Anti-Discrimination & Anti-Harassment Policy

Last Updated Date

The Cape Girardeau Public Library will not condone, permit or tolerate any form of discrimination and/or harassment by or against any employee, customer, vendor, independent contractor or other individual based upon age, race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, pregnancy, or military status (collectively, the “Protected Classes”) or other protected class or characteristic established under applicable federal, state, or local statute or ordinance.

Discrimination for the purpose of this policy is defined as actions for which there is no bona fide business purpose regarding pay, benefits, promotions, transfers, layoffs, discipline, work assignment and work environment or any other term, condition or privilege of employment directed towards an employee on the basis of his or her Protected Class status. It would also include facially neutral policies that have a disparate impact upon a protected class of employees noted above for which there does not exist a bona fide business purpose to justify the policies disparate impact. 

Harassment for purposes of this policy is defined as verbal or physical conduct that is derogatory or that shows hostility toward an individual because of his or her Protected Class status and that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. Harassment may include, but is not limited to epithets, abusive language, slurs, jokes, or other verbal or physical conduct relating to an individual’s Protected Class status. Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, unwanted sexual advances or touching, graphic sexual depictions, displays in the workplace or while on Library business of sexually suggestive objects or pictures, and/or humiliating or offensive comments, jokes, or innuendoes. Sexual harassment may also consist of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that creates an offensive or hostile working environment. Sexual harassment does not refer to an occasional compliment of a socially acceptable nature. It refers to behavior, which is not welcome, which is personally offensive, and which, therefore, interferes with work effectiveness. This policy also prohibits same-sex harassment. 

Individuals who believe they have been subjected to discrimination or harassment as described or have questions about whether certain conduct is unlawful should immediately speak to their supervisor or the library director. This is particularly important in cases involving sexual harassment where there can be uncertainty about what is unlawful conduct.

Supervisors who receive complaints of discrimination or harassment or who are made aware of conduct that may constitute discrimination or harassment must immediately notify the library director (or, if appropriate the Board President, in place of the library director).

All complaints will be investigated promptly and the existence of a complaint will be disclosed only to the extent necessary to make a prompt and thorough investigation or to take appropriate corrective measures.  In all cases, the person who initiated the complaint will be informed of the findings.  Management will ensure that there is no coercion, retaliation, intimidation, discrimination or harassment directed against any individual who registers a complaint or serves as a witness on behalf of another individual.

Library staff who engage in prohibited discrimination or harassment will be subject to appropriate discipline up to and including termination of employment.

Approved April 6, 2023 by the Board of Trustees.

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