EEOC, Harassment Policy
FRONTIER HOT DIP GALVANIZING, INC.
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY AND ANTI-HARASSMENT POLICY
Frontier Hot Dip is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity (“EEO”) with respect to all employees and applicants for employment. Frontier Hot Dip prohibits discrimination in employment opportunity or practices on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex (gender), sexual orientation, citizenship or immigration status, ancestry, national origin, age, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, marital status, veteran status, pregnancy, or any other reason prohibited by applicable law. This includes, but is not limited to, recruitment, hiring, compensation, promotions, job assignment, transfers, demotions, training, leaves of absence, layoff, benefits, and termination. The Company’s EEO policy also prohibits all forms of retaliation against any individual who has complained of discriminatory conduct or participated in a company or agency investigation into such complaints.
Frontier Hot Dip will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities to enable them to perform the essential functions of their jobs unless doing so would cause an undue hardship to the Company. Employees with disabilities should make Frontier Hot Dip aware of their need for accommodation. The Company will work with the individual to define their job-related needs and to try to accommodate those needs.
Any employee with questions or concerns about this policy or any employment practices in the workplace are encouraged to bring these issues to the attention of their immediate supervisor or someone in the front office. Employees can raise concerns and make reports without fear of reprisal. Anyone found to be engaging in any type of unlawful discrimination will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
I.STANDARDS OF CONDUCT
Employee Conduct And Work Rules
To assure orderly operations and provide the best possible work environment, Frontier Hot Dip expects employees to follow rules of conduct that will protect the interests and safety of all employees. It is not possible to list all the forms of behavior that are considered unacceptable in the work place, but the following are examples of infractions of rules of conduct that will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
- Insubordination, refusal to carry out the reasonable request of a supervisor or other disrespectful conduct.
- Theft, destruction, damage, sabotage or inappropriate removal or possession of Company, customer or employee property.
- Falsification of an employment application, personnel records, and/or Company records.
- Falsification of timekeeping records, including clocking in or out for another employee or requesting another employee to clock you in or out.
- Failure to comply with any of the policies contained within this Employee Handbook.
- Fighting or threatening violence in the workplace.
- Bullying behavior in the workplace.
- Activity in the work place which disrupts business operations, including, but not limited to, horseplay, practical jokes, and/or pranks.
- Entering the plant or other work areas while not on duty or scheduled to work. Non-employees are not permitted to enter or remain on Company property unless prior authorization is obtained from management.
- Possession of dangerous or unauthorized materials, such as firearms or explosives, on Company property.
- Unauthorized absence from your assigned work location during scheduled work hours.
- Conducting personal business during working hours.
- Taking more than the specified time for meals and rest breaks.
- Reading newspapers, magazines, etc. on working time.
- Sleeping on Company time.
- Restricting output or interfering with the work of others.
- Committing any unlawful act on Company property or on Company business at any time.
- Leaving Company premises during working hours without proper authorization.
- Lack of cooperation with others.
- Unsatisfactory performance or conduct.
- Inappropriate public display of affection in the workplace.
- Improper, careless, negligent, destructive or unsafe use or operation of company equipment or vehicles, as well as excessive or avoidable traffic and parking violations.
Any discipline due to violation of any policy or provision stated in this document may typically consist of a documented verbal warning, first written warning and second written warning with suspension and/or termination. The Company in its sole discretion may impose the discipline it deems appropriate including immediate termination.
II.PREVENTING HARASSMENT POLICY
Frontier Hot Dip is committed to providing a workplace that is professional and free from sexual harassment and other forms of harassment and discrimination. As part of the Company’s prohibition on discrimination in the workplace, the Company has a zero tolerance policy against harassment of employees and applicants on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, gender, citizenship, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, veteran status, predisposing genetic characteristics, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local laws.
Further, Frontier Hot Dip prohibits all forms of unlawful harassment, which is more fully discussed in this policy. Unlawful harassment, as outlined in this policy, not only includes harassment of employees by employees, it also encompasses harassment of employees by non-employees with whom Frontier Hot Dip employees come into contact during work, such as employees of contractors, customers, vendors, suppliers, and temporary employment agencies. Similarly, employees are prohibited from engaging in unlawful harassment of non-employees with whom they come into contact during work, such as employees of contractors, customers, suppliers, and temporary employment agencies.
A. Prohibited Forms of Harassment
Generally unlawful harassment is defined as verbal or physical conduct which denigrates or shows hostility or aversion to an individual because of a protected status which:
a. Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment; or
b. Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance; or
c. Otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities.
