415.1 PURPOSE AND SCOPE
The purpose of this policy is to prevent office employees from being subjected to discriminatory
harassment, including sexual harassment and retaliation (La. R.S. 42:342). Nothing in this policy
is intended to create a legal or employment right or duty that is not created by law.
The St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to creating
and maintaining a work environment that is free of all forms of discriminatory harassment, including
sexual harassment and retaliation. The Office will not tolerate discrimination against an employee
in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, fringe benefits and other privileges of employment.
The Office will take preventive, corrective and disciplinary action for any behavior that violates this
policy or the rights and privileges it is designed to protect.
The nondiscrimination policies of the Office may be more comprehensive than state or federal
law. Conduct that violates this policy may not violate state or federal law but still could subject
an employee to discipline.
Definitions related to this policy include:
The Office prohibits all forms of discrimination, including any employment-related action by an
employee that adversely affects an applicant or employee and is based on the actual or perceived
race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age,
disability, pregnancy, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and other classifications
or statuses protected by law, including sickle cell trait, and discrimination with regard to veterans
attending certain required medical appointments (42 USC 2000e et seq.; La. R.S. 23:301 et seq.).
Discriminatory harassment, including sexual harassment, is verbal or physical conduct that
demeans or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual based upon that individual’s protected
class. It has the effect of interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating a hostile or
abusive work environment.
Conduct that may, under certain circumstances, constitute discriminatory harassment can include
making derogatory comments, making crude and offensive statements, or remarks; making slurs
or off-color jokes; stereotyping; engaging in threatening acts; making indecent gestures, pictures,
cartoons, posters, or material; making inappropriate physical contact; or using written material or
office equipment and/or systems to transmit or receive offensive material, statements, or pictures.
Such conduct is contrary to office policy and to a work environment that is free of discrimination.
Retaliation is treating a person differently or engaging in acts of reprisal or intimidation against
the person because the person has engaged in protected activity, filed a charge of discrimination,
participated in an investigation or opposed a discriminatory practice.
Retaliation will not be tolerated.
415.3.3 SEXUAL HARASSMENT
The Office prohibits all forms of discrimination and discriminatory harassment, including sexual
harassment (La. R.S. 42:342). It is unlawful to harass an applicant or an employee because of
that person’s sex.
Sexual harassment includes but is not limited to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual
favors, or other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (La. R.S. 42:342):
(a) Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly as a term or condition
of employment, position, or compensation.
(b) Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct is used as the basis for any employment
decisions affecting the employee.
(c) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an employee’s
work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Conduct which can, in certain circumstances be considered sexual harassment includes, but is
not limited to:
(a) Sexually suggestive, harassing or offensive statements.
(b) Sexually suggestive pictures, drawings, or graffiti.
(c) Sexually offensive publications.
(d) Inappropriate gestures, touching or other physical acts.
(e) Subtle or direct propositions for sexual favors.
(f) Using office equipment, computers or communications systems to send or receive
statements, graffiti, pictures, or other offensive materials whether or not linked to an
415.3.4 ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
Discrimination and discriminatory harassment do not include actions that are in accordance with
established rules, principles or standards, including:
(a) Acts or omission of acts based solely upon bona fide occupational qualifications under
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines (EEOC, under Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1984) and the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law (La.
R.S. 23:301 et seq.).
(b) Bona fide requests or demands by a supervisor that an employee improve his/her work
quality or output, that the employee report to the job site on time, that the employee
comply with Parish or office rules or regulations, or any other appropriate work-related
communication between supervisor and employee.
This policy applies to all officeemployees. All employees shall follow the intent of these guidelines
in a manner that reflects office policy, professional law enforcement standards and the best interest
of the Office and its mission.
Employees are encouraged to promptly report any discriminatory, retaliatory or harassing conduct
or known violations of this policy to a supervisor. Any employee who is not comfortable with
reporting violations of this policy to his/her immediate supervisor may bypass the chain of
command and make the report to a higher ranking supervisor or manager.
Complaints may also be filed with the Sheriff, Chief Deputy, Chief Civil Deputy or Chief of
Any employee who believes, in good faith, that he/she has been discriminated against, harassed
or subjected to retaliation, or who has observed harassment, discrimination or retaliation, is
encouraged to promptly report such conduct in accordance with the procedures set forth in this
Supervisors receiving information shall forward the information to the Chief of Operations
regarding alleged violations of this policy and the Chief of Operations shall determine if there is
any basis for the allegation and shall proceed with a resolution as stated below.
415.4.1 QUESTIONS OR CLARIFICATION
Employees with questions regarding what constitutes discrimination, sexual harassment or
retaliation are encouraged to contact a supervisor,, the Sheriff, the Chief Deputy, the Chief Civil
Deputyor the Chief of Operations for further information, direction or clarification.
415.4.2 SUPERVISOR RESPONSIBILITIES
(a) Continually monitoring the work environment and strive to ensure that it is free from
all types of unlawful discrimination, including harassment or retaliation.
(b) Taking prompt, appropriate action within their shifts or divisions to avoid and minimize
the incidence of any form of discrimination, harassment or retaliation.
(c) Ensure that their subordinates understand their responsibilities under this policy.
(d) Ensure that employees who make complaints or who oppose any unlawful
employment practices are protected from retaliation and that such matters are kept
confidential to the extent possible.
(e) Make a timely determination regarding the substance of any allegation based upon
all available facts.
(f) Notifying the Sheriff, the Cheif Deputy, the Chief Civil Deputy or the Chief of Operations
in writing of the circumstances surrounding any reported allegations or observed acts
of discrimination, harassment or retaliation no later than the next business day.
