Council approves new workplace anti-discrimination policy
At its Nov. 16 meeting, the City Council rescinded the City’s current Respect in the Workplace Policy and replaced it with the Anti-Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Policy. In addition to prohibiting discrimination in hiring, promotions, and work assignments, the new policy prohibits harassment in the workplace and retaliation for reporting or participating in the investigation of matters that fall under the policy.
While the newly adopted policy retains the elements of the Respect in the Workplace policy, it has several new features. It now includes guidelines aimed at helping employees and supervisors accommodate religious observance and expression. It also has guidelines to help staff comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA.)
The new Anti-Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Policy:
- Affirms the City’s prohibition of discrimination, harassment or retaliation based upon race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender (including pregnancy), sexual orientation (including gender identity), disability, marital status, familial status, status with regard to public assistance, veteran’s status (including Vietnam Era Veteran status), genetic information and age.
- Focuses more distinctly on protected class groups and discriminatory or inappropriate workplace behavior based upon protected class status.
- Provides guidelines to help supervisors and employees accommodate religious observance and expression in the workplace. The guidelines highlight a number of situations and provide direction on how to obtain case-by-case help in interpreting and applying procedures.
- Outlines the roles and responsibilities required of various staff to carry out the policy. (Beyond compliance and training required of all employees, the policy details who is responsible for reporting concerns, investigating complaints and taking follow-up action.)
- Is more succinct. The policy and procedures are now in two separate documents. The two-page policy provides a broad overview that focuses on the policy’s scope. The separate procedures document details prohibited behaviors, complaint procedures, investigation procedures, disciplinary procedures, handling of other concerns, etc.
- Outlines the roles and responsibilities for complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as amendments to the Act.
Due to the policy’s name change, employees seeking to view the policy in CityTalk would look under “A” for Anti-discrimination instead of “R” for Respect in the Workplace policy. The new policy will be placed in CityTalk’s Policy section in the near future.
Published Nov. 21, 2012