For example, the following kinds of behavior, or others with a similar harassing effect, are absolutely prohibited:
- Abusing an employee through abusive language, slurs, negative stereotyping, or threatening, intimidating or hostile acts (even if claimed to be “jokes” or “pranks“) which relate to protected status; and
- Written or graphic material which denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group because of protected status and is displayed or circulated in the workplace
Any harassment of or by Company employees in violation of the foregoing rules is absolutely prohibited and will not be tolerated.
Under no circumstances does any manager, supervisor, employee or any other person have any authority whatsoever to harass employees in violation of these rules. If anyone claims to have such authority, or you have any questions about this policy or whether conduct that you find objectionable is authorized by the Company, please contact your supervisor, or someone in the front office immediately.
B. Sexual Harassment
Because Frontier Hot Dip prohibits inappropriate sexual behavior at work, all employees must avoid any action or conduct which could be viewed as sexual harassment.
Generally, conduct constitutes sexual harassment when: a) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment; or b) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or c) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
For example, the following kinds of behavior, or others with a similar harassing effect, are absolutely prohibited:
a .Abusing an employee through insulting or degrading sexual remarks, jokes, innuendoes, or other sexually oriented conduct (including, among other things, graphic or descriptive comments relating to an individual’s body or physical appearance, sexually oriented teasing or pranks, improper suggestions, text messages or e-mails, objects or pictures, or unwanted physical contact); or
b. Threats, demands or suggestions that an employee’s work status depends in any way upon tolerating or accepting sexual advances or sexually oriented conduct.
Similarly, sexual harassment by the Company’s employees towards employees of (i) customers, suppliers, vendors, contractors, temporary employment agencies and those utilizing, visiting or working in the Company’s facilities and (ii) other entities with whom the Company’s employees come into contact with when working outside of the Company facilities is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated. Further, this Policy prohibits sexual harassment of the Company’s employees by employees of (i) customers, suppliers, vendors, contractors, temporary employment agencies and those utilizing, visiting, or working in the Company’s facilities and (ii) other entities with whom the Company’s employees come into contact when working outside of the Company’s facilities.
Under no circumstances does any manager, supervisor, employee or any other person have any authority whatsoever to harass employees in violation of these rules. If anyone claims to have such authority, or you have any questions about whether conduct that you find objectionable is authorized by the Company, please contact your supervisor or someone in the front office immediately.
C. Electronic and/or Textual Harassment
The Company recognizes that individuals in this age of electronic technology and developments often communicate beyond mere verbal and written (i.e. pen to paper) communication. Therefore, it is important that all employees are aware that harassing or inappropriate text messages and social media postings to/between coworkers or others connected to the Company will be considered violations of this Policy. The Company will investigate any report of electronic or textual harassment in the same manner and using the same procedures it uses to investigate complaints of harassment for conduct which occurs at the workplace. Prohibited harassment could be in the form of, for example, telephone calls, voicemail messages, emails, text messages, online messages or postings through social networking sites (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.), or any blog or other internet or electronic posting.
Retaliation against the Company’s employees or customers, suppliers, vendors, temporary agency employees, contractors or those utilizing the Company’s facilities or services for exercising their rights under this Policy is also strictly prohibited, and will not be tolerated. This would include retaliation against individuals for inquiring about their rights, or for making an honest complaint of a violation or possible violation, or for truthfully assisting in a complaint investigation. If you feel you are being or have been retaliated against, please contact your supervisor or someone in the front office.
E. Reporting Procedures
All employees, employee applicants, and the Company’s customers, suppliers, vendors, agency employees, contractors and those utilizing the Company’s facilities or services are encouraged to promptly report any conduct that they are subject to, or that they witness, which they believe may violate this policy or which makes them feel uncomfortable, is offensive, or unwelcome. Do not wait until the harassment becomes severe or pervasive. If the Company does not know about the conduct, it cannot act.
Complaints or inquires may be made to your supervisor, an officer of the Company, or to someone in the front office, which has the overall responsibility for the enforcement of the Policy. The Company believes that by placing different individuals in charge of this Policy, you can freely discuss your complaint or inquiry with one of them even if you may not feel comfortable doing so with another one.
Alternatively, you may initially discuss the matter with any supervisor, who will then bring your complaint to the attention of your supervisor and the front office due to the need for consistency and centralized decision-making in the implementation and enforcement of this Policy. While an employee may choose to confront a harassing supervisor/manager over his/her behavior, complaints concerning harassment by a supervisor or front office should be directed to a different supervisor or someone else in the front office.
The Company will promptly investigate all claims. Complaints and inquiries will be kept confidential to the greatest extent practicable, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation and the need to take prompt and appropriate action.
Any employee who is determined to have committed harassment or retaliation in violation of this Policy will be subjected to appropriate disciplinary measures up to and including termination of employment. Similarly, appropriate action will be taken or suggested if the employee of a customer, vendor, supplier, agency, contractor or other entity with whom Frontier Hot Dip does business, engages in conduct that violates this Policy.
