Warren-Newport Public Library District
Lake County, Illinois
Board of Trustees
Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation
Lake County, Illinois
Adopted: December 19, 2017
Reviewed/Revised: January 16, 2018; June 15, 2021
ARTICLE 1. ESTABLISHMENT
The Warren-Newport Public Library District (WNPLD) is committed to maintaining a work
environment free of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. In keeping with that commitment,
the WNPLD Board of Trustees establishes this policy pursuant to the State Officials and Employees
Ethics Act. [5 ILCS 430/70-5]
ARTICLE 2. PURPOSE
WNPLD will not tolerate harassment of employees or Trustees by anyone, including any supervisor,
co-worker, elected or appointed official, or any third-party. All employees and Trustees are expected
to avoid any behavior or conduct which could reasonably be interpreted as harassment. All
employees and Trustees are expected to make it known promptly, through the avenues identified
below, when they experience or witness offensive or unwelcome conduct.
All employees and Trustees must comply with this policy. Violations will not be tolerated. Even
where conduct is not sufficiently severe or pervasive to constitute an actionable legal violation,
WNPLD discourages such conduct in the workplace.
ARTICLE 3. DISCRIMINATION
Section 3.01 Prohibited Conduct
WNPLD prohibits discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of race, color, religion,
sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, or any
other characteristic protected by law. A violation of this policy, however, does not necessarily rise
to the level of a violation of the law.
Section 3.02 Application of Policy
This policy applies to all employment-related decisions, actions, conduct, and terms and conditions
of employment, such as, but not limited to, hiring, training, promotion, wages, hours, assignments,
benefits, and termination of employment. Employment decisions will be based on considerations
such as, but not limited to, the following: skills, experience, qualifications, and merit, to the extent
that any of those considerations would apply to the specific circumstances and position involved.
ARTICLE 4. HARASSMENT
Section 4.01 Prohibition of Harassment
Harassment is a form of discrimination and is prohibited. WNPLD seeks to provide a work
environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity, and which is free from
sexual harassment as well as other types of harassment described herein.
All employees and Trustees are responsible for conducting themselves in accordance with this
policy. WNPLD will not condone harassment, whether engaged in by employees, supervisors,
management, Trustees, or by those who do business with WNPLD, such as, but not limited to,
vendors, contractors, patrons, visitors, and other third parties. Violation of this policy shall be
considered grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employees and
reporting Trustees to agencies having jurisdiction to investigate allegations of harassment, e.g., the
Illinois Department of Human Rights.
Section 4.02 Harassment Relating to a Protected Status
Harassment consists of unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical, or visual, that is based upon
a person’s protected status, such as race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity,
national origin, age, physical or mental disability or other protected group status. WNPLD will not
tolerate harassing conduct that affects tangible job benefits, that interferes unreasonably with an
individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
The conduct forbidden by this policy specifically includes, but is not limited to:
• slurs, negative stereotyping, demeaning or degrading comments, nicknames or intimidating
acts that are based on a person’s protected status; or
• written or graphic material that is circulated, available on the Warren-Newport Public
Library’s (WNPL) computer system or technology resources or posted or distributed in the
workplace that shows hostility toward a person or persons because of their protected status.
Section 4.03 Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is conduct based on sex, whether directed towards a person of the opposite
or same sex. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical
conduct of a sexual nature become sexual harassment when: 1) submission to such conduct is
made either explicitly or implicitly as a term or condition of a person's employment; 2) submission
to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting
such person; or 3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s work
performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
This policy forbids harassment based on sex, regardless of whether it rises to the level of a legal
violation. WNPLD considers the following conduct to represent some of the types of acts that violate
• either explicitly or implicitly conditioning or providing preferential treatment in any term of
employment (such as continued employment, wages, evaluation, advancement, assigned
duties or shifts) on the provision of sexual favors;
• physical contact, such as patting, pinching, or brushing against any part of another’s body or
physical assaults of a sexual nature;
• sexual propositions, sexual innuendo, suggestive comments;
• continuing to ask an employee to socialize on- or off-duty when the employee has indicated
that they are not interested;
• displaying or transmitting demeaning, obscene or sexually suggestive pictures, objects,
cartoons, or posters anywhere in the WNPL workplace;
• sexually oriented kidding, teasing, practical jokes, or threats;
• referring to or calling a person a sexualized name;
• telling sexual jokes or using sexually vulgar or explicit language;
• making derogatory or provoking remarks about or relating to an employee’s sex or sexual
• harassing acts or behavior directed against a person on the basis of an employee’s sex,
sexual orientation, or gender identity; or
• off-duty conduct that falls within the above definition and affects the work environment.
Everyone is required to avoid behavior or conduct that could reasonably be interpreted as prohibited
harassment under this policy. Employees and Trustees are encouraged to inform others in the
workplace when their behavior is unwelcome, offensive, inappropriate, or in poor taste. Employees
and Trustees are expected to come forward promptly and report any violations pursuant to this
policy before the alleged offending behavior becomes severe or pervasive.
