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Workplace Harassment

DMAS is committed to providing a working environment free of harassment. What is workplace harassment?  According to state policy, workplace harassment is, "....any unwelcome verbal, written or physical conduct that either denigrates or shows hostility or aversion towards a person on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, veteran's status or pregnancy or other protected status that: (1) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment; (2) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee's work performance; or (3) affects an employee's employment opportunities or compensation."  The DHRM policy can be accessed at       
Sexual Harassment is a form of sex discrimination and is a violation of federal law.  Sexual Harassment is any behavior of co-workers,  supervisors, or vendors based on sex, which is unwelcome, offensive, severe, pervasive, insulting and demeaning where:

-Submission to such conduct or communication is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of an individual's employment with DMAS. 
-Submission to or rejection of such conduct or communication by an individual is used as a factor in decisions affecting that individual's employment. 
-Such conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's employment, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. 

Sexual harassment may take different forms. One specific form is the demand for sexual favors. Other forms of harassment may include:

-Verbal: Unwelcome sexual innuendos, suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propositions, threats. 
-Non-Verbal: Unwelcome sexually-suggestive objects or pictures, graphic commentaries, suggestive or insulting sounds, leering, whistling, obscene gestures. 
-Physical: Unwelcome physical contact, including touching, pinching, brushing by the body, coerced sexual contact, assault. 

If you believe you have been the victim of harassment, or know of another employee who has, report it immediately to your supervisor and/or the Division Director of Human Resources. Employees may raise concerns and make reports without fear of reprisal or retaliation.  Retaliation is strictly prohibited. 

Any supervisor who becomes aware of possible harassment should promptly advise their supervisor or the Division Director of Human Resources.  The matter will be thoroughly investigated in a timely and confidential manner.  Any remedial action required will be taken promptly. 

If you feel that you have been discriminated against, you may also file a formal complaint with the Office of Equal Employment and Dispute Resolution (EEDR) at the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM).  EEDR investigates complaints of employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disabilitiy, genetic information, veteran's status, political affiliation or any other protected status. EEDR may be reached by telephone at 225-2136 from Richmond, or toll free at 1-800-523-1414 in Virginia.

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