EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
It is our policy to provide equal employment opportunity to all volunteers, employees, contractors and applicants for said positions regardless of race, color, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, ancestry, religion or creed, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or partnership status, pregnancy and childbirth or related medical conditions, reproductive health decisions, caregiver status, age, disability, military or veteran status, arrest or conviction record, salary history, credit history, unemployment status, status as a victim of domestic or sexual violence or stalking, predisposing genetic characteristics, genetic information, or carrier status, All employment decisions including, but not limited to, hiring, firing, assignment of work, pay, evaluations, promotions, disciplinary actions, or any other term or conditions of employment will never be made based on any of these, or other legally-recognized protected classes. Our organization is firmly committed to this policy of equal employment opportunity.
RDRNYC will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of any legally protected class. We strive to place pets in loving homes without regard to the applicant’s membership in any legally recognized protected class including, but not limited to, of race, color, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, ancestry, religion or creed, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or partnership status, pregnancy and childbirth or related medical conditions, reproductive health decisions, caregiver status, age, disability, military or veteran status, arrest or conviction record, salary history, credit history, unemployment status, status as a victim of domestic or sexual violence or stalking, predisposing genetic characteristics, genetic information, or carrier status. Any volunteer and/or employee who violates RDRNYC’s anti-discrimination policy is subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Rescue Dogs Rock Inc. (RDRNYC) will not tolerate the harassment of its volunteers, employees, and contractors in any form. This includes harassment based on all legally protected classes, including, but not limited to, race, color, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, ancestry, religion or creed, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or partnership status, pregnancy and childbirth or related medical conditions, reproductive health decisions, caregiver status, age, disability, military or veteran status, arrest or conviction record, salary history, credit history, unemployment status, status as a victim of domestic or sexual violence or stalking, predisposing genetic characteristics, genetic information, or carrier status.
While it is not always easy to define precisely what constitutes harassment in every circumstance, more obvious examples include the use of slurs, epithets, derogatory comments, unwelcomed jokes and teasing, or verbal or physical threats. The purpose of this policy is to promote an environment where all volunteers/employees/contractors feel comfortable around their fellow volunteers, employees, and contractors. Please also refer to the sexual harassment information sheet and policy herein.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY
RDRNYC is committed to maintaining a workplace free from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a form of workplace discrimination. RDRNYC has a zero-tolerance policy for any form of sexual harassment, and all volunteers, employees, and contractors are required to work in a manner that prevents sexual harassment in the workplace. This Policy is one component of our commitment to a discrimination-free work environment.
Sexual harassment is against the law. All volunteers, employees, and contractors have a legal right to a workplace free from sexual harassment, and volunteers, employees, and contractors can enforce this right by filing a complaint internally with RDRNYC, with a government agency, or in court under federal, state or local antidiscrimination laws.
- This policy applies to all volunteers, employees, contractors, applicants for employment, interns, whether paid or unpaid, and persons conducting business with Rescue Dogs Rock Inc. (RDRNYC)
- Sexual harassment will not be tolerated. Any person covered by this policy who engages in sexual harassment or retaliation will be subject to remedial and/or disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
- Retaliation Prohibition: No person covered by this Policy shall be subject to adverse employment action including being discharged, disciplined, discriminated against, or otherwise subject to adverse employment action because the person reports an incident of sexual harassment, provides information, or otherwise assists in any investigation of a sexual harassment complaint. RDRNYC has a zero-tolerance policy for retaliation against anyone who complains in good faith or provides information about suspected sexual harassment. Any volunteer, employee, contractor, paid or unpaid intern, or non-employee of RDRNYC who retaliates against anyone involved in a sexual harassment investigation will be subjected to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Any volunteer, employee, contractor, paid or unpaid intern, or non-employee working in the workplace who believes they have been subject to such retaliation should inform the director of operations firstname.lastname@example.org or the co-founders email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sexual harassment is offensive, is a violation of our policies, is unlawful, and subjects RDRNYC to liability for harm to victims of sexual harassment. Harassers may also be individually subject to liability. Persons of every level who engage in sexual harassment, including directors and coordinators who engage in sexual harassment or who knowingly allow such behavior to continue, will be penalized for such misconduct.
- RDRNYC will conduct a prompt, thorough and confidential investigation that ensures due process for all parties, whenever management receives a complaint about sexual harassment, or otherwise knows of possible sexual harassment occurring. Effective corrective action will be taken whenever sexual harassment is found to have occurred. All volunteers, employees, including directors and coordinators are required to cooperate with any internal investigation of sexual harassment.
A non-employee is someone who is (or is employed by) a contractor, subcontractor, vendor, consultant, or anyone providing services in the workplace. Protected non-employees include persons commonly referred to as independent contractors, “gig” workers and temporary workers. Also included are persons providing equipment repair, cleaning services or any other services provided pursuant to a contract with the employer.
- All volunteers, employees, contractors, paid or unpaid interns, or non-employees are encouraged to report any harassment or behaviors that violate this policy.
- Directors and coordinators are required to report any complaint that they receive, or any harassment that they observe, to the director of operations email@example.com or the co-founders firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
- This policy applies to all volunteers, employees, contractors, directors, coordinators, paid or unpaid interns, and non-employees and all must follow and uphold this policy.