EMPLOYEE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FORM
I have received and read a copy of the Frontier Hot Dip Galvanizing, Inc. Equal Employment Opportunity and Anti-Harassment Policy (“the EEO Policy”). I acknowledge that it is my responsibility to read the EEO Policy and to abide by the rules, policies and standards set forth in it.
I understand that the information in the EEO Policy is intended to serve as general information and is subject to change at any time with or without notice, as situations may warrant. Moreover, I understand that this EEO Policy is not intended to be a promise and/or binding on the Company or to be read as a contract.
I understand that changes in the policies may supersede, modify or eliminate policies in the EEO Policy. I recognize that no one other than the President or Vice-President of the Company may waive, modify, suspend, alter or eliminate the policies in this EEO Policy.
I accept responsibility for keeping informed of all changes to the Company’s policies and rules. I will ask someone in the front office if I have any questions regarding this EEO Policy.
I acknowledge that this EEO Policy is effective immediately and replaces any and all prior Equal Employment Opportunity and Anti-Harassment policies distributed by the Company.
I have read the above statements and understand their content and intentions. By signing below, I agree to abide by the policies, rules and procedures of Frontier Hot Dip Galvanizing, Inc.
Sexual Harassment Model Policy new 2023
Purpose and Goals
Frontier Galvanizing is committed to maintaining a workplace free from harassment and discrimination. Sexual harassment is a form of workplace discrimination that subjects an employee to inferior conditions of employment due to their gender, gender identity, gender expression (perceived or actual), and/or sexual orientation. Sexual harassment is often viewed simply as a form of gender-based discrimination, but Frontier Galvanizing recognizes that discrimination can be related to or affected by other identities beyond gender. Under the New York State Human Rights Law, it is illegal to discriminate based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, race, creed, color, national origin, military status, disability, pre-disposing genetic characteristics, familial status, marital status, criminal history, or status as a victim of domestic violence. Our different identities impact our understanding of the world and how others perceive us. For example, an individual’s race, ability, or immigration status may impact their experience with gender discrimination in the workplace. While this policy is focused on sexual harassment and gender discrimination, the methods for reporting and investigating discrimination based on other protected identities are the same. The purpose of this policy is to teach employees to recognize discrimination, including discrimination due to an individual’s intersecting identities, and provide the tools to take action when it occurs. All employees, managers, and supervisors are required to work in a manner designed to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. This policy is one component of Frontier Galvanizing’s commitment to a discrimination-free work environment.
Goals of this Policy:
Sexual harassment and discrimination are against the law. After reading this policy, employees will understand their right to a workplace free from harassment. Employees will also learn what harassment and discrimination look like, what actions they can take to prevent and report harassment, and how they are protected from retaliation after taking action. The policy will also explain the investigation process into any claims of harassment. Employees are encouraged to report sexual harassment or discrimination by filing a complaint internally with Frontier Galvanizing. Employees can also file a complaint with a government agency or in court under federal, state, or local antidiscrimination laws. To file an employment complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights, please visit https://dhr.ny.gov/complaint. To file a complaint with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, please visit https://www.eeoc.gov/filing-charge-discrimination.
Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Prevention Policy:
- Frontier Galvanizing policy applies to all employees, applicants for employment, and interns, whether paid or unpaid. The policy also applies to additional covered individuals. It applies to anyone who is (or is employed by) a contractor, subcontractor, vendor, consultant, or anyone providing services in our workplace. These individuals 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 through a contract with Frontier Galvanizing. For the remainder of this policy, we will use the term “covered individual” to refer to these individuals who are not direct employees of the company.
- Sexual harassment is unacceptable. Any employee or covered individual who engages in sexual harassment, discrimination, or retaliation will be subject to action, including appropriate discipline for employees. In New York, harassment does not need to be severe or pervasive to be illegal. Employees and covered individuals should not feel discouraged from reporting harassment because they do not believe it is bad enough, or conversely because they do not want to see a colleague fired over less severe behavior. Just as harassment can happen in different degrees, potential discipline for engaging in sexual harassment will depend on the degree of harassment and might include education and counseling. It may lead to suspension or termination when appropriate.
- Retaliation is prohibited. Any employee or covered individual that reports an incident of sexual harassment or discrimination, provides information, or otherwise assists in any investigation of a sexual harassment or discrimination complaint is protected from retaliation. No one should fear reporting sexual harassment if they believe it has occurred. So long as a person reasonably believes that they have witnessed or experienced such behavior, they are protected from retaliation. Any employee of Frontier Galvanizing who retaliates against anyone involved in a sexual harassment or discrimination investigation will face disciplinary action, up to and including termination. All employees and covered individuals working in the workplace who believe they have been subject to such retaliation should inform a supervisor or manager. All employees and covered individuals who believe they have been a target of such retaliation may also seek relief from government agencies, as explained below in the section on Legal Protections.
