Harassment Policy

Adopted by the Board of Trustees Aug. 27, 2018

It is the policy of the Ridley Township Public Library and Resource Center to maintain a working environment free from all forms of harassment or intimidation, and for patrons to enjoy a harassment-free visit. Any form of unlawful employee, volunteer, or library patron harassment is expressly prohibited. This includes discrimination or harassment that is sexual, racial, or religious in nature or is related to anyone’s gender, ethnicity, national origin, age, veteran status, political affiliation, citizenship, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Harassment by an employee, volunteer, or library patron of another employee, volunteer, or library patron will not be tolerated. Improper interference with the ability of library employees and volunteers to perform their expected job duties is not tolerated. Those violating this practice shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment and/or loss of library privileges.

Prohibited harassment includes any verbal, written or physical conduct that is deemed offensive or unwelcome.

This behavior includes, but is not limited to:

  • Written communication, such as sexually suggestive/obscene letters, notes or emails
  • Verbal conduct, such as sexually suggestive/obscene comments, threats, slurs, epithets, jokes or sexual propositions
  • Physical contact, such as intentional touching, pinching or brushing against another’s body
  • Visual contact, such as leering/staring at another’s body, gesturing, displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons, posters or magazines
  • Using racially derogatory words or epithets
  • Making gestures or displaying pictures that show hostility to members of a particular racial or ethnic group or political affiliation
  • Making disparaging remarks about a person’s gender
  • Denigrating a person for his or her sexual orientation or perceived orientation
  • Any other conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment

If an employee or volunteer feels he/she has been subjected to any form of harassment or discrimination, the employee or volunteer should firmly and clearly tell the person engaging in the harassing/ discriminating conduct that it is unwelcome, offensive, and should stop at once. The employee or volunteer should also report any discrimination/ harassment to the Library Director, who may direct the employee or volunteer to complete a Complaint Form (attached). In the event that the Director is involved in the discrimination/harassment the report should be made to the President of the Board of Trustees. This includes any violation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That person will take the necessary steps to initiate an investigation of the discrimination/harassment claim.

If a patron feels he/she has been subjected to any form of harassment or discrimination, the patron should be given the opportunity to fill out a Complaint Form. The staff member should also fill out an Incident Report Form, and the Director should be informed immediately.

The Ridley Township Public Library and Resource Center shall conduct an investigation in as confidential a manner as possible. A timely resolution will be reached and communicated to the employee and other parties involved. Appropriate corrective action, up to, and including termination, will be taken promptly. Retaliation against any employee for filing a complaint or participating in an investigation is strictly prohibited. Any employee who knowingly makes a false claim of discrimination/harassment will be subject to corrective action, up to and including termination.

If an employee feels his/her complaint has not been properly handled, he/she may forward the complaint to the President of the Board of Trustees