What Is “Sexual Harassment”?
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and is unlawful under federal, state, and local law. Sexual harassment includes harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and the status of being transgender.
Sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct which is either of a sexual nature, or which is directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex 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, even if the complaining individual is not the intended target of the sexual harassment;
- Such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment; or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting an individual’s employment.
A sexually harassing hostile work environment consists of words, signs, jokes, pranks, intimidation or physical violence which are of a sexual nature, or which are directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex. Sexual harassment also consists of any unwanted verbal or physical advances, sexually explicit derogatory statements or sexually discriminatory remarks made by someone which are offensive or objectionable to the recipient, which cause the recipient discomfort or humiliation, which interfere with the recipient’s job performance.
Sexual harassment also occurs when a person in authority tries to trade job benefits for sexual favors. This can include hiring, promotion, continued employment or any other terms, conditions or privileges of employment. This is also called “quid pro quo” harassment.
Any employee who feels harassed should complain so that any violation of this policy can be corrected promptly. Any harassing conduct, even a single incident, can be addressed under this policy.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
The following describes some of the types of acts that may be unlawful sexual harassment and that are strictly prohibited:
- Physical assaults of a sexual nature, such as:
- Touching, pinching, patting, grabbing, brushing against another employee’s body or poking another employees’ body;
- Rape, sexual battery, molestation or attempts to commit these assaults.
- Unwanted sexual advances or propositions, such as:
- Requests for sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning the victim’s job performance evaluation, a promotion or other job benefits or detriments;
- Subtle or obvious pressure for unwelcome sexual activities.
- Sexually oriented gestures, noises, remarks, jokes or comments about a person’s sexuality or sexual experience, which create a hostile work environment.
- Sexual or discriminatory displays or publications anywhere in the workplace, such as:
- Displaying pictures, posters, calendars, graffiti, objects, promotional material, reading materials or other materials that are sexually demeaning or pornographic. This includes such sexual displays on workplace computers or cell phones and sharing such displays while in the workplace.
- Hostile actions taken against an individual because of that individual’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and the status of being transgender, such as :
- Interfering with, destroying or damaging a person’s workstation, tools or equipment, or otherwise interfering with the individual’s ability to perform the job;
- Sabotaging and individual’s work;
- Bullying, yelling, name-calling.
Who can be a target of sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment can occur between any individuals, regardless of their sex or gender. New York Law protects employees, paid or unpaid interns, and non-employees, including independent contractors, and those employed by companies contracting to provide services in the workplace. A perpetrator of sexual harassment can be a superior, a subordinate, a coworker or anyone in the workplace including an independent contractor, contract worker, vendor, client, customer or visitor.
Where can sexual harassment occur?
Unlawful sexual harassment is not limited to the physical workplace itself. It can occur while employees are traveling for business or at employer sponsored events or parties. Calls, texts, emails, and social media usage by employees can constitute unlawful workplace harassment, even if they occur away from the workplace premises or not during work hours.
Legal Protections and External Remedies
Sexual harassment is not only prohibited by RDRNYC but is also prohibited by state, federal, and local law.
Aside from the internal process at RDRNYC, volunteers, employees, contractors, paid or unpaid interns, or non-employees may also choose to pursue legal remedies with the following governmental entities at any time.
New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR)
The Human Rights Law (HRL), codified as N.Y. Executive Law, art. 15, 290 et seq., applies to employers in New York State with regard to sexual harassment, and protects employees, paid or unpaid interns and non-employees regardless of immigration status. A Complaint alleging violation of the Human Rights Law may be filed either with DHR or in New York State Supreme Court.
Complaints with DHR may be filed any time within one year of the harassment. If an individual did not file at DHR, they can sue directly in state court under the HRL, within three years of the alleged discrimination. An individual may not file with DHR if they have already filed a HRL complaint in state court.
Complaining internally to RDRNYC does not extend your time to file with DHR or in court. The one year or three years is counted from the date of the most recent incident of harassment.
You do not need an attorney to file a complaint with DHR, and there is no cost to file with DHR.
DHR will investigate your complaint and determine whether there is probably cause to believe that discrimination has occurred. Probable cause cases are forwarded to a public hearing before an administrative law judge. If discrimination is found after a hearing, DHR has the power to award relief, which varies but may include requiring your employer to take action to stop the harassment, or redress the damage caused, including paying monetary damages, attorney’s fees and civil fines.
DHR’s main office contact information is: NYS Division of Human Rights, One Fordham Plaza, Fourth Floor, Bronx, New York 10458, (718) 741-8400, www.dhr.ny.gov.
Contact DHR at (888) 392-3644 or visit dhr.ny.gov/complaint for more information about filing a complaint. The website has a complaint form that can be downloaded, filled out, notarized and mailed to DHR. The website also contains contact information for DHR’s regional offices across New York State.
United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
The EEOC enforces federal anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII of the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act (codified as 42 U.S.C – 2000e et seq.). An individual can file a complaint with the EEOC anytime within 300 days from the harassment. There is no cost to file a complaint with the EEOC. The EEOC will investigate the complaint, and determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe that discrimination has occurred, at which point the EEOC will issue a Right to Sue letter permitting the individual to file a complaint in federal court.
