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Harassment

This agency has zero tolerance for any harassment within the workplace. Any employee found to have harassed a co-worker or an office visitor will face disciplinary action up to and including termination. All complaints of harassment will be taken seriously, treated with respect, and held in the strictest of confidence.

 

Prohibition Against Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is one form of unlawful harassment and it the policy of the District Attorney to prohibit and prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors and other visual, verbal, or other forms of physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • A person's employment depends on or is affected by submission to the conduct;
  • Submission to or rejection of the conduct affects employment decisions concerning the person, or;
  • Such conduct unreasonably interferes with a person's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

Sexual harassment includes any unwelcome physical contact, the use of sexually explicit language or gestures, and any uninvited or unwanted sexual advances (either physical or verbal) which create an overall offensive environment. Examples of sexual harassment include but is not limited to the vulgar use of language, the presence of sexually explicit photographs or other materials, the telling of sexual stories or jokes, and the uninvited or unwelcome touching of another person. Both men and women can be victims of sexual harassment. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex of the alleged offender.

Any District Attorney's Office employee who believes that he or she is a victim of sexual harassment should report the matter to the First Assistant District Attorney or the Executive Assistant. Any complaint filed should immediately be reduced to writing and shall include the name, department and position of the person alleged to have committed the harassment. In addition, the written complaint shall include a description of the alleged incident along with the names of any potential witnesses. Any and all written complaints shall be forwarded to the District Attorney.

If circumstances exist which do not permit the person who believes he or she is a victim of sexual harassment to report the matter to the First Assistant District Attorney or the Executive Assistant, then that person should immediately report the matter to the District Attorney.

Complaints should be submitted immediately after the incident has occurred. The matter shall be investigated thoroughly and promptly and appropriate action shall be taken to address the complaint. Complaints and investigations of complaints will be treated to the extent possible in a confidential manner, with all information disclosed on a need-to-know basis. The investigation should involve those employees or others who have actual knowledge of the circumstances, including the person making the complaint, the accused, and witnesses or others possessing relevant information. Employees who are interviewed regarding the complaint will be instructed that the complaint and investigation are to remain confidential.

The complaint, the investigation and any resulting disciplinary action shall be documented. Employees who are found to have violated this policy are subject to appropriate discipline. If an investigation results in a finding that this policy has been violated, disciplinary action up to and including termination shall result.

This policy prohibits any retaliation against any individual for making a complaint, or for testifying or participating in any way in an investigation or other proceeding involving a complaint of sexual harassment.

La. R.S. 42:343 requires that all public servants (public officials, public employees) receive a minimum of one (1) hour of sexual harassment education and training each year. Employees shall submit proof of training to the Executive Assistant.

 

Grievance Procedures

It is the policy of the Jefferson Davis District Attorney's Office to provide a complaint/grievance process through which employees may voice and seek resolution to complaints and problems relative to their work. Our office strives to ensure that all employees feel free to discuss and resolve work-related problems with their immediate supervisor without fear of any form of retaliation or penalty. The Executive Assistant is the immediate supervisor of staff employees. The First Assistant is the immediate supervisor for assistant district attorneys. The term "grievance" shall refer to any claim or allegation by an employee who perceives a violation of rights, privileges, or benefits, which have been granted to employees in this manual, or by state or federal statutes. A grievance may include numerous circumstances, which may include but may not necessarily be limited to the following:

  1. An employee who believes that he/she has been treated unfairly or inequitably, or in any manner which is arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, or discriminatory.
  2. A condition which is detrimental to any employee and/or adversely affects the personal or economic welfare and interest of any employee, including the use of epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, intimidation, hostile acts, threats or written material that might indicate discriminatory hostility at work; or generally, the creation of a hostile work environment.

Any employee who has a work- related problem should first respectfully discuss it with his/her immediate supervisor. If no resolution is reached in this discussion and the employee wishes to file a grievance, he/she must describe the aggrieved situation to his/her immediate supervisor in writing, with a copy to the District Attorney within five (5) working days. The supervisor's decision must be given in writing. Employees wishing to complain about sexual harassment are not required to complain to their immediate supervisor, but rather, may report the matter to the District Attorney. The only matters that may be introduced at any step in the Grievance process are those contained in the initial grievance.

If the supervisor's response does not resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of the employee, he/she may forward the grievance to the next higher level of authority within five (5) working days. The chain of command must be followed throughout the grievance process. Any attempt to bypass a level of supervision in this process will result in the grievance being sent back to the appropriate supervisor in the chain of command. At any or all of the steps in the process, meetings may be held with the employee in an attempt to resolve the complaint. Each supervisory level will have five (5) working days to respond. The District Attorney's decision shall be final and binding in resolving grievances.

The Jefferson Davis Parish District Attorney's Office has a zero-tolerance policy regarding any kind of retaliation against any employee who has made a good faith effort to report problems or working conditions as set forth in this policy.

The District Attorney's Office will follow all laws to incorporate due process standards for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging discrimination in employment practices.