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City of Lake Wales, Florida Human Resources Department
Personnel Policies

SECTION 2-222 SEXUAL AND OTHER ILLEGAL OR IMPROPER HARASSMENT

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Secs. 2-222.01 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to make all employees of the City aware that it is the policy of the City that sexual, racial or other forms of illegal or improper harassment will not be tolerated. return to top

Secs. 2-222.02 Statement of Policy

(a) Sexual harassment is included among the prohibitions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination in employment, and is prohibited by the City.

(b) Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical acts of a sex-based nature, where submission to such conduct is made a term or condition of employment, or an employment decision is based on an individual's acceptance or rejection of such conduct, or such conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. Sexual harassment involves not only members of the opposite sex but also of the same sex.

(c) Other forms of harassment in addition to sexual harassment are illegal (such as racial harassment) and/or are improper and will not be tolerated. Such harassment involves unwelcome language or actions involving race, religion, national origin, age, marital status or disability.

(d) Sexual as well as other illegal or improper harassment of City employees by other employees or by persons who are not employed by but do business with the City will not be tolerated.

(e) In addition, the City will not allow any retaliation against any employee who raises a concern about improper or illegal harassment or participates in an investigation involving improper or illegal harassment and tells the truth to the best of his knowledge and belief. return to top

Secs. 2-222.03 Examples of Prohibited Sexually Related Conduct

The City considers the following conduct to be examples of conduct, which violates its prohibition of sexual harassment.

(a) Unwelcome physical assaults or touching of a sexual nature, including:

  1. Rape, sexual battery, molestation, or attempts to commit such acts.
  2. Intentional physical contact which is sexual in nature such as touching, pinching, patting, grabbing, rubbing, hugging, or poking another employee's body.

(b) Unwelcome sexual advances, propositions, and other sexual comments, such as sexually oriented gestures, noises, remarks, jokes, or comments about a person's sexuality or sexual experience directed at or made in the presence of an employee who has indicated in any way that such conduct in his or her presence is unwelcome.

(c) Job actions related to sexual matters such as:

  1. Preferential treatment for submitting to sexual activity, including soliciting or attempting to solicit an employee to engage in sexual activity for compensation or reward.
  2. Threatening to, or actually making an employee's job more difficult, or taking away any benefit or privilege to entice an employee to submit sexually.

(d) Display of sexually related material, such as:

  1. Pictures, posters, calendars, graffiti, objects, promotional material, reading or other material of a sexually suggestive or sexually demeaning nature is not permitted in the workplace.
  2. Reading or otherwise publicizing in the work environment materials that are sexually revealing, pornographic, or sexually demeaning. return to top
Secs. 2-222.04 Examples of Other Illegal or Improper Harassment

(a) Derogatory, critical or uncomplimentary jokes, comments, displays, posters, other written materials as well as actions based on age, race, religion, national origin, marital status, or disability are often unwelcome and hurtful to others and can be illegal. Such actions have no place in the work environment at the City and will not be tolerated.

(b) The above examples are not to be considered a comprehensive list of prohibited conduct, but set forth examples of the types of conduct which is prohibited. return to top

Secs. 2-222.05 Making Complaints of Sexual or Other Illegal or Improper Harassment or Retaliation

(a) Anyone who has suffered sexual or other illegal or improper harassment or retaliation or who has observed such conduct should report it to his immediate supervisor, his Division Manager or Department Head, the City Clerk, City Manager, Human Resources Director, or any member of the City Commission.

(b) All complaints will be investigated expeditiously. Upon completion, and a determination that a complaint is valid, the City will take appropriate remedial action, including discipline up to termination of employment. If the complaint is found to be without merit, no disciplinary action will be taken against the employee against whom the complaint was made. return to top

Secs. 2-222.06 Bad Faith Claims of Sexual or Illegal or Improper Harassment

Bad faith claims of sexual or other illegal or improper harassment are claims made when the person making the claims knows the claim is false but makes it anyway. Persons who make bad faith claims under this subsection will be subjected to disciplinary action up to and including termination. return to top


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