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The county is committed to maintaining a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. Conduct that affects tangible job benefits, that interferes with an individual’s work performance, or that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment will not be tolerated.
(A) “Harassment” definition.
(1) HARASSMENT ON THE BASIS OF RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, GENDER, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, NATIONAL ORIGIN, AGE, SEX OR DISABILITY CONSTITUTES DISCRIMINATION PER SE IN THE TERMS, CONDITIONS AND PRIVILEGES OF EMPLOYMENT. Verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of their race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, sex or disability or that of their relatives, friends or associates, or otherwise, and that:
(a) Has the purpose or affect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment;
(b) Has the purpose or affect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance; and
(c) Otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities.
(2) HARASSING CONDUCT includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(a) Epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, threatening or intimidating acts, that relate to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, national origin, age, sex or disability; and
(b) Written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group because of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, sex or disability and/or otherwise that is placed on walls, bulletin boards or elsewhere on the employer’s premises or circulated in the workplace.
(B) Harassment complaint procedure. Employees encountering harassment should tell the offending person that his or her actions are inappropriate and offensive. The employee shall document all incidents of harassment for investigative purposes. In addition, the employee shall notify his or her immediate supervisor of the harassment as soon as possible so that corrective steps may be taken and those appropriate investigative and disciplinary measures may be initiated.
(C) “Sexual harassment” further definition. Inappropriate sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other physical, verbal or visual conduct based on sex constitute sexual harassment when:
(1) Submission to such conduct is either explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of employment;
(2) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of reasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment; and
(3) Sexual harassment may include explicit sexual propositions, sexual innuendo, suggestive comments, sexual oriented “kidding” or “teasing”, “practical jokes”, jokes about gender-specific traits, foul or obscene language or gestures, displays of foul or obscene printed or visual material and physical contact with another, such as patting or pinching another’s body.
(D) Harassment false accusations. The county recognizes that a false accusation of harassment or sexual harassment can have a serious effect on innocent employees. Individuals falsely accusing another of harassment or sexual harassment will be disciplined or dismissed in accordance with the nature and extent of the false accusation.
(E) Harassment, employee inquiry procedure. The county encourages any employee to raise questions he or she may have regarding harassment policy to his or her immediate supervisor, Human Resources Director or the County Judge/Executive. In the event that the County Judge/Executive or the Deputy County Judge/Executive becomes the object of harassment, he or she will address his or her concerns to the Executive Committee of the Fiscal Court for investigation and resolution. The resolution by the Executive Committee shall be final, and the Committee shall make its findings in writing.
(Ord. 4-2014, passed 7-31-2014, § 3.39)