The EEOC does not hold hearings or award relief, but may take other action including pursuing cases in federal court on behalf of complaining parties. Federal courts may award remedies if discrimination is found to have occurred.
If an employee believes that he/she has been discriminated against at work, he/she can file a “Charge of Discrimination.” The EEOC has district, area, and field offices where complaints can be filed. Contact the EEOC by calling 1-800-669-4000 (1-800-669-6820 (TTY)), visiting their website at www.eeoc.gov or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Many localities enforce laws protecting individuals from sexual harassment and discrimination. An individual should contact the county, city, or town in which they live to find out if such a law exists. For example, employees who work in New York City may file complaints of sexual harassment with the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Contact their main office at:
Law Enforcement Bureau of the NYC Commission on Human Rights
40 Rector Street, 10th Floor
New York, New York
Call 311 or (212) 306-7450; or visit www.nyc.gov/html/cchr/html/home/home.shtml.
Contact the Local Police Department
If the harassment involves physical touching, coerced physical confinement or coerced sex acts, the conduct may constitute a crime. Contact the local police department.
Unlawful retaliation can be any action that would keep a worker from coming forward to make or support a discrimination, harassment or sexual harassment claim. Adverse action need not be job-related or occur in the workplace to constitute unlawful retaliation.
Such retaliation is unlawful under federal, state, and local law. The New York State Human Rights Law protects any individual who has engaged in “protected activity.” Protected activity occurs when a person has:
- Filed a complaint of discrimination, harassment, and/or sexual harassment, either internally or with any anti-discrimination agency;
- Testified or assisted in a proceeding involving discrimination, harassment, and/or sexual harassment under the Human Rights Law or other anti-discrimination law;
- Opposed discrimination, harassment, and/or sexual harassment by making a verbal or informal complaint to management, or by simply informing a supervisor or managerof discrimination,harassment, and/or sexual harassment;
- Complained that another employee has been subjected to discrimination, harassment, and/or sexual harassment; or
- Encouraged a fellow employee to report discrimination, harassment, and/or sexual harassment.
There will be no adverse action taken by the organization against employees who report perceived violations of the policies herein, who participate in any related investigations, or who apply for or utilize any benefit to which they are entitled. Similarly, all volunteers, employees, and contractors regardless of position or job classification, are prohibited from retaliating against those who complain of perceived violations of these policies, or who participate in any related investigations. Acts of retaliation shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.
REPORTING DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT,
SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND/OR RETALIATION
Preventing discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, and retaliation is everyone’s responsibility. RDRNYC cannot prevent or remedy such problems unless we know about them. Any volunteer, employee, contractor, paid or unpaid intern or non-employee who has been subjected to behavior that may constitute discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, and/or retaliation is encouraged to report such behavior to a director, coordinator, the director of operations email@example.com or the co-founders firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Anyone who witnesses or becomes aware of potential instances of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, and/or retaliation should report such behavior to a director, coordinator, the director of operations firstname.lastname@example.org or the co-founders email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
All directors and coordinators who receive a complaint or information about suspected discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, and/or retaliation, observe what may constitute such behavior or for any reason suspect that such activities are occurring, are required to report them to our director of operations email@example.com or to our co-founders firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com .
In addition to being subject to discipline if they engaged in such conduct themselves, directors and coordinators will be subject to discipline for failing to report suspected discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, and/or retaliation or otherwise knowingly allowing such actions to continue.
COMPLAINT AND INVESTIGATION PROCEDURE
All complaints or information about suspected discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, and/or retaliation will be investigated. Investigations will be conducted in a timely manner, and will be confidential to the extent possible.
An investigation of any complaint, information or knowledge of suspected discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, and/or retaliation will be prompt and thorough, and should be completed within 30 days. The investigation will be confidential to the extent possible. All persons involved, including complainants, witnesses and alleged perpetrators will be accorded due process to protect their rights to a fair and impartial investigation.
Any volunteer, employee, or contractor may be required to cooperate as needed in an investigation of suspected sexual harassment. Volunteers, employees, or contractors who participate in any investigation will not be retaliated against.
Investigations will be done in accordance with the following steps:
- Upon receipt of complaint, our operations department will conduct an immediate review of the allegations, and take any interim actions, as appropriate.
- If documents, emails or phone records are relevant to the allegations, take steps to obtain and preserve them.
- Request and review all relevant documents, including all electronic communications.
- Interview all parties involved, including any relevant witnesses;
- Create a written documentation of the investigation (such as a letter, memo or email), which contains the following:
- A list of all documents reviewed, along with a detailed summary of relevant documents;
- A list of names of those interviewed, along with a detailed summary of their statements;
- A timeline of events;
- A summary of prior relevant incidents, reported or unreported; and
- The final resolution of the complaint, together with any corrective actions action(s).
- Keep the written documentation and associated documents in the organization’s records.
- Promptly notify the individual who complained and the individual(s) who responded of the final determination and implement any corrective actions identified in the written document.