Southam and Associates strives to create and maintain a work environment in which people are treated with dignity, decency and respect. The environment of the company should be characterized by mutual trust and the absence of intimidation, oppression and exploitation. Southam and Associates will not tolerate unlawful discrimination or harassment of any kind. Through enforcement of this policy and by education of employees, Southam and Associates will seek to prevent, correct and discipline behavior that violates this policy.
All employees, regardless of their positions, are covered by and are 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 on the seriousness of the offense, disciplinary action may include verbal or written reprimand, suspension, or termination of employment.
Managers and supervisors who knowingly allow or tolerate discrimination, harassment or retaliation, including the failure to immediately report such misconduct to human resources (HR), are in violation of this policy and subject to discipline.
Prohibited Conduct Under This Policy
Southam and Associates, in compliance with all applicable federal, state and local anti-discrimination and harassment laws and regulations, enforces this policy in accordance with the following definitions and guidelines:
It is a violation of Southam and Associates’ 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, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information or marital status.
Discrimination of this kind may also be strictly prohibited by a variety of federal, state and local laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination Act of 1967 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This policy is intended to comply with the prohibitions stated in these anti-discrimination laws.
Discrimination in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary measures up to and including termination.
Southam and Associates prohibits harassment of any kind, including sexual harassment, and will take appropriate and immediate action in response to complaints or knowledge of violations of this policy. For purposes of this policy, harassment is any verbal or physical conduct designed to threaten, intimidate or coerce an employee, co-worker, or any person working for or on behalf of Southam and Associates.
The following examples of harassment are intended to be guidelines and are not exclusive when determining whether there has been a violation of this policy:
Verbal harassment includes comments that are offensive or unwelcome regarding a person’s national origin, race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, appearance, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status or other protected status, including epithets, slurs and negative stereotyping.
- Nonverbal harassment includes distribution, display or discussion of any written or graphic material that ridicules, denigrates, insults, belittles or shows hostility, aversion or disrespect toward an individual or group because of national origin, race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, appearance, disability, sexual identity, marital status or other protected status.
Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and is prohibited under Southam and Associates’ anti-harassment policy. 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 occurs when unsolicited and unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature:
- Is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment.
- Is used as a basis for an employment decision.
- Unreasonably interferes with an employee’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or otherwise offensive environment.
Sexual harassment may take different forms. The following examples of sexual harassment are intended to be guidelines and are not exclusive when determining whether there has been a violation of this policy:
- Verbal sexual harassment includes innuendoes, suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propositions, lewd remarks and threats; requests for any type of sexual favor (this includes repeated, unwelcome requests for dates); and verbal abuse or “kidding” that is oriented toward a prohibitive form of harassment, including that which is sexual in nature and unwelcome.
- Nonverbal sexual harassment includes 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, notes, facsimiles, e-mails, photos, text messages, tweets and Internet postings; or other forms of communication that are sexual in nature and offensive.
- Physical sexual harassment includes unwelcome, unwanted physical contact, including touching, tickling, pinching, patting, brushing up against, hugging, cornering, kissing, fondling, and forced sexual intercourse or assault.
Courteous, mutually respectful, pleasant, noncoercive interactions between employees that are appropriate in the workplace and acceptable to and welcomed by both parties are not considered to be harassment, including sexual harassment.
Personal harassment is a form of workplace harassment that’s not based on one of the protected classes (such as race, gender or religion).
Simply, it’s bullying in its most basic form and it’s not illegal but can be damaging nevertheless.
Examples of Personal Harassment
Personal harassment includes:
- Inappropriate comments
- Offensive jokes
- Personal humiliation
- Critical remarks
- Ostracizing behaviors
- Intimidation tacticsOr any other behavior that creates an intimidating and offensive work environment for the victim.
No hardship, loss, benefit or penalty may be imposed on an employee in response to:
- Filing or responding to a bona fide complaint of discrimination or harassment.
- Appearing as a witness in the investigation of a complaint.
- Serving as an investigator of a complaint.
Lodging a complaint will in no way be used against the employee or have an adverse impact on the individual’s employment status. However, filing groundless or malicious complaints is an abuse of this policy and will be treated as a violation.
Any person who is found to have violated this aspect of the policy will be subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment.
All complaints are treated confidentially to the extent possible, and information is disclosed strictly on a need-to-know basis. The identity of the complainant is usually revealed to the parties involved during the investigation, and the HR manager will take adequate steps to ensure that the complainant is protected from retaliation during and after the investigation. All information pertaining to a complaint or investigation under this policy will be maintained in secure files within the HR department.
Southam and Associates has established the following procedure for lodging a complaint of harassment, discrimination or retaliation.
- Complaints should be submitted as soon as possible after an incident has occurred, through the My Safe Workplace Form located here: https://southamandassociates.com/my-safe-workplace/. The HR manager may assist the complainant in completing a written statement or, in the event an employee refuses to provide information in writing, the HR manager will dictate the verbal complaint.
- Upon receiving a complaint or being advised by a supervisor or manager that violation of this policy may be occurring, the HR manager will notify senior management and review the complaint.
- Senior management will review the complaint and discuss with the HR manager and other management staff as appropriate, and decide what action will be taken.
- Once a final decision is made by senior management, the HR manager will meet with the complainant and the respondent separately and notify them. If disciplinary action is to be taken, the respondent will be informed of the nature of the discipline.