Section I-10

Complaint Guidelines

Purpose:   The purpose of these guidelines is to assist the Fire Chief and Command Staff in conducting a thorough and impartial investigation of discrimination and harassment allegations.

Scope:   The policies outlined in Section I-8 and Section I-9, along with these complaint filing guidelines apply to all applicants, employees, volunteers and members of Committees (Auxiliary) and Governing Board, and prohibit harassment, discrimination and retaliation whether engaged in by fellow employees, by a supervisor or manager or by someone not directly connected to Three Star Fire Department.

Policy:

Conduct prohibited by these policies is unacceptable in the workplace and in any work related settings outside the workplace, such as during business trips, and company related social events.

Retaliation Is Prohibited

Three Star Fire Department prohibits retaliation against any individual who, in good faith, reports discrimination or harassment or participates in any investigation of such reports.  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.

Reporting an Incident of Harassment, Discrimination or Retaliation

Three Star Fire Department strongly urges the reporting of all incidents of discrimination, harassment or retaliation, regardless of the offender's identity or position.  Individuals who believe they have experienced, or who are aware of, conduct that they believe is contrary to Three Star Fire Department’s policy or have concerns about such matters should bring the matter to the attention of either their immediate supervisor or the Assistant Chief or Chief.  If for any reason an individual believes that a complaint cannot or should not be raised through those channels, he or she should feel free to bring it to the attention of any member of the Governing Board for investigation/resolution.  Civilian members (auxiliary) bring issues to the attention of the President.

Early reporting and intervention has proven to be the most effective method of resolving actual or perceived incidents of harassment.  Therefore, while no fixed reporting period has been established, Three Star Fire Department strongly urges the prompt reporting of complaints or concerns so that rapid and constructive action can be taken.  Any member of the Three Star Fire Department membership who believe that they have experienced harassing or discriminatory conduct have an obligation to pursue this complaint procedure.  A member's failure to fulfill this obligation could affect his or her rights in pursuing further disciplinary action.

The availability of these complaint procedures does not preclude individuals who believe they are being subjected to harassing conduct from promptly advising the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome and requesting that it be discontinued.

The Investigation

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.

Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigatory process to the extent consistent with adequate investigation and appropriate corrective action.

If a person submits a complaint regarding harassment and request to remain anonymous, an investigation will be conducted and the request to remain anonymous will be honored, to the degree feasible under the circumstances, but anonymity can not be guaranteed.  However, the person who registers the complaint needs to understand that failing to openly participate in the investigation may hinder the process of resolving the allegations.

The Command Staff is required to respond to allegations of harassment in any of the following situations:

Members of the Command Staff are to take prompt and/or corrective action upon receiving knowledge of any improper conduct as prescribed below.

Non-Departmental members will be promptly informed that improper conduct must cease immediately and that such conduct, or further conduct of a similar nature, will result in the removal from the property and/or discontinuation of the vendor relationship. 

Whether or not the investigation discloses prohibited contact, the accused harasser will be informed that retaliation against the complainant will result in disciplinary action.

The Fire Chief or Governing Board, as appropriate, will notify the complainant concerning the results of the investigation.  If it has been determined that conduct prohibited by the policy occurred, the complainant will be informed of the action already taken or to be taken.  The complainant also will be requested to notify the Fire Chief, or Governing Board, as appropriate, if any additional conduct of a similar nature occurs.

All inquiries, allegations, and/or findings against the accuser will be held in their personnel file until their resignation, transfer, or termination.

Responsive Action

Misconduct constituting harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be dealt with expediously and appropriately.  Responsive action may include, for example, training, referral to counseling and/or disciplinary action such as warning, reprimand, withholding of a promotion, temporary suspension, or termination, as Three Star Fire Department Command Staff or Governing Board believes to be appropriate under the circumstances.

Individuals who have questions or concerns about these policies should feel free to contact the Assistant Fire Chief or Fire Chief.  

All complaints and/or allegations will be considered serious and will be handled expediously and investigated within a reasonable amount of time.  Every complaint or allegation will receive a response from the President of the Governing Board or the Fire Chief.

All Three Star Fire Department members are required to read this policy.  They must also in writing acknowledge and agree to comply with this policy.

My signature below certifies that I have received a copy of the Standard Operating Guidelines for Complaint Guidelines for the Three Star Fire Department.  I also understand that I am responsible for reading and understanding all of the materials contained herein. 

 

                                                                                                _____________________

                                                                                                            (Signature)

 

                                                                                                _____________________

                                                                                                            (Print Name)

 

A copy of this will be maintained in personal file.