- Discrimination of any kind, including sexual harassment, is a violation of our policies, is unlawful, and may subject Frontier Galvanizing to liability for the harm experienced by targets of discrimination. Harassers may also be individually subject to liability and employers or supervisors who fail to report or act on harassment may be liable for aiding and abetting such behavior. Employees at every level who engage in harassment or discrimination, including managers and supervisors who engage in harassment or discrimination or who allow such behavior to continue, will be penalized for such misconduct.
- Frontier Galvanizing will conduct a prompt and thorough investigation that is fair to all parties. An investigation will happen whenever management receives a complaint about discrimination or sexual harassment, or when it otherwise knows of possible discrimination or sexual harassment occurring. Frontier Galvanizing will keep the investigation confidential to the extent possible. If an investigation ends with the finding that discrimination or sexual harassment occurred, Frontier Galvanizing will act as required. In addition to any required discipline Frontier Galvanizing will also take steps to ensure a safe work environment for the employee(s) who experienced the discrimination or harassment. All employees, including managers and supervisors, are required to cooperate with any internal investigation of discrimination or sexual harassment.
- All employees and covered individuals are encouraged to report any harassment or behaviors that violate this policy. All employees will have access to a complaint form to report harassment and file complaints. Use of this form is not required. For anyone who would rather make a complaint verbally, or by email, these complaints will be treated with equal priority. An employee or covered individual who prefers not to report harassment to their manager or employer may instead report harassment to the New York State Division of Human Rights and/or the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Complaints may be made to both the employer and a government agency.Managers and supervisors are required to report any complaint that they receive, or any harassment that they observe or become aware of, to Jeff or Robert.
- This policy applies to all employees and covered individuals, such as contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants, or anyone providing services in the workplace, and all must follow and uphold this policy. This policy must be provided to all employees in person or digitally through email upon hiring and will be posted prominently in all work locations. For those offices operating remotely, in addition to sending the policy through email, it will also be available on the organization’s shared network.
What Is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is a form of gender-based discrimination that is unlawful under federal, state, and (where applicable) local law. Sexual harassment includes harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, self-identified or perceived sex, gender expression, gender identity, and the status of being transgender. Sexual harassment is not limited to sexual contact, touching, or expressions of a sexually suggestive nature. Sexual harassment includes all forms of gender discrimination including gender role stereotyping and treating employees differently because of their gender.
Understanding gender diversity is essential to recognizing sexual harassment because discrimination based on sex stereotypes, gender expression and perceived identity are all forms of sexual harassment. The gender spectrum is nuanced, but the three most common ways people identify are cisgender, transgender, and non-binary. A cisgender person is someone whose gender aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth. Generally, this gender will align with the binary of male or female. A transgender person is someone whose gender is different than the sex they were assigned at birth. A non-binary person does not identify exclusively as a man or a woman. They might identify as both, somewhere in between, or completely outside the gender binary. Some may identify as transgender, but not all do. Respecting an individual’s gender identity is a necessary first step in establishing a safe workplace.
Sexual harassment is unlawful when it subjects an individual to inferior terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. Harassment does not need to be severe or pervasive to be illegal. It can be any harassing behavior that rises above petty slights or trivial inconveniences. Every instance of harassment is unique to those experiencing it, and there is no single boundary between petty slights and harassing behavior. However, the Human Rights Law specifies that whether harassing conduct is considered petty or trivial is to be viewed from the standpoint of a reasonable victim of discrimination with the same protected characteristics. Generally, any behavior in which an employee or covered individual is treated worse because of their gender (perceived or actual), sexual orientation, or gender expression is considered a violation of Frontier Galvanizing’s policy. The intent of the behavior, for example, making a joke, does not neutralize a harassment claim. Not intending to harass is not a defense. The impact of the behavior on a person is what counts. Sexual harassment includes any unwelcome conduct which is either directed at an individual because of that individual’s gender identity or expression (perceived or actual), or is of a sexual nature when:
- The purpose or effect of this behavior unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. The impacted person does not need to be the intended target of the sexual harassment;
- Employment depends implicitly or explicitly on accepting such unwelcome behavior; or
- Decisions regarding an individual’s employment are based on an individual’s acceptance to or rejection of such behavior. Such decisions can include what shifts and how many hours an employee might work, project assignments, as well as salary and promotion decisions.
