Policy Against Proscribed Harassment and Discrimination

This policy was taken directly from the TriNet handbook as of June 2018.

We are committed to maintaining a respectful, courteous work environment free of unlawful discrimination and harassment, and we are committed to taking all reasonable steps to prevent it and address it. We will not tolerate harassment relating to any characteristic protected under applicable law by any employee, contractor, vendor, customer, or visitor. Protected characteristics include age, race, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth or medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth), gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, veteran status, military status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. In addition to any disciplinary action we may take, up to and including termination of employment, offenders may also be personally liable, in the event of litigation, for damages and attorney's fees and other costs of litigation. Except where otherwise indicated, the term "harassment," as used in this policy, refers to behavior that is related to any characteristic protected under applicable law and that is personally offensive, intimidating, or hostile, or interferes with work performance, regardless of whether it rises to the level of violating the law. In other words, this policy is stricter than the law, in that this policy defines prohibited harassment more broadly than does the law.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Under various state and federal laws, sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, making unwanted sexual advances and requests for sexual favors where:

  • Submission to such conduct or communication is either explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of an individual's employment; or
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct or communication by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or
  • Such conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creates and/or perpetuates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
  • As defined by law, sexual harassment can also take the form of other unwelcome conduct or communication that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creates and/or perpetuates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. Such other conduct or communication sometimes takes the form of verbal abuse of a sexual nature, unwanted touching, leering, sexual gestures, a display of sexually suggestive objects or images, sexually explicit or offensive jokes, stories, cartoons, nicknames, slurs, epithets, and other communications of a sexual nature.

What Are Other Kinds of Harassment?

In addition to sexual harassment, the company prohibits all other harassment based on age, race, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth or medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth), gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, veteran status, military status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.

Forms of Harassment

Harassment may take many forms, including the following conduct when based on the protected characteristics described above:

  • Verbal. Epithets; derogatory comments, slurs, or name-calling; inappropriate jokes, emails or any other form of written communication, comments, noises, or remarks; repeated requests for dates, threats, propositions, unwelcome and unwanted correspondence, phone calls, and gifts; or other unwelcome attention.
  • Physical. Assault; impeding or blocking movement; physical interference with normal work or movement; unwanted and unwarranted physical contact, such as touching, pinching, patting, grabbing, brushing against, or poking another employee's body.
  • Visual. Abusive or patently offensive images (whether in photographs, posters, cartoons, drawings, paintings or other forms of imagery); displaying abusive or patently offensive images, writings or objects; ogling, staring at or directing attention to an employee's anatomy; leering; sexually oriented or suggestive gestures.
  • Cyberstalking. Proscribed harassment using electronic communication, such as e-mail or instant messaging (IM), or messages posted to a website, blog, or discussion group.

Proscribed harassment can occur in one-on-one interactions or in group settings and can involve a co- worker, manager, vendor, customer, visitor, or agent of the company. Sexual harassment can also occur in the context of a relationship that was once consensual but has changed so that the behavior is no longer welcome by one party. It is impossible to specify every action or all words that could be interpreted as harassment. The examples listed above are not meant to be a complete list of objectionable behavior. Make a point of paying attention to others' reactions and stated requests and preferences, respecting their wishes, and treating them in a professional manner, regardless of gender, race, religion, nationality, age, sexual orientation, sexual identity or expression, or other protected characteristic.

Reporting and Investigating Proscribed Harassment

If you believe anyone is harassing you based on a protected characteristic, or harassing another individual in the workplace, we encourage you, if comfortable doing so, to tell the harasser in clear language that the behaviors or advances are unwelcome or unwanted and must stop. The individual may not realize the behavior is objectionable and a simple communication may effectively end the behavior. However, if you are not comfortable engaging in such communication or the behavior does not stop following such communication, you should immediately report your concern to your manager, any other company manager or official, your TriNet HR Representative or the TriNet Solution Center. Report the facts of the incident, including what happened, when, where, how often, and the names of the accused and any witnesses. Managers should immediately report any suspected incidents of harassment of others to a TriNet HR Representative. All claims of proscribed harassment will be investigated in a timely, objective, and thorough manner as confidentially as possible. All employees are expected to cooperate fully in any investigation. If it is determined that prohibited harassment has occurred, the appropriate corrective action, up to and including termination of employment of the offending employee, will be taken along with any additional steps necessary to prevent further violations of this policy.

Protection against Retaliation

Neither the company nor the law will tolerate any form of retaliation against any employee who opposes discrimination or prohibited harassment, makes a complaint, or participates in any manner in an internal investigation or an investigation, proceeding, or hearing conducted by a state or federal agency or court. If you believe that you have experienced or witnessed retaliation, you should immediately report your concern to your manager, any other manager or officer, a TriNet HR Representative or the TriNet Solution Center. Any employee who engages in retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, as well as possible legal consequences.