Board of Trustees Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Policy
The Board of Trustees of the Fountaindale Public Library District is committed to a collaborative environment in which all individuals are treated with dignity, respect and courtesy.
This policy applies to all trustees, and prohibits harassment, discrimination and retaliation whether engaged in by a trustee on fellow trustees, employees, patrons or vendors.
Conduct prohibited by these policies is unacceptable on Library District property and in any Library District-related setting outside the library property, such as during library-sponsored trips, meetings and related social events.
Any trustee’s behavior that fits the definition of harassment is a form of misconduct. Harassment also could subject the District and, in some cases, an individual trustee to civil proceedings as well as review and censure by the Board.
Discrimination consists of actions taken against an individual based on a characteristic protected by law, such as race, color, religion, age, sex, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, disability (mental or physical), genetic information, military status, marital status, transgendered status, sexual orientation, political affiliation or any other category protected by applicable law. In other words, discrimination occurs when an individual is treated differently or unequally because the individual is a member of a protected group.
Harassment consists of unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical, or visual, that is based upon a person’s protected status such as race, color, religion, age, sex, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, disability (mental or physical), genetic information, military status, marital status, transgendered status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or any other category protected by applicable law. The District will not tolerate harassing conduct that affects tangible job benefits, interferes unreasonably with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
The conduct forbidden by this policy specifically includes, but is not limited to: (a) epithets, slurs, negative stereotypes or intimidating acts that are based on a person’s protected status; and (b) written or graphic material circulated within or posted within the workplace that shows hostility toward a person because of his or her protected status.
Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when made to a fellow trustee, an employee, patron or vendor where:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person’s employment;
- Submission to or refusal to engage in such conduct is used as the basis for any employment decisions affecting such individual; or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s performance of board duties or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment in which to perform board duties.
Sexual harassment, as defined above, may include, but is not limited to:
- Uninvited sex-oriented verbal “kidding” or demeaning sexual innuendoes, leers, gestures, teasing, sexually explicit or obscene jokes, remarks or questions of a sexual nature;
- Graphic or suggestive comments about an individual’s dress or body;
- Displaying sexually explicit objects, photographs, writings, or drawings;
- Unwelcome touching, such as patting, pinching or constant brushing against another’s body; or
- Suggesting or demanding sexual involvement of another employee or Trustee or patron or vendor, whether or not such suggestion or demand is accompanied by implicit or explicit threats concerning one’s employment status or similar personal concerns.
- Electronically sending messages with sexual content, including pictures and video), the use of sexually explicit language, harassment, cyber stalking and threats via all forms of electronic communication (e-mail, text/picture/video messages, intranet/on-line postings, blogs, instant messages and social network websites like Facebook and Twitter).
Even if two or more trustees or a trustee and an individual covered by this policy are engaging in consensual conduct, such conduct could constitute harassment of or discrimination against another who witness or overhear the conduct.
All District trustees are responsible to help ensure that harassment and discrimination do not occur and are not tolerated. Trustees should not assume the District is aware of the conduct. If there are no witnesses and the victim fails to notify the Board President or other responsible trustee, the District will not be presumed to have knowledge of the harassment.
Alleged harassment by a trustee against another trustee can be reported to the Board of Trustees President. If the Board President is the reporting person or is implicated by the allegation, the report can be made to any other board member. Any report under this section must be referred to the district’s legal counsel, who then must appoint a qualified independent attorney or consultant to review and investigate the allegations.
The right to confidentiality, both of the complainant and of the accused, will be respected consistent with the District’s legal obligations and subject to the necessity to investigate allegations of misconduct and to take corrective action when this conduct has occurred.
If an investigation results in a finding that the complainant falsely accused another of harassment or discrimination knowingly or in a malicious manner, the complainant may be subject to appropriate discipline.
Reporting harassment or discrimination or participating in an investigation will not reflect adversely upon an individual’s status. Any form of retaliation against a trustee who legitimately reports harassment or discrimination or participates in an investigation is strictly prohibited. Any trustee who retaliates against another for exercising his or her rights under this policy may subject the District and the individual trustee to civil proceedings and review and censure by the Board.
Resolution Outside District
The purpose of this policy is to establish prompt, thorough and effective procedures for responding to every complaint and incident so that problems can be identified and remedied internally. However, a complainant has the right to contact the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) about filing a formal complaint. An IDHR complaint must be filed within 300 days of the alleged incident(s) unless it is a continuing offense. A complaint with the EEOC must be filed within 300 days.
Contact information for the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR), Illinois Human Rights Commission (IHRC), and the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can be found online.
Individuals who have questions or concerns about these policies should talk with the Board President.