There are two main types of sexual harassment:
- Behaviors that contribute to a hostile work environment include, but are not limited to, 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, gender identity, or gender expression. Sexual harassment also consists of any unwanted verbal or physical advances, sexually explicit derogatory, or discriminatory statements which an employee finds offensive or objectionable, causes an employee discomfort or humiliation, or interferes with the employee’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 or covered individual who feels harassed is encouraged to report the behavior so that any violation of this policy can be corrected promptly. Any harassing conduct, even a single incident, can be discrimination and is covered by 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. This list is just a sample of behaviors and should not be considered exhaustive. Any employee who believes they have experienced sexual harassment, even if it does not appear on this list, should feel encouraged to report it:
- Physical acts of a sexual nature, such as:
- Touching, pinching, patting, kissing, hugging, grabbing, brushing against another employee’s body, or poking another employee’s body; or
- Rape, sexual battery, molestation, or attempts to commit these assaults, which may be considered criminal conduct outside the scope of this policy (please contact local law enforcement if you wish to pursue criminal charges).
- Unwanted sexual comments, advances, or propositions, such as:
- o Requests for sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning the target’s job performance evaluation, a promotion, or other job benefits;
- This can include sexual advances/pressure placed on a service industry employee by customers or clients, especially those industries where hospitality and tips are essential to the customer/employee relationship;
- Subtle or obvious pressure for unwelcome sexual activities; or
- o Repeated requests for dates or romantic gestures, including gift-giving
- Sexually oriented gestures, noises, remarks or jokes, or questions and comments about a person’s sexuality, sexual experience, or romantic history which create a hostile work environment. This is not limited to interactions in person. Remarks made over virtual platforms and in messaging apps when employees are working remotely can create a similarly hostile work environment.
- Sex stereotyping, which occurs when someone’s conduct or personality traits are judged based on other people’s ideas or perceptions about how individuals of a particular sex should act or look:
- Remarks regarding an employee’s gender expression, such as wearing a garment typically associated with a different gender identity; or
- Asking employees to take on traditionally gendered roles, such as asking a woman to serve meeting refreshments when it is not part of, or appropriate to, her job duties.
- 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;
- This also extends to the virtual or remote workspace and can include having such materials visible in the background of one’s home during a virtual meeting.
- Hostile actions taken against an individual because of that individual’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, 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 an individual’s work;
- Bullying, yelling, or name-calling;
- Intentional misuse of an individual’s preferred pronouns; or
- Creating different expectations for individuals based on their perceived identities:
- Dress codes that place more emphasis on women’s attire;
- Leaving parents/caregivers out of meetings
Who Can be a Target of Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment can occur between any individuals, regardless of their sex or gender. Harassment does not have to be between members of the opposite sex or gender. New York Law protects employees and all covered individuals described earlier in the policy. Harassers can be anyone in the workplace. A supervisor, a supervisee, or a coworker can all be harassers. Anyone else in the workplace can also be harassers including an independent contractor, contract worker, vendor, client, customer, patient, constituent, or visitor.
Sexual harassment does not happen in a vacuum and discrimination experienced by an employee can be impacted by biases and identities beyond an individual’s gender. For example:
- Placing different demands or expectations on black women employees than white women employees can be both racial and gender discrimination;
- An individual’s immigration status may lead to perceptions of vulnerability and increased concerns around illegal retaliation for reporting sexual harassment; or
- Past experiences as a survivor of domestic or sexual violence may lead an individual to feel re-traumatized by someone’s behaviors in the workplace.
Individuals bring personal history with them to the workplace that might impact how they interact with certain behavior. It is especially important for all employees to be aware of how words or actions might impact someone with a different experience than their own in the interest of creating a safe and equitable workplace.
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 or industry sponsored events or parties. Calls, texts, emails, and social media usage by employees or covered individuals can constitute unlawful workplace harassment, even if they occur away from the workplace premises, on personal devices, or during non-work hours.
Sexual harassment can occur when employees are working remotely from home as well. Any behaviors outlined above that leave an employee feeling uncomfortable, humiliated, or unable to meet their job requirements constitute harassment even if the employee or covered individual is at home when the harassment occurs. Harassment can happen on virtual meeting platforms, in messaging apps, and after working hours between personal cell phones.
Retaliation is unlawful and is any action by an employer or supervisor that punishes an individual upon learning of a harassment claim, that seeks to discourage a worker or covered individual from making a formal complaint or supporting a sexual harassment or discrimination claim, or that punishes those who have come forward. These actions need not be job-related or occur in the workplace to constitute unlawful retaliation. For example, threats of physical violence outside of work hours or disparaging someone on social media would be covered as retaliation under this policy.
Examples of retaliation may include, but are not limited to:
- Demotion, termination, denying accommodations, reduced hours, or the assignment of less desirable shifts;
- Publicly releasing personnel files;
- Refusing to provide a reference or providing an unwarranted negative reference;
- Labeling an employee as “difficult” and excluding them from projects to avoid “drama”;
- Undermining an individual’s immigration status; or
- Reducing work responsibilities, passing over for a promotion, or moving an individual’s desk to a less desirable office location.
