EEO & Anti-Harassment Policy
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, gender, age, disability, citizenship or alienage status, marital status, domestic partnership or civil union status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, military or veteran status, domestic violence victim status, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions, ancestry, nationality, genetic information, predisposition or carrier status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law ("protected characteristics"). 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.
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:
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.
Individuals who believe they are being subjected to harassing conduct are encouraged to promptly advise the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome and request that it stop.
However, advising the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome and/or requesting that it stop shall not constitute a complaint under this procedure even if the offender is one of the designated representatives identified above.
Any reported allegations of harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be investigated promptly, thoroughly, fairly and impartially and will provide all parties appropriate due process and reach reasonable conclusions based on the evidence collected. The investigation will be documented and 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.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the Firm will promptly initiate any appropriate remedial action. 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 the Firm believes appropriate under the circumstances.
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.
These policies should not, and may not, be used as a basis for excluding or separating individuals on the basis of any 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 prohibit disparate treatment on the basis of any protected characteristic, with regard to terms, conditions, and privileges 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.