MADISON AREA SHEET METAL WORKERS JOINT APPRENTICESHIP TRAINING COMMITTEE

POLICY AGAINST HARASSMENT, DISCRIMINATION, AND RETALIATION

 

The Madison Area Sheet Metal Workers Educational Trust Fund (the “Fund”) is committed to an education, training, and work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Every individual has the right to work and learn in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal employment opportunities and prohibits unlawful discriminatory practices, including harassment and retaliation. Therefore, the Fund expects that all relationships among persons in the office, in the apprenticeship training program, and among those conducting business on behalf of the Fund will be free of bias, prejudice, harassment and retaliation. In addition, applicants for apprenticeship will have the right to be free from discrimination and retaliation in evaluating their applications, and apprentices are entitled to equal employment opportunity rights.

This policy applies to all activities of the Fund, including but not limited to: (1) recruitment, outreach, or selection process and training and education; (2) hiring, placement, upgrading, periodic advancement, promotion, demotion, transfer, layoff, termination, right of return from layoff, or rehiring; (3) rotation among work processes; (4) imposition of penalties or other disciplinary action.

Equal Opportunity Pledge

 

The Fund shall not discriminate against apprenticeship applicants or apprentices on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, genetic information, marital status, arrest or conviction record, membership in the armed forces, or because they are an individual with a disability or a person age 40 years old or older, or on any other basis protected by applicable law.

The Fund shall take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship and operate the apprenticeship program as required under 29 CFR part 30 and the equal employment opportunity rules of the state of Wisconsin.

Statement of 501(c)(3) Nondiscriminatory Policy

 

The Fund admits apprentices of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to apprentices in the

Fund's apprenticeship programs. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other Fund-administered programs.

 

Equal Employment Opportunity

 

It is the policy of the Fund to ensure equal employment opportunity for its employees and apprentices without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, arrest or conviction record, military service, citizenship status, veteran status, genetic information, use or nonuse of lawful products off of the Fund’s premises during nonworking hours, or any other basis protected by applicable law. The Fund prohibits any such discrimination, harassment or retaliation against the employees of the Fund or apprentices in the apprenticeship training program.


Equal Employment in Application and Selection Procedures

 

It is the policy of the Fund that the recruitment and selection of apprentices be without discrimination due to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, arrest or conviction record, military service, citizenship status, veteran status, genetic information, use or nonuse of lawful products off of the Fund’s premises during nonworking hours, or any other basis protected by applicable law. The Fund prohibits any such discrimination, harassment or retaliation in evaluating and considering applicants for the apprenticeship training program.

In furtherance of this policy, the Fund will evaluate the selection procedures used for disparate impact on the basis of race, sex and ethnicity (Hispanic or Latino/non-Hispanic or Latino). If the selection methods result in an adverse impact, the Fund will reevaluate and adopt new selection methods unless the standard, test or other selection criteria used by the Fund is job-related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity in compliance with the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures. Further, if the selection methods screen out or tend to screen out individuals with a disability or class of disabilities on the basis of disability, the Fund will reevaluate and adopt new selection methods unless the standard, test or other selection criteria used by the Fund are job-related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity consistent with Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the related regulations. Finally, selection procedures will be uniformly and consistently applied to all applicants and apprentices within each selection method utilized.

Retaliation Is Also Prohibited

 

The Fund encourages prompt reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination or harassment. It is our policy to promptly and thoroughly investigate such reports. The Fund strictly prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports discrimination or harassment or participates in an investigation of such reports.

Definitions of Harassment

 

Sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a form of 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) subjection 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 of 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, whistling or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; display in workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature.


 

Harassment. 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 or race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, arrest or conviction record, military service, citizenship status, veteran status, genetic information, use or nonuse of lawful products off of the Fund’s premises during nonworking hours, or any other basis protected by applicable 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 written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group and that is placed on walls or elsewhere on the Fund's premises or circulated in the workplace.

Individuals and Conduct Covered

 

This policy applies to all Trustees, Officers, agents, employees, staff, instructors, applicants for employment, apprentices, and applicants for apprenticeship in the Fund.

Employees and Staff Members. This policy protects the employees, instructors, and staff members of the Fund not only from improper conduct by the Fund’s Trustees but also from discriminatory conduct engaged in by fellow employees or someone not employed by the Fund that affects terms and conditions of employment in the Fund’s offices (e.g., a consultant, employer or union representative whose alleged discriminatory conduct affects conditions in the Fund’s training center regardless of whether owned or leased).

 

Apprentices. This policy protects apprentices and applicants for apprenticeship not only from improper conduct by the Fund’s Trustees, instructors, and staff, but also from discriminatory conduct engaged in by fellow apprentices, journeyworkers, employers or union representatives whose alleged discriminatory conduct affects conditions in the apprenticeship training program.

