Clark County government employees would receive increased training on sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination under a proposed policy rewrite.
The 10-page policy expands the definition of inappropriate behavior on the job and at work-related events, said Sandy Jeantete, the county’s human resources director. Workers would be trained within a month of gaining employment and at least once every two years.
“We’re saying any kind of harassment in the workplace, whether or not it falls under federal law, is inappropriate,” Jeantete said.
County commissioners reviewed the proposed revisions at their Tuesday meeting. A vote to ratify the rules is expected in April.
The changes were presented less than a week after the county launched a sexual harassment probe into Public Defender Phil Kohn, but Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani said she already had been working on the revisions for months.
Giunchigliani said she wants to ensure employees know what constitutes harassment and where to turn for help. The policy also outlines what to do when a government executive or elected official is accused.
“We were trying to anticipate where there might be potential conflicts,” Giunchigliani said.
The revisions do not include changes to how discipline is handed down. Measures can including coaching, counseling or termination of employment.
Supervisors and managers who fail to pass along accusations made by their employees to the county’s Office of Diversity, or those who retaliate against whistleblowers, face being fired under the policy.
Commissioner Lawrence Weekly told Jeantete he wants the commission to receive more information on how harassment complaints are resolved. Weekly said he’s been told of “horrific” examples of bullying and racial discrimination in the county workplace.
“We say we take these issues very seriously,” he said. “But I know a number of people who have filed complaints and, in many cases, fallen on deaf ears.”
Jeantete said her office tracks every complaint from start to resolution, and she offered to provide ongoing updates to the commission.
But Weekly said he wanted to see the proof that whistleblowers were being protected from retaliation and that those who engaged in or overlooked harassment were being fired.
“Examples have to be made,” he said.
Contact Michael Scott Davidson at email@example.com or 702-477-3861. Follow @davidsonlvrj on Twitter.