Such retaliation is unlawful under federal, state, and (where applicable) 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:
- Made a complaint of sexual harassment or discrimination, either internally or with any government agency;
- Testified or assisted in a proceeding involving sexual harassment or discrimination under the Human Rights Law or any other anti-discrimination law;
- Opposed sexual harassment or discrimination by making a verbal or informal complaint to management, or by simply informing a supervisor or manager of suspected harassment;
- Reported that another employee has been sexually harassed or discriminated against; or
- Encouraged a fellow employee to report harassment.
Even if the alleged harassment does not turn out to rise to the level of a violation of law, the individual is protected from retaliation if the person had a good faith belief that the practices were unlawful. However, the retaliation provision is not intended to protect persons making intentionally false charges of harassment.
Reporting Sexual Harassment
Everyone must work toward preventing sexual harassment, but leadership matters. Supervisors and managers have a special responsibility to make sure employees feel safe at work and that workplaces are free from harassment and discrimination. Any employee or covered individual is encouraged to report harassing or discriminatory behavior to a supervisor or manager. Anyone who witnesses or becomes aware of potential instances of sexual harassment should report such behavior to a supervisor or manager.
Reports of sexual harassment may be made verbally or in writing. A written complaint form is attached to this policy if an employee would like to use it, but the complaint form is not required. Employees who are reporting sexual harassment on behalf of other employees may use the complaint form and should note that it is on another employee’s behalf. A verbal or otherwise written complaint (such as an email) on behalf of oneself or another employee is also acceptable.
Employees and covered individuals who believe they have been a target of sexual harassment may at any time seek assistance in additional available forums, as explained below in the section on Legal Protections.
Supervisors and managers have a responsibility to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination. All supervisors and managers who receive a complaint or information about suspected sexual harassment, observe what may be sexually harassing or discriminatory behavior, or for any reason suspect that sexual harassment or discrimination is occurring, are required to report such suspected sexual harassment to Jeff or Robert. Managers and supervisors should not be passive and wait for an employee to make a claim of harassment. If they observe such behavior, they must act.
Supervisors and managers can be disciplined if they engage in sexually harassing or discriminatory behavior themselves. Supervisors and managers can also be disciplined for failing to report suspected sexual harassment or allowing sexual harassment to continue after they know about it.
Supervisors and managers will also be subject to discipline for engaging in any retaliation.
While supervisors and managers have a responsibility to report harassment and discrimination, supervisors and managers must be mindful of the impact that harassment and a subsequent investigation has on victims. Being identified as a possible victim of harassment and questioned about harassment and discrimination can be intimidating, uncomfortable and re-traumatizing for individuals. Supervisors and managers must accommodate the needs of individuals who have experienced harassment to ensure the workplace is safe, supportive, and free from retaliation for them during and after any investigation.
Any employee witnessing harassment as a bystander is encouraged to report it. A supervisor or manager that is a bystander to harassment is required to report it. There are five standard methods of bystander intervention that can be used when anyone witnesses harassment or discrimination and wants to help.
- A bystander can interrupt the harassment by engaging with the individual being harassed and distracting them from the harassing behavior;
- A bystander who feels unsafe interrupting on their own can ask a third party to help intervene in the harassment;
- A bystander can record or take notes on the harassment incident to benefit a future investigation;
- A bystander might check in with the person who has been harassed after the incident, see how they are feeling and let them know the behavior was not ok; and
- If a bystander feels safe, they can confront the harassers and name the behavior as inappropriate. When confronting harassment, physically assaulting an individual is never an appropriate response.
Though not exhaustive, and dependent on the circumstances, the guidelines above can serve as a brief guide of how to react when witnessing harassment in the workplace. Any employee witnessing harassment as a bystander is encouraged to report it. A supervisor or manager that is a bystander to harassment is required to report it.
Complaints and Investigations of Sexual Harassment
All complaints or information about sexual harassment will be investigated, whether that information was reported in verbal or written form. An investigation of any complaint, information, or knowledge of suspected sexual harassment will be prompt, thorough, and started and completed as soon as possible. The investigation will be kept confidential to the extent possible. All individuals involved, including those making a harassment claim, witnesses, and alleged harassers deserve a fair and impartial investigation.
Any employee may be required to cooperate as needed in an investigation of suspected sexual harassment. Frontier Galvanizing will take disciplinary action against anyone engaging in retaliation against employees who file complaints, support another’s complaint, or participate in harassment investigations.
Frontier Galvanizing recognizes that participating in a harassment investigation can be uncomfortable and has the potential to retraumatize an employee. Those receiving claims and leading investigations will handle complaints and questions with sensitivity toward those participating.