ARTICLE 5. RETALIATION
WNPLD will not retaliate or allow retaliation against an individual who has made a report of a
violation of this policy or for cooperating in an investigation. This, of course, means that employees
and Trustees also must not retaliate against any individual who has made a report of a violation of
this policy or who has cooperated in an investigation. Retaliation by anyone against anyone else for
reporting violations or cooperating in an investigation is strictly prohibited. Anyone who is found by
WNPLD to have engaged in retaliation may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination
of employment, or reporting conduct of Trustees to appropriate authorities.
Whistleblower protections and remedies are available under the Whistleblower Act, 740 ILCS 174/1
et seq., the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, 5 ILCS 430/1-1 et seq., and the Illinois Human
Rights Act, 775 ILCS 5/1-101 et seq.
ARTICLE 6. PROCEDURE FOR REPORTING AND INVESTIGATION OF HARASSMENT,
DISCRIMINATION, AND RETALIATION
Section 6.01 Reporting
All employees and Trustees are responsible for helping to avoid all forms of harassment. Anyone
who believes they have experienced conduct inconsistent with this policy or otherwise learns of
conduct prohibited by this policy is responsible for reporting the conduct through the complaint
procedure. Reporting harassment or discrimination to any individual who is creating the harassment
or discrimination is not required. Employees or Trustees may make an incident report for this
purpose or may report conduct in any other manner, including making a confidential report to a
supervisor, the Inspector General, or the Department of Human Rights.
Any supervisor who receives a verbal confidential report must document that report in writing. In
addition, each supervisor must immediately report to the Human Resources Manager, the Executive
Director, or a Trustee any complaint or observation of conduct which may violate this policy.
Supervisors, managers, or Trustees who have knowledge of any conduct inconsistent with or
prohibited by this policy and do not report it to one or more of the above are subject to disciplinary
action, up to and including termination or reporting Trustees to agencies having jurisdiction to
investigate allegations of harassment, e.g., the Illinois Department of Human Rights.
Section 6.02 Immediacy
Verbal complaints must be made immediately. WNPLD may follow up in writing to assure complete
understanding of and resolution of the specific complaint.
Section 6.03 No Exceptions
There are no exceptions to this reporting requirement. There is no friendship exception. Even if the
alleged victim or perpetrator of the conduct is a friend, acquaintance, family member, relative, or
co-worker, each and every employee and Trustee is required to report the incident or complaint.
Section 6.04 Investigation
Any conduct inconsistent with or prohibited by this policy will be investigated promptly. WNPLD is
committed to investigating and taking prompt and appropriate action with respect to all such claims
and requires internal utilization of this policy. WNPLD may put reasonable interim measures in
place, such as a leave of absence (with or without pay) or a transfer, while the investigation takes
Section 6.05 Disciplinary Action
All reports of violations of this policy shall be made in good faith. Therefore, all reports will be taken
seriously, and they will be promptly investigated. Employees and Trustees are required to cooperate
with investigations conducted by the WNPLD.
Employees or Trustees who engage in conduct that is found by WNPLD to be inconsistent with or
prohibited by this policy are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination or reporting
to agencies having jurisdiction to investigate allegations of harassment, e.g., the Illinois Department
of Human Rights. Persons knowingly making a false report are subject to disciplinary action, up to
and including termination or reporting to appropriate authorities. Failure to cooperate in an
investigation also will subject an employee to the same disciplinary action. WNPLD may discipline
an employee for any inappropriate conduct discovered in investigating reports made under this
Section 6.06 Confidentiality
To the fullest extent practical, WNPLD will keep complaints and the terms of their resolution
confidential. However, in order to effectively investigate such complaints, WNPLD must make
inquiries of employees or Trustees involved. WNPLD also has sole discretion to determine the
scope of the investigation and, within that scope, the individuals who should be informed of and
asked about the allegations.
ARTICLE 7. EEOC, STATE, AND LOCAL AGENCIES
Employees and Trustees are encouraged to use the complaint procedure(s) described in Article 6
to report and resolve their complaints of harassment or retaliation to promote prompt resolution of
Employees and Trustees may also file a charge in writing with the Illinois Department of Human
Rights within 180 days of the conduct and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at:
Illinois Department of Human Rights
100 W. Randolph St., Suite 10-100
Chicago, IL 60601
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
JCK Federal Building
230 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60604
The content and wording of this policy were recommended by the WNPLD Attorney in response to the November 16, 2017
passage of P.A. 100-0554. Future edits should be made with this in mind. Policy 1061 was passed by resolution as
required by law on December 19, 2017.
INVESTIGATION: HARASSMENT COMPLAINT FORM
Name of the Complainant:
Name of the Accused:
Relationship of the Accused to the Complainant (Manager/Supervisor, Coworker, Trustee,
patron, vendor, etc.):
Date of Incident:
Where did the specific event occur?
Please explain the events that occurred.
How did you react to the situation? Did you take any action to stop perceived inappropriate
Describe the harm you have suffered as a result of the event.
Were there any witnesses to this specific event? (If yes, please provide their names.)
Is there any evidence that supports your complaint? If so, please describe or attach copy of
What would be your desired outcome of the investigation?
The information provided in this complaint is true and correct to the best of my knowledge. I am
willing to cooperate fully in the investigation of my complaint and provide whatever evidence the
Warren-Newport Public Library deems relevant.
Signature: _________________________________________ Date: ___________________
Please return this form to Human Resources.