Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund

Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund

Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures

Purpose

The organization is committed to maintaining a work environment that encourages respect for the dignity of each individual. Sexual harassment is considered unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

While in some cases individuals may make sexual comments or jokes or person advances without intending harm, such action can be unwanted, threatening and perceived as harassment.

Sexual harassment is defined as any type of sexually-oriented conduct, whether intentional or not, that is unwelcome and either:

  • is implied or stated to be a term or condition of employment or a factor in evaluating the individual’s job performance, eligibility for promotion or any other component of employment, or
  • interfere directly or indirectly with an individual’s work performance by creating a hostile, offensive or intimidating environment

The following is a partial list of behavior which will generally be considered sexual harassment if unwelcome:

  • sexual jokes, language or propositions
  • written or oral abuse of sexual nature, (e.g., sexually degrading or vulgar words used to describe an individual)
  • the display of sexually suggestive objects pictures, magazines, posters or cartoons
  • comments about an individual’s body, sexual orientation, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies
  • asking questions about sexual conduct
  • harassment constantly targeted at one only sex, even if the content of the verbal abuse is not sexual
  • invading person privacy inside or outside the workplace (e.g., harassing telephone calls)
  • touching, whistling, brushing against the body, or suggestive, insulting or obscene comments or gestures
  • demanding sexual favors in exchange for favorable reviews, assignments, promotions, continued employment or promises of the same
  • assault or coerced sexual acts

Principle

This sexual harassment policy covers all employees. The organization will not tolerate, condone or allow sexual harassment, whether engaged in by fellow employees, supervisors, clients or other non-employees who conduct business with us. We encourage reporting of all incidents of sexual harassment, regardless of who the offender may be or what their position is in the organization.

Procedure

Whenever possible, employees who believe that they have been the subject of harassment should tell the person responsible that they find his/her behavior offensive and ask him/her to stop. The person who is the subject of the harassment may wish to ask a colleague to be present. If the alleged harasser continues or an employee is unable, for whatever reason, to confront the person carrying out the harassment, then the employee should do the following:

Step 1
An employee who has an inquiry regarding sexual harassment should contact the LELDF president. The president is obliged to act upon this information. If, however, the matter cannot be resolved informally or if it is impossible to approach the president (for example because the alleged harasser is the president) it should be referred to Step 2 of this procedure

Step 2
The complainant, or someone on his/her behalf, should put the complaint to the chairman of the board. Any complaint brought to the attention of the organization’s designees (president or chairman) will be promptly investigated in a confidential manner. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigation process (interview of complainant, alleged harasser and witnesses) to the extent practical and appropriate under the circumstances.

Step 3
Upon completing the investigation of a sexual harassment complaint, the organization will communicate its findings and intended actions to the complaint and alleged harasser. If the investigation determines that harassment has occurred, the harasser will be subject to reprimand, a written record of the incident and appropriate disciplinary procedures, such as referral to counseling/training, withholding of a promotion, reassignment, temporary suspension without pay, financial penalties, probation, termination, etc.

If the investigation determines that no sexual harassment has occurred, this finding will be communicated to the complainant in an appropriate sensitive manner.

False Accusations

The organization recognizes that false accusations of sexual harassment can have serious effects on innocent persons. If, after the investigation, it is clear that the complainant has maliciously or recklessly made a false accusation, the accuser will be subject to appropriate sanctions. In such an event, the organization will also take appropriate action to restore the reputation of the accused.