A person with a disability is defined as one who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major lifefunctions (e.g., walking, speaking, breathing, learning, etc.); one who has a record of such, or one who is regarded as having a disability.
Discrimination based on reprisal is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In these decisions, the Supreme Court made clear that employers are subject to vicarious liability for unlawful harassment by supervisors.
Discrimination based on age is prohibited by the Age Discriminationin Employment Act of 1967.
Age discrimination also occurs among age groups who are over age 40.
For example, the selection of a 45-year old candidate may appear to be discriminatory to 55-year old candidates if it can be shown that management has never selected a candidate at or above age 55.
Personal conversations that can be overheard by other employees who consider the conversation offensive can also create ahostile environment. Such allegations should be confirmed with the employees directly involved in the incident along with any witnesses who might have firsthand information.
FLETC will follow guidance regarding harassment established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and standards regarding harassment set by the Supreme Court in two landmark decisions: Burlington Industries, Inc. It is very important to demonstrate to concerned employees that the allegations are taken seriously and that management will not condone offensive behavior.
Disciplinary or other remedial action should reflect management’s findings during the course of the inquiry.
There is a significant distinction between a tangible employment action and a hostile work environment.
With regard to hostile environment, even if it is proven, the agency can still avoid liability if it can show: (1) that the agency took prompt corrective action once it became aware of the discriminatory harassment; and (2) the complainant failed to avail him/herself of the redress that the agency offers.
All supervisors and managers have a responsibility to: Upon completion of the inquiry, the appropriate FLETC management officials shall promptly evaluate the evidence and determine the appropriate action to take.
Reprisal occurs when employees are treated differently because they are, or were, involved in a protected EEO activity (e.g., seeking or participating in EEO counseling, providing testimony in an EEO investigation or at an EEO hearing, filing a discrimination complaint, or speaking out against discriminatory activities). Liability is premised on two principles: 1) an employer is responsible for the acts of its supervisors; and 2) employers should be encouraged to prevent harassment and employees should be encouraged to avoid or limit the harm from harassment.
EEOC regulation 29 CFR, Part 1614, Section 102 (a) (3) requires agencies to help make the Federal Government a model employer by eliminating discrimination from personnel policies, practices and working conditions. Employees are responsible to come forward and report any behavior they view as harassment before it becomes severe or pervasive.
It is the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center’s (FLETC) policy to ensure that every employee enjoys a non-hostile work environment free of discrimination or harassment of any kind.