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STATE OF COLORADO

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									STATE OF COLORADO

DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
I. POLICY ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT The Department of Natural Resources prohibits discrimination for or against any person on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment, in recruitment, examination, classification, compensation, training, promotion, retention, assignment of duties, granting of rights and benefits, and for any other employment and/or personnel action. Sexual harassment will not be tolerated whether such behavior is directed toward fellow employees, consumers, providers of service, or the public. All appointing authorities, administrators, supervisors, and employees are required to maintain a professional atmosphere in the work place and take necessary measures to prevent sexual harassment from occurring. Federal law, state law and this policy prohibit retaliation against complainants and potential witnesses in a sexual harassment case. Employees, during their annual training, and new employees, during orientation, shall be so advised.

II.

DEFINITION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT Sexual harassment is unlawful and unacceptable conduct, which undermines the integrity of the employment relationship. Sexual harassment will not be tolerated whether such harassment is directed toward fellow employees or the public. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome and repeated sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when one or more of the following conditions of employment are met:    Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, or Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis of employment decisions affecting such individuals, or Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment, or Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for delivery to or withholding of an agency’s services from a client.

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There are different types of sexual harassment that encompasses specific kinds of conduct that can be perpetrated by men or women, supervisors, co-employees, subordinates or can be directed toward third parties such as clients, customers, and vendors as described below. Quid Pro Quo – when a supervisor demands sexual favors, and, if the employee does not comply, takes a tangible employment action against the employee such as: making a significant change in employment status, as in as hiring, firing, failing to promote, reassignment of significantly different responsibilities, or a decision causing a significant change in benefits. Hostile Work Environment – involves workplace conditions that are sufficiently severe and pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment and create an abusive working environment. Sexual harassment may include actions and or behavior such as following:     Sex-oriented physical contact or gestures such as touching, patting, or repeated brushing against another’s body. Subtle pressures for sexual activity such as verbal teasing or abuse. Sex-oriented slurs or jokes, harassing phone calls, at home or work, or suggestive comments. A demand for sexual favors, accompanied by implied or overt promises of preferential treatment or threats concerning an individual’s employment status, benefits or service. The loss of employment opportunity or benefit to a qualified individual because of a refusal to submit to sexual advances or the granting of employment or benefit to an unqualified individual because of submission to sexual advances. Sex-oriented posters, pictures and calendars displayed in the office and sexually oriented entertainment appearing at the office of any other work related site or function (i.e., training conferences held away from the work site).

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III.

REPORTING A SEXUAL HARASSMENT COMPLAINT Any employee may file a formal complaint of sexual harassment in person or in writing to their supervisor, section manager, appointing authority or the Director of Human Resources. In addition, employees of the Department who believe they have been sexually harassed may file a complaint in person or in writing of sexual harassment directly to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (E.E.O.C.), at 1845 Sherman Street, Denver, Colorado 80203, (303) 866-1300, under federal law.

IV.

GUIDELINES TO PREVENT SEXUAL HARASSMENT Managers and supervisors are expected to:      Create and maintain a professional work atmosphere within your area of responsibility. Be alert and sensitive to possible sexual harassment situations or potentially offensive behavior within your work unit. Address any situation or behavior immediately. Be accessible to employees within your area of responsibility who feel they are victims of sexual harassment. View all employee sexual harassment complaints as serious. Follow the procedures outlined herein. Never make light of a complaint. Treat as confidential all employee complaints of sexual harassment. “Loose talk” or discussions of the complaint can injure the reputation of innocent persons.

V.

GUIDELINES TO INVESTIGATE A SEXUAL HARASSMENT COMPLAINT A. Managers and supervisors are advised to handle complaints as follows: 1. Upon receipt of a complaint of sexual harassment, a manager or supervisor is required to take the complaint seriously, and maintain confidentiality. 2. Advise the complainant that the Department must conduct an investigation of allegations and may be represented by the Attorney General in that investigation. 3. A complainant may retain his/her own attorney. During any interview of the complainant by the Department, the complainant may have an attorney present. 4. Any investigative file established by the Department is open at all times to the complainant, with the exception of any attorney/client communications of the Department.

B.

Complaints may be verbal or written. A supervisor or manager should request that a verbal complaint be submitted in writing. In the written complaint, the complainant should be encouraged to provide details related to the complaint including the names of witnesses who might be able to provide information.

C.

If the complainant prefers not to put a complaint in writing, this decision should be documented and the supervisor should summarize the issues discussed with the complainant to insure there is an understanding of the details involved in the complaint. A written summary should be prepared by the supervisor and submitted to the complainant. The complainant shall be given an opportunity to add or revise the summary. Once a complaint has been reduced to writing or a final summary of a verbal complaint has been prepared, the supervisor shall take immediate action in accordance with the following guidelines. 1. If the supervisor is unsure as to the gravity of the issues raised in the complaint, the Director of Human Resources should be notified to provide assistance. Further assistance may be requested from the Attorney General’s Office. 2. If the complaint alleges unwelcome conduct on the part of an employee in the work unit and there is, in the opinion of the supervisor, after investigation by the supervisor, sufficient support that the allegations are true, the supervisor shall handle the complaint by dealing directly with the harassing individual, which could involve a corrective or disciplinary action, in accordance with the state personnel rules, depending on the severity of the behavior. The supervisor shall then meet with the complainant and explain in general terms how the complaint was dealt with and ask that any further harassing conduct be reported immediately. All investigations’ and conversations concerning the complaint and its resolution shall be documented in detail by the supervisor. 3. If, after investigation, the supervisor is unsure whether there is sufficient support for allegations in a complaint or when the complaint alleges harassment of a particular serious nature against an employee, the supervisor shall meet with the Director of Human Resources who then may either assist the supervisor in determining how to resolve the complaint or proceed in accordance with #4 below. 4. For complaints against the complainant’s supervisor, other supervisory personnel of the Division or Department, or complaints of a serious nature involving an employee, an investigation by someone other than the supervisor may be appropriate. Once such a complaint has been made to a higher level supervisor/manager, the Director of Human Resources must be contacted who will then initiate an investigation.

D.

IV.

CORRECTIVE ACTIONS Violation the Department’s sexual harassment policy is an action that will be considered an act of willful misconduct under R 6-9 and may be subject to disciplinary action as required. Remedies may include but are not limited to reinforcement of the Department’s policy, training, suspension, demotion, transfer, reprimand, or termination. Because of differences in employees’ values and backgrounds, some individuals may find it difficult to recognize their own behavior as sexual harassment. In addition, someone who has been harassed may not understand or appreciate their right to be protected from such behavior.

V.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT PREVENTION The Department is committed to providing Sexual Harassment training for its employees to prevent any unwelcome behavior in the workplace that may be considered or construed as sexual harassment. The Department’s policy against Sexual Harassment will be covered in at least one formal training session per year, or via the Department’s intranet, and during the new employee orientation session, where the policy will be provided to all new employees of the Department.

Approved effective January 1, 2003

Unsigned electronic copy
_______________________________________ D.P. “Butch” Friend Human Resources Director


								
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