415.4.3 SUPERVISOR’S ROLE
Supervisors shall be aware of the following:
(a) Behavior of supervisors should represent the values of the Office and professional law
(b) False or mistaken accusations of discrimination, harassment or retaliation can have
negative effects on the careers of innocent employees.
(c) Supervisors must act promptly and responsibly in handling such situations.
(d) The Chief of Operations, along with the assistance of supervisors, shall make a prompt
determination regarding the substance of any allegation based upon all available facts.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent supervisors from discharging supervisory
responsibilities, such as determining duty assignments, evaluating or counseling employees or
issuing discipline in a manner that is consistent with established procedures.
415.5 INVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINTS
Various methods of resolution exist. During the pendency of any such investigation, the supervisor
of the involved employee should take prompt and reasonable steps to mitigate or eliminate any
continuing abusive or hostile work environment. It is the policy of the Office that all complaints of
discrimination, retaliation or harassment shall be fully documented and promptly and thoroughly
Any employee involved in an incident or investigation shall be protected against retaliation; and
the complaint and related investigation should be kept confidential to the extent possible.
415.5.1 SUPERVISORY RESOLUTION
Employees who believe they are experiencing discrimination, harassment or retaliation should be
encouraged to inform the individual that his/her behavior is unwelcome, offensive, unprofessional
or inappropriate. However, if the employee feels uncomfortable or threatened or has difficulty
expressing his/her concern, or if this does not resolve the concern, assistance should be sought
from a supervisor who is a rank higher than the alleged transgressor.
415.5.2 FORMAL INVESTIGATION
If the complaint cannot be satisfactorily resolved through the supervisory resolution process, a
formal investigation will be conducted by the Internal Affairs Division.
The supervisor or investigator assigned to investigate the complaint will have full authority to
investigate all aspects of the complaint. Investigative authority includes access to records and the
cooperation of any employees involved. No influence will be used to suppress any complaint and
no employee will be subject to retaliation or reprisal for filing a complaint, encouraging others to
file a complaint or for offering testimony or evidence in any investigation.
The formal investigation of the complaint will be confidential to the extent possible and will include,
but is not limited to, details of the specific incident, frequency and dates of occurrences and names
of any witnesses. Witnesses will be advised regarding the prohibition against retaliation, and that
a disciplinary process, up to and including termination, may result if retaliation occurs.
Employees who believe they have been discriminated against, harassed or retaliated against
because of their protected status are encouraged to follow the chain of command but may also
file a complaint directly with the Sheriff, the Chief Deputy, or the Chief of Operations.
415.5.3 ALTERNATIVE COMPLAINT PROCESS
No provision of this policy shall be construed to prevent any employee from seeking legal redress
outside the Office. Employees who believe that they have been harassed, discriminated or
retaliated against are entitled to bring complaints of employment discrimination to federal, state
and/or local agencies responsible for investigating such allegations. Specific time limitations apply
to the filing of such charges. Employees are advised that proceeding with complaints under the
provisions of this policy does not in any way affect those filing requirements.
415.5.4 REQUIREMENTS FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT INVESTIGATIONS
The following additional requirements apply to any investigation process related to sexual
harassment complaints (La. R.S. 42:342):
(a) A complainant and the accused member are required to participate in the investigation
(b) Upon conclusion of the investigation, any disciplinary action taken against an involved
employee will be in accordance with section 415.7 Discipline.
415.6 DOCUMENTATION OF COMPLAINTS
All complaints or allegations shall be thoroughly documented on the appropriate forms and in a
manner designated by the Sheriff. The outcome of all reports shall be:
(a) Approved by the Sheriff, the Chief Deputy or the Chief of Operations, depending on
the ranks of the involved parties.
(b) Maintained in accordance with the established records retention schedule.
415.6.1 NOTIFICATION OF DISPOSITION
The complainant and/or victim will be notified in writing of the disposition of the investigation and
the actions taken to remedy or address the circumstances giving rise to the complaint.
The complaint will be determined to be one of the following:
(a) Sustained – meaning the incident was considered to be discrimination, harassment,
or sexual harassment.
(b) Unstained – meaning the incident was not considered to be discrimination,
harassment, or sexual harassment.
(c) Inconclusive – meaning the evidence was conflicting or there was insufficient evidence
to support discrimination, harassment, or sexual harassment occurred.
An employee who has a sustained allegation of discrimination or sexual harassment against him
or her, may be subject to discipline which can include up to termination.
An employee may face disciplinary action if the claim of discrimination or sexual harassment is
determined to be intentionally false.
All new employees shall be provided with a copy of this policy as part of their orientation. The policy
shall be reviewed with each new employee. The employee shall certify by signing the prescribed
form that he/she has been advised of this policy, is aware of and understands its contents and
agrees to abide by its provisions during his/her term with the Office.
All employees shall receive annual training on the requirements of this policy and shall certify by
signing the prescribed form that they have reviewed the policy, understand its contents and agree
that they will continue to abide by its provisions.
415.8.1 SEXUAL HARASSMENT PREVENTION TRAINING
The Captain shall ensure that all employees participate annually in sexual harassment prevention
training as required by La. R.S. 42:343. Supervisors and investigators who are designated to
accept or investigate complaints of sexual harassment should receive additional training as
prescribed by the Sheriff (La. R.S. 42:343).
This policy and the office compliant procedure should be made available on the office website or
the office should post a notice that includes how to obtain the information in theoffices maintained
by the Sheriff’s Office. (La. R.S. 42:343).
415.10 ANNUAL REPORTING
The Sheriff shall designate a supervisor who will be responsible for compiling information to
demonstrate the office’s compliance with Title 42, Chapter 6 (Prevention of Sexual Harassment)
in the timeframe prescribed by La. R.S. 42:344.