Conduct prohibited by these policies is unacceptable in the Fund’s offices and apprenticeship training facilities, and in any work-related or apprenticeship training-related setting outside the workplace, such as employer job sites, during trips for Fund business, Fund meetings, and Fund-related social events.

Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Training

 

All individuals connected with the administration or operation of the apprenticeship training program, including all instructors, training coordinators, apprentices and journeyworkers who regularly work with apprentices, are required to complete anti-harassment training either by attending an in-person training session or completing an interactive training session online.

Employers must require the journeyworkers who supervise apprentices to complete anti-harassment training under this section and provide documentation thereof. If an employer fails to provide such


documentation after reasonable notice and within a reasonable time, the Fund may terminate that employer’s participation in the apprenticeship training program.

Reporting an Incident of Harassment, Discrimination or Retaliation

 

The Fund encourages prompt reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation covered by this policy, regardless of the offender’s identity or position. Individuals who believe that they have been the victim of such conduct should discuss their concerns with the Training Coordinator or any of the Officers of the Board of Trustees. If the individual reports the incident to the Training Coordinator and believes the Training Coordinator’s response to such a report is inadequate, the individual should report the matter to any of the Officers of the Board of Trustees for investigation of a possible grievance. See the Complaint Procedure described below.

In addition, the Fund encourages individuals who believe they are being subjected to such conduct promptly to advise the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome and request that it be discontinued. Often this action alone will resolve the problem. The Fund recognizes however, that an individual may prefer to pursue the matter through informal or formal complaint procedures.

Complaint Procedure

 

Informal Procedure. If for any reason an individual does not wish to address the offender directly, or if such action does not successfully end the offensive conduct, the individual should notify the Training Coordinator or any of the Officers of the Board of Trustees, who may, if the individual so requests, talk to the alleged offender on the individual’s behalf. In addition, there may be instances in which an individual seeks only to discuss a concern with the Training Coordinator or an Officer of the Board of Trustees and such discussion is encouraged.

 

An individual reporting harassment, discrimination, or retaliation should be aware, however, that the Training Coordinator or Officer may decide it is necessary to take action to address such conduct beyond an informal discussion. This decision will be discussed with the individual. The best course of action in any cause will depend on many factors and, therefore, the informal procedure will remain flexible. Moreover, the informal procedure is not a required first step for the reporting individual.

 

Formal Procedure. As noted above, individuals who believe they have been the victims of conduct prohibited by this policy or believe they have witnessed such conduct should discuss their concerns with the Training Coordinator or any of the Officers of the Board of Trustees. The Fund encourages prompt reporting of complaints or concerns so that rapid and constructive action can be taken before relationships become irreparably strained. Therefore, while no fixed reporting period has been established, early reporting and intervention have proven to be the most effective method of resolving actual or perceived incidents of harassment.

 

Any reported allegations of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation will be investigated promptly. 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.


 

Complaints will be handled discreetly.

 

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. Acts of retaliation should be reported immediately and will be promptly investigated and appropriately addressed.

 

Misconduct constituting harassment, discrimination, retaliation, or any other violation of this policy, will be dealt with appropriately. Responsive action may include, for example, training, referral to counseling and/or disciplinary action such as verbal warning, written reprimand, reassignment, temporary suspension without pay, termination of employment, expulsion from the apprenticeship program or termination of the apprenticeship agreement, as the Fund's Trustees believe is appropriate under the circumstances.

 

If a party to a complaint does not agree with its resolution, that party may appeal to the entire Board of Trustees.

 

False and malicious complaints of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation (as opposed to complaints which, even if erroneous, are made in good faith) may be the subject of appropriate disciplinary action.

 

Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Complaint Procedure. Pursuant to state law, any apprentice or applicant for apprenticeship who believes they have been discriminated against on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, arrest or conviction record, military service, citizenship status, veteran status, genetic information, use or nonuse of lawful products off of the Fund’s premises during nonworking hours, or any other basis protected by state law with regard to apprenticeship or that equal opportunity standards in respect to their selection have not been followed in the operation of the apprenticeship training program, may file a complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development pursuant to DWD 296.14. The complaint must be in writing and must be signed by the complainant. It must include the name, address, and telephone number of the person allegedly discriminated against, the program sponsor involved, and a short description of the circumstances of the alleged discrimination or failure to apply the equal opportunity standards. The complaint must be filed no later than 300 days from the date of the alleged discrimination.

 

Conclusion

 

The Fund has developed this policy to ensure that all persons who work for the Fund and all apprentices in the apprentice training program can work and learn in an environment free from unlawful harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, that the apprenticeship application process is free from discrimination or harassment, and that members enjoy equal membership rights.


Any person who has any questions or concerns about this policy should talk with the Training Coordinator or any of the Officers of the Fund's Board of Trustees.

 

This policy was approved and adopted on: May 16, 2022