While the process may vary from case to case, investigations will be done in accordance with the following steps. Upon receipt of a complaint, Jeff or Robert:
- Will conduct a prompt review of the allegations, assess the appropriate scope of the investigation, and take any interim actions (for example, instructing the individual(s) about whom the complaint was made to refrain from communications with the individual(s) who reported the harassment), as appropriate. If complaint is verbal, request that the individual completes the complaint form in writing. If the person reporting prefers not to fill out the form, Jeff or Robert will prepare a complaint form or equivalent documentation based on the verbal reporting;
- Will take steps to obtain, review, and preserve documents sufficient to assess the allegations, including documents, emails or phone records that may be relevant to the investigation Jeff or Robert will consider and implement appropriate document request, review, and preservation measures, including for electronic communications;
- Will seek to interview all parties involved, including any relevant witnesses;
- Will 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 any prior relevant incidents disclosed in the investigation, reported or unreported; and
- The basis for the decision and final resolution of the complaint, together with any corrective action(s).
- Will keep the written documentation and associated documents in a secure and confidential location;
- Will promptly notify the individual(s) who reported the harassment and the individual(s) about whom the complaint was made that the investigation has been completed and implement any corrective actions identified in the written document; and
- Will inform the individual(s) who reported of the right to file a complaint or charge externally as outlined in the next section.
Legal Protections and External Remedies
Sexual harassment is not only prohibited by Frontier Galvanizing, but it is also prohibited by state, federal, and, where applicable, local law.
The internal process outlined in the policy above is one way for employees to report sexual harassment. Employees and covered individuals may also choose to pursue legal remedies with the following governmental entities. While a private attorney is not required to file a complaint with a governmental agency, you may also seek the legal advice of an attorney.
New York State Division of Human Rights:
The New York State Human Rights Law (HRL), N.Y. Executive Law, art. 15, § 290 et seq., applies to all employers in New York State and protects employees and covered individuals, regardless of immigration status. A complaint alleging violation of the Human Rights Law may be filed either with the New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR) or in New York State Supreme Court.
Complaints of sexual harassment filed with DHR may be submitted any time within three years of the harassment. If an individual does not file a complaint with DHR, they can bring a lawsuit directly in state court under the Human Rights Law, within three years of the alleged sexual harassment. An individual may not file with DHR if they have already filed a HRL complaint in state court.
Complaining internally to Frontier Galvanizing does not extend your time to file with DHR or in court. The three years are 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 probable cause to believe that sexual harassment has occurred. Probable cause cases receive a public hearing before an administrative law judge. If sexual harassment is found at the hearing, DHR has the power to award relief. Relief varies but it may include requiring your employer to take action to stop the harassment, or repair the damage caused by the harassment, including paying of monetary damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and civil fines.
Go to dhr.ny.gov/complaint for more information about filing a complaint with DHR. The website has a digital complaint process that can be completed on your computer or mobile device from start to finish. The website has a complaint form that can be downloaded, filled out, and mailed to DHR as well as a form that can be submitted online. The website also contains contact information for DHR’s regional offices across New York State.
Call the DHR sexual harassment hotline at 1(800) HARASS3 for more information about filing a sexual harassment complaint. This hotline can also provide you with a referral to a volunteer attorney experienced in sexual harassment matters who can provide you with limited free assistance and counsel over the phone.
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII of the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. An individual can file a complaint with the EEOC anytime within 300 days from the most recent incident of 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. If the EEOC determines that the law may have been violated, the EEOC will try to reach a voluntary settlement with the employer. If the EEOC cannot reach a settlement, the EEOC (or the Department of Justice in certain cases) will decide whether to file a lawsuit. The EEOC will issue a Notice of Right to Sue permitting workers to file a lawsuit in federal court if the EEOC closes the charge, is unable to determine if federal employment discrimination laws may have been violated, or believes that unlawful discrimination occurred by does not file a lawsuit.
Individuals may obtain relief in mediation, settlement or conciliation. In addition, federal courts may award remedies if discrimination is found to have occurred. In general, private employers must have at least 15 employees to come within the jurisdiction of the EEOC.
An employee alleging discrimination at work 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 (TTY: 1-800-669-6820), visiting their website at www.eeoc.gov or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If an individual filed an administrative complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights, DHR will automatically file the complaint with the EEOC to preserve the right to proceed in federal court.
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 or discrimination with the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Contact their main office at Law Enforcement Bureau of the NYC Commission on Human Rights, 22 Reade Street, 1st 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 unwanted physical touching, coerced physical confinement, or coerced sex acts, the conduct may constitute a crime. Those wishing to pursue criminal charges are encouraged to contact their local police department.
