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EEO & Anti-Harassment Policy

Proskauer Rose LLP is committed to a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to work in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal employment opportunities and prohibits discriminatory practices, including harassment. Therefore, the Firm expects that all relationships among persons in the workplace will be businesslike and free of bias, prejudice and harassment.

Equal Employment Opportunity

It is the policy of Proskauer Rose LLP to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, sex (with or without sexual conduct), age, disability, citizenship status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, or any other characteristic protected by law. Proskauer prohibits and will not tolerate any such discrimination or harassment.

Definitions of Harassment

a. Sexual harassment constitutes discrimination and is illegal under federal, state and local laws. For the purposes of this policy, sexual harassment is defined, as in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines, as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when, for example: (I) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment; (ii) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or (iii) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not so subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include, but are not limited to: unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual’s body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; leering, catcalls or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; display or circulation in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures (including through e-mail); and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature. Sex-based harassment — that is, harassment not involving sexual activity or language (e.g., male manager yells only at female employees and not males) — may also constitute discrimination if it is severe and pervasive and directed at employees because of their sex.

b. Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited. Under this policy, harassment is verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his/her race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, disability, citizenship status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital status or any other characteristic protected by law or that of his/her relatives, friends or associates, and that: (I) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment; (ii) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance; or (iii) otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities.

Harassing conduct includes, but is not limited to: epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes and display or circulation in the workplace of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group (including through e-mail).

Individuals and Conduct Covered

These policies apply to all applicants and employees, and prohibit harassment, discrimination and retaliation whether engaged in by fellow employees, by a supervisor or manager or by someone not directly connected to Proskauer (e.g., an outside vendor, consultant or client).

Conduct prohibited by these policies is unacceptable in the workplace and in any work- related setting outside the workplace, such as during business trips, business meetings and business-related social events.

Retaliation Is Prohibited

Proskauer prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports discrimination or harassment or participates in an investigation of such reports. Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or discrimination or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment or discrimination itself, will be subject to disciplinary action.

COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

Reporting an Incident of Harassment, Discrimination or Retaliation

Proskauer strongly urges the reporting of all incidents of discrimination, harassment or retaliation, regardless of the offender’s identity or position. Individuals who have experienced conduct that they believe is contrary to Proskauer’s policy or who have concerns about such matters should immediately notify one of the following before the conduct becomes severe or pervasive:

  • For anyone at the Firm:
    • Any member of the Personnel Practices Committee (Mark W. Batten, Guy Brenner, Stacey C.S. Cerrone, Keisha-Ann Gray, Arthur Gurwitz, Fredric C. Leffler, Marc Mandelman, Kathleen McKenna, Ronald Papa, Katharine H. Parker, Myron D. Rumeld, Lawrence Sandak, Yasmine Tarasewicz or Allan Weitzman) or
    • The Chief Professional Resources Officer (Joanne Ollman).
      • Also, for attorneys:
        • Any Ombudsman
        • Your Department Chair or
        • Your Office head.
              • Also, for non-lawyers:
                • Your Office Head or
                • Your Office Administrator/Manager or
                • Your supervisor.

                          Individuals are not required to file their complaints with their immediate supervisor first before bringing the matter to the attention of one of the Proskauer-designated representatives represented above. Please read the important notice below for other important information.

                          Early reporting and intervention have proven to be the most effective method of resolving actual or perceived incidents of harassment. Therefore, while no fixed reporting period has been established, the Firm strongly urges the prompt reporting of complaints or concerns so that rapid and constructive action can be taken. The Firm will make every effort to stop alleged harassment before it becomes severe or pervasive, but can do so only with the cooperation of its employees.


                          IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES:
                          Employees who have experienced conduct they believe is contrary to this policy have a legal obligation to take advantage of this complaint procedure. An employee’s failure to fulfill this obligation could affect his or her right to pursue legal action. Also, please note that federal, state and local discrimination laws establish specific time frames for initiating a legal proceeding pursuant to those laws.

                          Advising the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome and/or requesting that it be discontinued shall not constitute a complaint under this procedure even if the offender is one of the designated representatives identified above.
                           

                          The availability of this complaint procedure does not preclude individuals who believe they are being subjected to harassing conduct from promptly advising the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome and requesting that it be discontinued.

                          The Investigation

                          Any reported allegations of harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be investigated promptly, thoroughly and impartially. The investigation may include individual interviews with the parties involved and, where necessary, with individuals who may have observed the alleged conduct or may have other relevant knowledge.

                          Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigatory process to the extent consistent with adequate investigation and appropriate corrective action.

                          Responsive Action

                          Conduct that is inconsistent with this Policy will be dealt with appropriately. Responsive action may include, for example, training, referral to counseling, monitoring of the offender and/or disciplinary action such as warning, reprimand, withholding of a promotion or pay increase, reduction of wages, demotion, reassignment, temporary suspension without pay or termination, as Proskauer believes appropriate under the circumstances.

                          Appeals

                          An employee who has made a complaint of discrimination or harassment and does not agree with its resolution may appeal the matter to the Chief Operating Officer, the General Counsel or to any member of the Executive Committee.

                          Consensual Romantic Relationships

                          It is also essential to understand that consenting romantic and sexual relationships between partners, counsel, senior-level associates or persons in supervisory positions and less-senior or non-supervisory employees, or between co-workers, may lead to unforeseen complications. The respect and trust accorded a more senior/supervisory person by a less senior or non-supervisory staff member, as well as the power held by that person in evaluating or otherwise supervising the employee, could diminish the extent to which the employee really feels free to choose to have (or not have) such a relationship. Therefore, each Proskauer partner and employee should be aware of the possible risks of even an apparently consensual sexual relationship. With this in mind, the Firm may reassign or rearrange reporting functions or other roles of parties involved in a consenting relationship to avoid potential problems in this regard.

                          In order to facilitate determinations as to whether such changes are necessary, if a romantic or sexual relationship should develop between a person in a supervisory position and a non-supervisory employee, or between a partner, counsel or senior counsel and an associate or member of the non-legal staff, it shall be the responsibility and obligation of the partner, the counsel, the senior counsel or the person in the supervisory position to disclose the existence of the relationship to the appropriate Department Chair, the Chief Operating Officer or the General Counsel. The other party to the relationship may make the disclosure as well, but the burden of doing so shall be on the senior person.

                          Finally, these policies should not, and may not, be used as a basis for excluding or separating individuals of a particular race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, disability, citizenship status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital status, or any other protected characteristic, from participating in business or work-related social activities or discussions in order to avoid allegations of harassment. The law and the policies of Proskauer Rose LLP prohibit disparate treatment on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, disability, citizenship status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital status or any other protected characteristic, with regard to terms, conditions, privileges and perquisites of employment. The prohibitions against harassment, discrimination and retaliation are intended to complement and further these policies, not to form the basis of an exception to them.

                          Individuals who have questions or concerns about these policies should talk with the Chief Professional Resources Officer or a member of the Personnel Practices Committee.