57°F
weather icon Clear

Clark County worker protection policy could be strong, experts say

Updated March 28, 2018 - 5:47 pm

Experts are praising Clark County’s proposed rewrite of its policies on workplace harassment, bullying and discrimination.

But those same experts say the policy is only as good as the government’s actions.

“This is a great policy on paper,” said Connye Harper, Southern Nevada chapter president for the Society for Human Resource Management. “The test is going to be where the rubber meets the road and how they implement it, and only time will tell on that.”

Harper said one of the biggest problems she’s seen is when private companies or governments fail to act on their policies. Sometimes complaints are discounted as not harmful enough to warrant investigation.

“If the county takes that approach then this policy will mean nothing,” Harper said.

Sasha Patterson, a Rutgers University faculty member whose doctoral dissertation focused on sexual harassment in the workplace, said that in order to effectively implement the policy, county staff will have to overcome the bias of protecting their organization’s reputation. County executives will also have to prove to employees that they will protect whistleblowers from retaliation, as stated in the policy rewrite.

“Up until very recently the research shows that most women wouldn’t speak up for fear of very real backlash,” Patterson said.

The policy also has room for improvements on paper, experts said.

Cyberbullying through email and social media should be addressed, Harper said. Patterson suggested the county put in writing how it will periodically evaluate the policy’s effectiveness.

The policy should more clearly spell out that harassment can be perpetrated by co-workers and customers of the county, not just supervisors, said Ann C. McGinley, co-director of the Workplace Law Program at UNLV. Bystanders who witness harassment or bullying should be compelled to report it, even if they were not the victim.

McGinley added that like it has done with sexual harassment, the policy should thoroughly define harassment based on protected characteristics such as race, sexual orientation, age and disability.

“I think this is a real weakness of this policy and of others I have seen,” she said.

Finally, the policy would have more teeth if it tied supervisors’ performance evaluations to their handling of reports of harassment and discrimination, McGinley said.

“It is not apparent from this document that supervisors’ pay and promotions are on the line,” she said.

Contact Michael Scott Davidson at sdavidson@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861. Follow @davidsonlvrj on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Tomi Lahren Speaks at UNLV - VIDEO
Fox News contributor and UNLV alumna Tomi Lahren returned to campus Wednesday night for a speech, titled “Stay Triggered,” that drew an auditorium of supporters as well as a group of protesters outside. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders released from Las Vegas hospital - VIDEO
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., issues a statement after he was released from Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week. (Bernie Sanders via Twitter)
Democratic presidential candidates speak on impeachment - VIDEO
Democratic presidential candidates attending the March for Our Lives/Giffords Gun Safety Forum in Las Vegas comment on possible impeachment proceedings. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden Las Vegas Rally Highlights - Video
2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, came to Las Vegas to talk guns, climate change and the Ukranian-Trump scandal. Biden was interrupted by a protestor who sat amongst supporters at the rally and continued with his speech. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden comments on Trump and his campaign efforts in Nevada - Video
After an impeachment inquiry was opened on Donald Trump, Joe Biden talks with Review-Journal politics reporter Rory Appleton about Trump and his campaign in Nevada. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
Clark County expands no-gunfire zones

The boundary in Clark County where it is illegal to shoot guns was expanded this week to include Lovell Canyon Road and areas in the southwest and northeast portions of the Las Vegas Valley.

Las Vegas shooting cross memorial moved for safety

For two consecutive years, Greg Zanis planted 58 handmade white crosses at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. But this year, because of safety concerns, the memorial will move downtown.