Prevention of Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation

Policy Highlights

RAND is committed to providing a workplace free from Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation and prohibits conduct that violates this commitment. The Prevention of Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation policy helps ensure RAND meets this commitment, models our Institutional Principles and Code of Ethical Conduct, and complies with applicable federal, state, and local laws.

Questions Addressed by this Policy

  • What are harassment, discrimination, and retaliation?
  • How can RAND Associates or Other Persons raise concerns regarding behavior that they believe to be a violation of with this policy?
  • How are complaints handled?
  • Can adverse action be taken against an employee for raising a concern/complaint or for participating in an investigation?

Key Responsibilities of RAND Associates

  • Understand and comply with this policy.
  • Promptly report any behavior that you observe, experience, or become aware of that you believe may violate this policy.

Why is this Important?

This policy sets forth RAND’s commitment to providing a workplace free from Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation and helps ensure RAND’s adherence to our institutional principles and to applicable federal, state, and local laws.

Whom to Contact About this Policy

RAND Associates should contact their HR Business Partner. Other persons should contact Nick Bacon, Director, Human Resources Services (310) 393-0411.

Policy

Consistent with our Institutional Principles and Code of Ethical Conduct, RAND is committed to providing a work environment characterized by integrity, respect, equal opportunity, and fairness, and that is therefore free of unlawful harassment, discrimination, or retaliation. Accordingly, it is the policy of RAND that engaging in any form of Harassment, Discrimination, or Retaliation by or towards any Associate, Contractor, Sponsor, job applicant, visitor, or anyone else who does business with RAND is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated.

Further, RAND expressly prohibits any form of retaliation, including harassment, intimidation, adverse employment action, or any other form of reprisal against any person as a result of their good faith disclosure of an apparent violation of this policy to management or participation in an investigation resulting from any such disclosure.

Reporting Possible Policy Violations

Any person who experiences or witnesses conduct that could constitute a violation of this policy is encouraged to pursue resolution of those concerns at the earliest opportunity, preferably before the problem progresses. For example, you may be able to resolve the problem by informing the person engaging in the conduct that it is unwelcome and requesting that it stop. If you would like assistance in pursuing this option, please contact your Human Resources Business Partner.

In all cases, Associates who believe that they have been subjected to Harassment, Discrimination, or Retaliation (or who have witnessed such conduct) must report the facts to one or more of the following:

  • their supervisor or manager.
  • someone else in a management position in their department or another manager with whom they feel comfortable.
  • the Human Resources Department (for example, one of the Human Resources Business Partners or a member of Human Resources management).
  • the Office of the General Counsel, which is also responsible for RAND’s Ethics & Compliance program. Please note that if the conduct that is to be reported pertains to a member of the Human Resources department, reports should be made directly to the Ethics & Compliance Officer.
  • RAND’s confidential Report Line, through which reports may be made anonymously. The Report Line is administered by an external third party. The Report Line is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week at 1- 877-898-6075 or at https://rand.ethicspoint.com.

Other persons (e.g. Contractors, Sponsors, job applicants, visitors) should report such conduct to their RAND point of contact, RAND’s Human Resources department, RAND’s Office of the General Counsel, or via the confidential Report Line at 1-877-898-6075 or https://rand.ethicspoint.com.

Any person making a good faith report under this policy is protected from Retaliation whether or not the report is ultimately substantiated.

Investigation

Upon disclosure of observed or suspected violations of this policy, Human Resources and/or the Office of the General Counsel will initiate an inquiry to determine whether the concerns disclosed state a credible basis for investigation.

Human Resources will notify the Ethics & Compliance Officer upon commencement of any investigation relating to potential violation of this policy. All resulting investigations shall be fair, thorough, objective, and conducted in a timely manner. In most cases the investigation will be undertaken by Human Resources. However, if the complaint involves a member of Human Resources, or if warranted by other special circumstances, the investigation will be directed by the Office of General Counsel. The conduct of the investigation, and the time necessary to complete it, will vary on a case- by-case basis depending on what is reported. The investigation process may include interviews of individuals involved and other witnesses; review of documents; and review of other potentially relevant information or evidence.

Complaints are handled with discretion, preserving confidentiality to the extent practical while also ensuring the investigation is thorough and fair to all parties involved. However, complete confidentiality cannot be promised or guaranteed.

Findings

When the investigation is completed, RAND will respond in a timely manner to the person who made the complaint and to the person(s) accused of the inappropriate conduct. To the extent that it is determined that a person that direct charges to RAND projects has violated this policy, the Human Resources Business Partner shall consult with the Office of the General Counsel to determine if sponsor notification is required pursuant to RAND’s legal, regulatory and/or contractual requirements (e.g., notification to the National Science Foundation).

Applicability

This policy applies to:

  • all U.S. locations.
  • all U.S.-based Associates, regardless of the location at which they perform work, including during business- related travel or at work-related functions.
  • all Contractors, Sponsors, job applicants, visitors, and any other person when interacting with Associates, accessing a RAND facility, or performing work under an agreement with RAND.