The policy outlined above is aimed at providing employees at Frontier Galvanizing and covered individuals an understanding of their right to a discrimination and harassment free workplace. All employees should feel safe at work. Though the focus of this policy is on sexual harassment and gender discrimination, the New York State Human Rights law protects against discrimination in several protected classes including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, race, creed, color, national origin, military status, disability, pre-disposing genetic characteristics, familial status, marital status, criminal history, or domestic violence survivor status. The prevention policies outlined above should be considered applicable to all protected classes.
Frontier Hot–Dip Galvanizing, Inc.’s Paid Family Leave Policy
This Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) Policy is effective as of January 1, 2018.
- Eligibility for PFL
In order to apply for PFL as a Frontier Hot–Dip Galvanizing, Inc. (“Frontier”) employee, you must be currently working for us at the time of application and also:
- If you have a regular work schedule of 20 or more hours per week, you are eligible for PFL after 26 weeks of employment;
- If you have a regular work schedule of less than 20 hours per week, you are eligible for PFL after you have worked 175 days.
Your eligibility for PFL does not depend on your immigration or citizenship status.
You may not receive short-term disability and PFL benefits at the same time. You may not take more than 26 combined weeks of short-term disability and PFL in a 52-week period.
If you are unable to work and qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits, you may not use PFL benefits at the same time as you are receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits. If you are receiving reduced earnings, you may be eligible for PFL. Please see Robert Pierce.
Only one employee at a time may receive PFL to bond with the same child or care for the same family member.
- PFL Payroll Deductions
Beginning on January 1, 2018, Frontier will begin weekly payroll deductions as allowed by law. In 2018, the current employee contribution rate is 0.126% of an employee’s weekly wage, up to 0.126% of the annual New York State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW). In 2018, the maximum weekly employee contribution is approximately $1.65 per week.
You may—but are not required to—opt out of PFL if your regular work schedule is seasonal or temporary and you will not meet the eligibility requirements set forth in Section A above. If you opt out of PFL, you will not be eligible to request PFL. If your schedule changes, and you are expected to become eligible for PFL, your waiver will automatically be revoked, and you must pay all PFL contributions from the first day of employment or January 1, 2018, whichever is later.
- Kinds of PFL
- Bonding with a Child.
If you are a parent, you may take PFL during the first 12 months following the birth, adoption, or fostering of your child.
- To Care for Your Family Member with a Serious Health Condition
If your family member has a serious health condition, you are eligible to take PFL to care for them. Family members include spouses, children, parents, parents-in-law, domestic partners, grandparents and grandchildren.
A serious health condition includes injury, illness, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:
- Inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential health care facility; or
- Continuing treatment or supervision by a health care provider.
In most circumstances, ailments like the common cold, the flu, ear aches, upset stomach, minor ulcers, routine dental or orthodontia problems, periodontal disease, etc. do not meet the definition of a serious health condition.
- Military PFL
You are eligible for PFL when your spouse, child, domestic partner or parent is on active military duty abroad or has been notified of an impending call or order of active military duty abroad. PFL is not available for your own military leave.
- PFL Benefits
Paid Family Leave is being phased in during a four year period starting in 2018. Benefits will be paid according to the chart below. PFL benefits are paid by our insurance carrier, not Frontier.
|Max % of Employee Average Weekly Wage
|Capped at % of New York State Average Weekly Wage
The number of days you have available for PFL is a rolling period measured backward for 52 weeks.
If you wish to apply for PFL, please see Robert Pierce for the proper forms. If the need for leave is foreseeable, you must give us 30 days advance notice of your intent to use PFL. If the need for PFL was not foreseeable, you must give notice soon as practicable which in most cases will be within two business days.
Once you complete the employee sections of the forms, Frontier will fill out the employer section of the form and return it to you within three business days. You will be responsible for making sure the form is complete (including any required supporting documentation) and for submitting it to our PFL insurance carrier.
The insurance carrier has 18 days after our insurance carrier has received the completed form and documents, after which the carrier must pay the claim or provide a written reason for denial.
- While You are on PFL
If you are employed by another employer, you must take PFL from both employers at the same time.
You can keep your health insurance while on PFL, but you must continue to pay your portion of the premium cost while on PFL. We will continue to pay the employer portion of your health insurance premium.
You may—but are not required to—use your vacation time during PFL in order to receive
full pay during your absence from work. If you use your vacation time during PFL to receive full pay, we will seek reimbursement from the insurance carrier.
You will not be paid for holidays while on PFL unless you are using vacation time to supplement PFL for two business days before and after the holiday.
You will not accrue vacation days while on PFL.
You may not work for us while you are on PFL nor may you work for another employer during the same hours you normally worked for us.
PFL must be taken in whole day increments.
You must provide regular updates while you are on PFL of when you expect to return to work. When you return to work, you will return to the same or comparable position.