Governance Policy: Anti-Harassment
OutServe-SLDN prohibits harassment of applicants, clients, interns and employees by other employees, supervisors, Board members, or third parties on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, height, weight, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, disability, HIV status, gender identity, veterans status or any other status or condition protected by applicable federal, state or local law.
An employee, client, intern or applicant cannot be forced to submit to harassing conduct as a basis for any employment decision, and OutServe-SLDN does not tolerate conduct which creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment for such persons.
No employee, client, intern or applicant should be subjected to unsolicited and unwelcome sexual overtures, nor should any such person be led to believe that an employment opportunity or benefit will in any way depend upon “cooperation” of a sexual nature.
Harassment includes, without limitation, verbal harassment (epithets, derogatory statements, slurs, threats, intimidation), physical harassment (assault, physical interference with normal work), visual harassment (posters, cartoons, drawings), innuendo, and sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, sexually explicit comments, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical contact and other verbal or physical conduct, or visual forms of harassment of a sexual nature when submission to such conduct is either explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of employment, or is used as the basis for employment decisions, or when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. Conduct of a sexual nature will not be used as a basis for making any decision concerning Outserve-SLDN’s program or client relationships.
Sexual harassment is behavior that is not welcome and that is intimidating, hostile, or offensive. However, because of the difficulties of determining that verbal or physical conduct is unwelcome and communicating that to other staff members, conduct of a sexual nature is strongly discouraged at OutServe-SLDN offices and events among staff members and between staff members and clients, Board members, donors, volunteers, cooperating attorneys and visitors.
Conduct that is not harassment
Sexual harassment does not include occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature, or consensual personal and social relationships without a discriminatory employment effect.
This policy prohibiting harassment extends to interactions with Board members, volunteers, clients and other third parties.
No employee of OutServe-SLDN need tolerate harassment by any co-worker, Board member, volunteer, client or third party. Because of the potential for conflict, harassment or retaliation, intimate relationships between supervisors and subordinates or Board and staff are prohibited unless there is a pre-existing relationship.
No employee, Board members, volunteer or third party shall ever subject any client or prospective client of OutServe-SLDN to harassment of any nature, including the conduct described above.
Due to ethical and liability considerations, OutServe-SLDN employees, Board members, volunteers and third parties are strictly prohibited from engaging in intimate relationships with current clients unless there was a pre-existing relationship.
Any employee who feels that he or she is a victim of harassment based on categories outlined in this policy or protected by federal, state, or local law should report the matter immediately to the Executive Director or to the Co-Chairs of the Board if the complaint concerns the Executive Director. Employees are encouraged to report harassing conduct before it becomes severe or pervasive. Supervisors who become aware of harassing conduct that may violate this policy must report such conduct immediately to the Executive Director or to the Co-Chairs of the Board, if the complaint concerns the Executive Director.
Any client who feels that he or she is a victim of harassment based on categories outlined in this policy or protected by federal, state, or local law should report the matter immediately to their OutServe-SLDN attorney, the Executive Director or OutServe-SLDN Board Co-Chairs. Clients may also report intimate contact or requests for intimate contact that are not unwelcome, but violate OutServe-SLDN's policy. Clients may bypass any part of the complaint procedure where they would be required to complain to the alleged harasser.
OutServe-SLDN will investigate all allegations of harassment as promptly and confidentially as possible. All employees should act responsibly and truthfully in making allegations, responding to allegations, and providing information in an investigation. Any employee who is determined, after an investigation, to have engaged in harassment in violation of this policy shall be subject to immediate discipline, up to and including termination. If, after a thorough investigation, it is determined that a Board member has engaged in harassment in violation of this policy the matter shall be referred to the Co-Chairs for further action.
Non-retaliation and Confidentiality
OutServe-SLDN will investigate such complaints and will maintain confidentiality given OutServe-SLDN’s duty to investigate the complaint. OutServe-SLDN will not retaliate against an employee or client for making a complaint under this policy or participating in an investigation of a violation of this policy. Employees and clients are strongly encouraged to report incidents as quickly as possible.
Adopted: June 1, 2003
Revised: March 8-9, 2008