Responsibilities and Sanctions

Responsibilities

  • All Associates are expected to report any observed or suspected Harassment, Discrimination, or Retaliation to management as described below.
  • All managers and supervisors are expected to recognize and respond to potential policy violations. Any manager or supervisor who observes or becomes aware of suspected Harassment, Discrimination, or Retaliation by or against any Associate or any other person must inform a Human Resources Business Partner or a member of Human Resources management immediately.
  • The Vice President, Human Resources is responsible for implementing processes and procedures for Associates, job applicants, and visitors consistent with this policy.
  • The Director, Contracts, Grants, and Procurement is responsible for implementing processes and procedures that ensure all Contractors and Sponsors are aware of this policy and comply with it when interacting with Associates or performing work at the direction, or for the benefit, of RAND.

Sanctions

Adherence to this policy is a condition of employment at RAND. Any Associate or temporary worker who violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of his or her employment or engagement. To the extent a Contractor, Sponsor, job applicant, visitor, or other person with whom RAND does business engages in unlawful harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, RAND will take appropriate action to remedy the situation.

RAND may be required to disclose the findings of an investigation conducted under this policy to a government agency or other funder/sponsor of RAND’s work, in order to fulfill its legal, regulatory and/or contractual requirements. Such disclosure may limit the ability of an Associate who is found to have violated this policy from performing work for certain RAND clients and sponsors.

Definitions

Adverse Employment Actions include, but are not limited to, refusal to hire or employ a person; disciplinary action (such as warnings); termination of employment; and other unfavorable actions related to terms and conditions of employment, including compensation.

Associate means all Regular and Term Employees, Adjunct or Affiliated Adjunct staff, Pardee RAND Graduate School students, and Sponsored Fellows.

“Citizenship status” means the citizenship of any person or the immigration status of any person lawfully resident in the United States who is not a citizen or national of the United States. RAND will not discriminate on the basis of citizenship status; however, if a position requires government security clearance or suitability/fitness, U.S. citizenship is required.

Contractors means business partners, subcontractors, vendors, independent contractors, temporary agencies, and any other person or entity providing services to, on behalf of, or with RAND pursuant to a contract or other agreement.

Discrimination means to take an Adverse Employment Action because of, or on the basis of, an Associate’s race, religion or creed, color, national origin or citizenship status, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex (including pregnancy; childbirth; and medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age over 40 years, military or veteran status, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local laws.

Gender expression means a person’s gender-related appearance or behavior, whether or not stereotypically associated with the person’s sex at birth.

Gender identity means a person’s identification or concept of self as male, female, a blend of both, or neither. A gender identity can be the same or different from the person’s sex at birth.

Harassment

  1. Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is severe or pervasive and is directed at an Associate or Other Person because of the Associate or Other Person’s race, religion or creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex (including pregnancy; childbirth; and medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age over 40 years, military or veteran status, or any other condition or characteristic protected under federal, state, or local law, as well as citizenship status and caste.
    1. The following behaviors directed at an Associate or Other Person because of an Associate or Other Person’s protected characteristic are unacceptable and therefore prohibited:
      1. Verbal: such as epithets, derogatory jokes or comments, and slurs;
      2. Visual: posters, photographs, cartoons, drawings, or gestures that are demeaning or derogatory to any protected category; and
      3. Physical: impeding or blocking movement, assault, or physical interference with normal work or movement.
    2. Such conduct may violate this policy if witnessed or overheard by an Associate or Other Person, even if the conduct is not directed at the Associate or Other Person and even if the Associate or Other Person is not a member of the protected group at which the conduct is directed.
  2. Sexual harassment is unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that is severe or pervasive. The following behaviors are unacceptable and therefore prohibited: sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
    • Submission to such conduct is made an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment;
    • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions; or
    • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an Associate’s or Other Person’s work performance or working conditions by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
    1. Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; subtle pressure or requests for sexual favors; threats or demands to submit to sexual requests in order to keep one’s job or avoid some other loss or detriment; offers of job benefits in return for sexual favors; unnecessary touching; display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; sexually explicit or offensive jokes, stories, cartoons, or nicknames; lewd gestures or leering; impeding or blocking movement or physical interference with normal work movement; or a physical assault.
    2. Such conduct may constitute sexual harassment if witnessed or overheard by an Associate or Other Person, even if the conduct is not directed at the Associate or Other Person.

Other Person means third parties whom RAND Associates encounter through their work for RAND, including but not limited to applicants, clients, grantors, donors, visitors, vendors, business partners, and persons providing services pursuant to a contract (for example, independent contractors and temporary agency workers).

Retaliation means taking Adverse Employment Action or engaging in Discrimination or Harassment, or any other form of reprisal, including intimidation, against an Associate or Other Person who has made a report or filed a complaint of Harassment or Discrimination; has opposed any practices forbidden by this policy; or has participated or assisted in an investigation or proceeding. This extends to an Associate’s or Other Person’s participation in an investigation, or filing, testifying, assisting, or participating in any manner in any investigation, proceeding, or hearing conducted by a governmental enforcement agency.

Sponsor means any person or entity that provides funding for RAND activities, including grantors, donors, prime contractors, clients, and government entities.