Sexual Harassment Policy
|From:||James L. Ferrara, Acting President|
|Re:||Sexual and Other Discriminatory Harassment Policy|
It is the policy of MTA Bridges and Tunnels to maintain a work environment that is free of all forms of discriminatory harassment. Therefore, harassment based on sex, race and color, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital status, military status, genetic predisposition or carrier status, sexual orientation, prior arrest/conviction status, or whether an individual is a victim of domestic violence, is strictly prohibited.
Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination that is prohibited by state and federal law. It is the policy of MTA Bridges and Tunnels to provide every male and female employee with a work environment that is free from sexual harassment by any other employee, applicant for employment, vendor or visitor. In addition, applicants for employment, vendors and visitors are protected from sexual harassment by our own employees.
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment. The first form, called “quid pro quo” (Latin for “this for that”), requires action by a supervisor, actual or threatened economic injury or other tangible adverse action. For example, a manager or supervisor denies a qualified subordinate a promotion because of her refusal to submit to his sexual advances.
The second form, called hostile work environment, is defined as unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create an intimidating or demeaning work environment for a reasonable person of the same sex and the same position as the complainant. For example, verbal (“dirty” jokes, sexually-explicit stories or inquiries, derogatory comments or slurs), physical (touching, impeding or blocking movement), or visual (vulgar posters, cartoons, sexually-oriented e-mails) harassment. Sufficiently severe conduct must be so objectively offensive as to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment. Pervasive requires a concerted pattern of harassment of a repeated, routine or generalized nature, and must be more than occasional, isolated or sporadic activity.
Conduct is welcome only if it is invited, solicited or encouraged. However, voluntary participation does not necessarily mean that conduct was welcome.
Where there exists reasonable suspicion that sexual harassment may have occurred, an investigation will be required, even in the absence of a formal complaint. Similarly, an investigation must proceed even when a complainant states that she or he no longer wishes to pursue their complaint.
Employees, applicants for employment, vendors or visitors who believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment should report the matter to management at once. Employees are encouraged to contact their immediate supervisor, next level supervisor, or Chief Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, Gloria E. Colon, Esq., by calling (212) 360-3000. Supervisors who receive such a complaint are required to consult with Ms. Colon by no later than the next business day following receipt of the complaint. All complaints will be handled in a timely and confidential manner, to the extent provided by law.
All employees are required to fully cooperate with the investigation of a complaint. All employees shall be protected from any form of retaliation for filing a complaint or cooperating in the investigation of a complaint. If an investigation reveals that a complaint is substantiated, immediate corrective action will be taken. An employee who is found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. Such an employee may also be subject to personal legal and financial liability.
Apart from the complaint procedures outlined above, employees, applicants for employment, vendors and visitors may file external complaints directly with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the New York State Division of Human Rights.
It is the responsibility of managers and supervisors to protect our agency from illegal conduct by widely disseminating the Sexual Harassment policy and making sure that employees are aware of the complaint procedures.
This policy will be posted at prominent locations throughout the agency and will be periodically distributed to all employees.
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