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​​​​5.2.6 Discrimination and Harassment Prohibited

​​The archdiocese strives to create an environment where all persons treat each other with dignity, charity, and respect in accord with Christian principles and the social teachings of the Church. Therefore, the archdiocese is committed to providing a work environment that is free from harass​ment​ and discrimination.  In that spirit, the archdiocese has adopted the standards and policies reflected in the civil laws as described below. [Note that by adopting these standards and policies the archdiocese is not waiving any legal exceptions or exemptions that may apply to it as a religious nonprofit organization.]
Harassment of or discrimination against any staff member or any person serving the archdiocese (e.g., vendors, visitors, and volunteers) by any staff member is strictly prohibited. Likewise, staff members and volunteers are protected from harassment by vendors or others serving the archdiocese. The archdiocese will treat allegations of harassment or discrimination seriously and will investigate such allegations promptly, confidentially, and in a manner that is appropriate to the claim. Retaliation against any individual for making a complaint of harassment or discrimination or for participating in a harassment or discrimination investigation is strictly forbidden. Retaliation constitutes a violation of this policy.

A charge of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation shall not, in and of itself, create the presumption of wrongdoing. However, substantiated acts of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.  Persons found to have filed false or frivolous charges will also be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.  Clergy are also subject to the provisions of policies relating to sexual misconduct by clergy. Harassment

Harassment can occur in the workplace when individuals are subjected to hostile or intimidating treatment because of their race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, age, or pregnancy. It may occur at any time during work or during work-related activities, at or away from the location. It may include but is not limited to any or all of the following forms:

Verbal Harassment

  • Derogatory, offensive, or inappropriate comments or jokes; threatening words spoken to another person 

Physical Harassment

  • Unwanted physical touching, contact, or assault; deliberate impeding or blocking of another's movements; any intimidating interference with normal work or movement 

Visual Harassment

  • The display or circulation of derogatory, demeaning, or inflammatory posters, cartoons, written words, drawings, or gestures (including by email, social media, or similar transmission or by other electronic means, which, from time to time, are included as visual harassment)

Sexual Harassment

  • Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when any or all of the following apply: submission to such conduct is made either implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions, or such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment 

Specific examples of sexual harassment include but are not limited to the following:

  • Making unsolicited sexual advances and propositions 

  • Using sexually degrading words to describe an individual or commenting upon an individual's body 

  • Displaying sexually suggestive objects or pictures 

  • Telling inappropriate or sexually related jokes 

  • Making reprisals, threats of reprisals, or implied threats of reprisals following a negative response to sexual advances 

  • Offering employment benefits such as promotions, favorable performance evaluations, preferred duties or shifts, recommendations, reclassifications, etc., in exchange for sexual favors 

  • Persistent and unwelcome flirting, kissing, massaging, leering, or intimate touching 

All archdiocesan entities are responsible for:

  • Implementing these policies against discrimination and harassment through regular meetings with staff, including clergy and religious, ensuring that everyone understands the policies and their importance 

  • Training staff as required by law and as coordinated for locations by Human Resources

  • Making all staff, including clergy and religious, aware of these policies and of archdiocesan commitment toward their strict enforcement 

  • Remaining watchful for conditions that create or may lead to a hostile or offensive work environment 

  • Establishing practices designed to create a work environment free from improper discrimination, intimidation, harassment, or retaliation 

ALL PERSONS in the archdiocese are responsible for:

  • Conducting themselves in a manner that contributes to a positive work environment and reflects the Church's teachings 

  • Avoiding any activity that may be considered discriminatory, intimidating, retaliatory, unwelcome, or harassing 

  • Informing anyone they believe is harassing them that the behavior is offensive and unwelcome 

  • Reporting all incidents that they consider to be discrimination, intimidation, retaliation, unwelcome, or harassment to the person in charge 

  • Immediately discontinuing any conduct that others have told them is considered to be discriminatory, harassing, intimidating, unwelcome, or retaliatory 

Staff serving in all archdiocesan locations who wish to report conduct that they believe violates the harassment and discrimination policy should follow the process in Fair Treatment/Complaint Investigation.​

3-8-2021, 8-16-2022