The purpose of this Policy is to confirm the City of Santa Cruz's commitment to maintain a work environment free from unlawful discrimination and/or harassment for all current and prospective City employees.
- Defines discrimination and harassment under this policy;
- Confirms the City's commitment to prohibit and prevent unlawful discrimination and harassment in employment; and
- Provides a City complaint and investigation procedure to resolve complaints of alleged discrimination or harassment in violation of law or this Policy.
It is the policy of the City Council of Santa Cruz to provide all current and prospective employees with equal opportunity in employment without discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, religion, disability, medical condition (including pregnancy, child birth, and cancer-related conditions), gender, height, weight, physical characteristics, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation, organizational affiliation, disabled veteran status, or status as a veteran of the Vietnam era (except when age, disability, or medical condition is a bonafide occupational qualification), and to further assure that all such current and prospective employees are guaranteed a work environment free from unlawful discrimination. In applying and interpreting this Policy, any person charged with doing so shall define the terms of art used in the Policy in a manner which is consistent with all applicable federal, state, and municipal statutes, regulations and ordinances. This Policy pertains to all aspects of employment with the City or the application for employment with the City including, but not limited to, recruitment, selection, placement, assignment, training, transfer, promotion, evaluation, discipline, termination, compensation, and benefits. The City's non-discrimination/non-harassment policy prohibits any form of unlawful conduct and the City shall take aggressive steps to prevent discrimination and harassment from occurring in the workplace. When such discrimination or harassment is detected in the workplace, the City will take aggressive, prompt, and fair measures to eradicate the misconduct. To this end the City, upon confirming the existence of discrimination or harassment prohibited by this Policy, shall take disciplinary action against those responsible for the discrimination or harassment up to and including termination of employment.
This policy is promulgated in recognition of the fact that discrimination and harassment of the type prohibited by this Policy, if allowed to exist, not only violates federal, state, and municipal law, but also serves to undermine employee integrity, to create low employee morale, to reduce employee productivity, and to cause skilled and valuable workers to leave their City employment. All of this, in turn, is detrimental to the general health and welfare of the community, which depends upon a highly motivated and skilled body of City employees to deliver essential municipal services.
The City Council further acknowledges and understands that in order to implement a non-discrimination/non-harassment policy of the type hereby promulgated, it is essential that all persons who witness or experience discrimination or harassment of the type prohibited by this Policy, report that discrimination or harassment immediately in order to facilitate early, effective, efficient, and impartial investigation and intervention by the City. Accordingly, any retaliation against a person for filing a discrimination/harassment complaint, reporting discrimination/harassment which he or she has witnessed, or assisting in a discrimination/harassment investigation is strictly prohibited. Employees found to have participated in retaliatory action in contravention of this Policy shall, therefore, be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
In interpreting and implementing this policy, the constitutional rights of free speech and association shall be accommodated in a manner consistent with applicable federal and state law in a manner consistent with the intent of this Policy.
"Discrimination" as used in this Policy is defined to include, but is not limited to:
A. Basing an employment decision as to a job applicant or employee (e.g., decision to hire, promote, transfer, terminate, etc.) on one's protected status (e.g., race, sex, age, religion, etc.)
B. Treating an applicant or employee differently with regard to any aspect of employment because of his or her protected status;
C. Engaging in harassment, as more specifically defined below;
D. Taking adverse employment action (i.e., demotion, transfer, discipline, termination) against an employee based on the employee opposing discrimination in the workplace, assisting, supporting, or associating with a member of a protected group who complains about discrimination, or assisting in an investigation of discrimination.
"Harassment" as used in this Policy is defined to include, but is not limited to:
A. Speech, such as epithets, derogatory comments or slurs, and lewd propositioning on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, religion, disability, medical condition (cancer-related), gender, height, weight, physical characteristics, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation, organizational affiliation, disabled veteran status, or status as a veteran of the Vietnam era. Prohibited speech may include inappropriate sex-oriented comments on appearance, including dress or physical features, or race-oriented stories and jokes.
B. Physical acts, such as assault, impeding or blocking movement, offensive touching, or physical interference with normal work or movement when directed at an individual on the protected bases listed in the policy. Prohibited physical acts include pinching, grabbing, patting, propositioning, leering, or making explicit or implied job threats or promises in return for submission to physical acts.
C. Visual insults, such as derogatory posters, cartoons, or drawings related to the protected bases listed in the policy (e.g., race, sex, religion, etc.).
D. Unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other acts of a sexual nature, where submission is made a term or condition of employment, where submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions, or where the conduct is intended to or actually does unreasonably interfere with an individual's work performance or create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
I. Director of Human Resources
The Director of Human Resources shall be responsible for:
A. insuring that this policy and complaint procedures are disseminated to all employees;
B. providing training and assistance to department heads, supervisors, and employees in preventing and addressing discrimination and harassment; and
C. investigating, resolving, and making findings and recommendations on complaints of unlawful discrimination and harassment.
II. Department Heads
Department Heads shall be responsible for:
A. assisting the Director of Human Resources by disseminating this policy and ensuring that the workplace remains free of discrimination and/or harassment;
B. coordinating and cooperating with the Director of Human Resources in resolving complaints involving employees in their respective departments; and, when discrimination/ harassment has occurred,
- Taking prompt and appropriate remedial action against the perpetrator/harasser
- Taking reasonable steps to protect the compainant from further discrimination/harassment
- Taking reasonable steps to protect the compainant from retaliation as a result of communicating the complaint
- Taking action to remedy the effects of discrimination/harassment.
Employees shall cooperate fully with all investigations of discrimination and harassment and implementation of remedial measures, and not retaliate against complainants or witnesses.
IV. Independent Contractors
Contracts with the City of Santa Cruz which contain an equal employment/non-discrimination clause shall also include language requiring those contractors to be responsible for insuring that effective policies and procedures concerning the prevention of harassment exist in their companies.
Dissemination of Policy and Training
All employees, supervisors, and managers shall receive a copy of this policy, and all regular City employees shall attend sexual harassment and cultural diversity training.
Discrimination/Harassment Complaint Procedure
This complaint procedure is available to City of Santa Cruz employees and individuals that believe that they have been subjected to discrimination and/or harassment in relation to employment with the City of Santa Cruz.
Complainants, and employees alleged to have engaged in discrimination or harassment, may choose to be represented at any or all steps in the complaint process.
Last updated: 4/2/2013 11:16:45 AM