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Discrimination and Harassment

Discrimination and Harassment Policy (.pdf)

Dutchess County has a strong commitment to providing a working atmosphere conducive to maintaining the dignity of all its workers. Acts of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation undermine the integrity of the employment relationship, are detrimental to a positive working environment, and significantly and adversely affect the working life of those who are subjected to such behavior. This policy applies to all applicants, employees, interns and volunteers of the County and prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation whether engaged in by: (a) fellow employees, (b) a supervisor or manager or (c) someone not directly connected to the County who an employee or intern engages with in the course of their employment with the County (e.g. an outside vendor, consultant, client or citizen.)

Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Form (Fillable .pdf)

Important Note: Confidentiality will be maintained to the greatest extent possible throughout the investigatory process. In addition, any employee who participates in the investigation may do so without fear of retaliation.

Frequently Asked Questions (Download .pdf)

  1. What do I do if I'm not sure its discrimination? 

    Err on the side of caution. Complete the complaint form and submit it.  
  2. Resources for questions: Who do I call if I have questions? 

    If you have questions about the policy and/or procedure, you can talk to your supervisor.

    If you have questions about complaints, concerns or investigations, you may contact the Equal Employment Opportunity and Inclusion Officer (EEO&I).  The EEO&I Officer is confidential.

    If you do not want to talk to your supervisor, you always have the option of contacting the EEO & Inclusion Officer directly.  

    To obtain free legal counseling through NY State, please call the confidential hotline at 1-800-427-2773.
  3. How do I access the complaint form? 

    The policy, procedure and complaint form is on the intranet under policies.
  4. How can I get a complaint form if I do not have access to the intranet?

    Complaint forms can be requested from your supervisor or from the EEO & Inclusion Officer.
  5. What if my supervisor or department head is the one that I’m complaining about?

    If your supervisor is the subject of your complaint, you can file a complaint with your department head or to the EEO & Inclusion Officer.
  6. What are the procedures involved in filing a complaint?

    To file a formal complaint, a complaint form must be completed. The form can be submitted to your department head or the EEO & Inclusion Officer via e-mail, inter-office mail, regular mail or dropped off at Human Resources reception. Please mark the envelope confidential if being sent by mail.
  7. How long does it take for the investigation of a complaint?

    An investigation is generally completed within 60 days of the date the formal complaint is made, depending on the nature of complaint.
  8. What happens if there is a positive finding of harassment/discrimination?

    Both the complainant and respondent will receive letters indicating whether or not the complaint has been substantiated. The department head will receive a report with recommendations and will determine the appropriate action.
  9. If I file a complaint, how and when will the alleged offender find out about it?

    A letter is sent to the other party to notify him/her/them that a complaint has been filed, who filed it, the alleged type of discrimination or harassment and that an investigation has begun. If the other party is a supervisor, the letter also includes a reminder that retaliation is illegal.
  10. Can I walk in to file a complaint, or do I have to submit a form?

    You can walk in to file a complaint, but it must be documented on the complaint form for a formal investigation to begin.
  11. What information do I need to file a complaint?

    Information needed to file a complaint includes the name of the other party, a description of the situation, and the type of discrimination alleged. It is helpful to have names of others who may have witnessed the incident(s), who, if anyone, you told about the situation, how you have been affected including any negative job actions. As much information as you can provide is helpful. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible.
  12. Is there a time limit for filing a complaint?

    A complaint can be filed up to a year after the last act of alleged discrimination.
  13. How can I find out where my case is in the process?

    You can contact the EEO & Inclusion Officer to discuss the status of your case.