to the department(s) in which the complainant and the respondent work. The Organization’s decision will be in writing and will include finding of fact and a statement for or against disciplinary action. If disciplinary action is to be taken, the sanction will be stated.

4. Alternative Legal Remedies

Nothing in this policy shall prevent the complainant or the respondent from pursuing formal legal remedies or resolution through state or federal agencies or the courts.

V. Student/Mentor Relationhip

 

VI.  Applicability

GYU Board Members and Staff Members are required to sign and abide by this policy. An abridged form of this policy will be produced entitled “GYU Code of Conduct”. GYU students (high school and university students) are required to sign and abide by the abridged policy.

My signature below indicates my receipt and understanding of this agreement.  I also verify that I have been provided with an opportunity to ask questions about the Policy.

 

_________________________________________        ________________________

Name                                    Date

 

_________________________________________

Signature