202 – Discrimination in the Workplace

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I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to promote the existence of a healthy work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity.

II. Policy

No employee of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) shall discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of that person’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual or gender orientation, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status with respect to compensation, hiring, promotion, or other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.

A. Retaliation Prohibited: No employee of the HCSO shall take any action against any employee or applicant because he or she has opposed any unlawful employment practice, filed a charge of employment discrimination, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing related to charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Texas Commission on Human Rights.

B. Discrimination Prohibited: Discrimination against employees and applicants on the basis of race, religion, sex, sexual or gender orientation, color, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status is prohibited. The HCSO provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants without regard to the above mentioned categories in accordance with applicable state and federal laws. This provision applies to all terms and conditions of employment and all personnel actions, including, but not limited to: hiring, placement, promotion, termination, status, classification, compensation, and training.

1. Older Applicants and Employees: The HCSO shall comply with all state and federal employment legislation regarding age.

2. Fairness: The HCSO shall assess and evaluate all employees fairly and without prejudice or stereotype based on age.

3. Exception: There are some positions and units within the HCSO that require exceptional or special physical skills to perform the demands required of that division’s specific mission. The HCSO must be ready to respond to all of the demands of the community we serve. Therefore, special requirements of some jobs or positions within the agency must remain, and this policy should not be interpreted as a change in those requirements.

C. Harassment Prohibited: The HCSO prohibits any form of unlawful employee harassment. Harassment of any nature interfering with an employee’s ability to perform their job will not be tolerated. No employee of the HCSO shall harass or create an intimidating or hostile working environment for any other employee.

D. Compliance with Laws: The HCSO provides support to, and all employees shall comply with, state and federal laws relating to equal employment practices.

E. Statement of Equal Opportunity: The HCSO intends to hire and employ qualified personnel without regard to race, national origin, color, religion, sex, sexual or gender orientation, age, or disability. The goal of HCSO is to have a workforce reflective of the ethnic makeup of the community we serve.

F. Complaints: Employees shall notify the H.E.A.R.D Director any situation they are aware of, directly or indirectly, which they feel may constitute discrimination or harassment they feel may violate any law regulating fair employment practices. Employees may also bring such a situation to the attention of any Supervisor, but that Supervisor must also make the H.E.A.R.D Director aware of the situation as soon as possible. Such action on the part of an employee, Supervisor, or the H.E.A.R.D Director shall not be considered a violation of chain of command. Such situation should be documented in a signed statement. The form will be provided by the H.E.A.R.D Director’s office.

G. EEOC / Texas Commission on Human Rights: All employees are encouraged to cooperate with representatives of the EEOC and the Texas Commission on Human Rights in matters pertaining to employment practices. Nevertheless, employees who are contacted by representatives of EEOC or the Texas Commission on Human Rights in connection with an investigation of a charge of discrimination shall notify the H.E.A.R.D of all such contacts.

H. Investigations: Internal inquiries or investigations relating to charges of employment discrimination, harassment, or unfair employment practices will be conducted by appropriate personnel.

I. Accommodation: Employees who require accommodations applicable to state and federal laws shall make request in writing and provide documentation of the necessitating condition to the H.E.A.R.D director.

Revision:

This policy has been revised on the below listed dates:

April 21, 2009

November 13, 2013

October 6, 2015

February 28, 2017

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