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DISCRIMINATION & HARASSMENT POLICY


 

Manuel Schneidmiller Post 154

American Legion Department of Idaho

P. O. Box 1116, Rathdrum, Idaho 83854

Policy Against Discrimination, Verbal Assault,

Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying and Defamation

 

 

Statement of Principles:

Discrimination, intimidation, verbal assault, harassment, intolerance, bigotry, and bullying are antithetical to the values of the American Legion, and unacceptable within the Legion community. One of the ways this Post seeks to affect this value is through a policy of non-discrimination, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, ancestry, disability, marital status, former rank and volunteer/employee status.

To reinforce our goals of nondiscrimination, tolerance, and civility, the following policy against verbal assault, harassment, intimidation, bullying, and defamation is intended to inform all Post members and their guests that any form of discrimination, verbal assault, harassment, intimidation, bullying and defamation of others violates acceptable standards of conduct within this Post.

Each member of this Post is expected to be understanding and tolerant of others so that all Post members and their guests are free to pursue the personal goals that they seek to accomplish within the four pillars of the American Legion in an open environment, able to participate in the free exchange of ideas, and able to share equally in the benefits of their Post membership and our desire to work together to accomplish such goals. Beyond that, each member of the Post is encouraged to do all that she or he can to ensure that the Post environment is fair, humane, accepting and responsible to all members.

A Post establishes standards and Bylaws in order to be able to fulfill its mission. This policy prohibiting discrimination, verbal assault, harassment, intimidation, bullying, vituperation, and defamation seeks to guarantee certain minimum standards. Free speech and the open discussion of ideas are an integral part of the Legion and are fully encouraged, but acts that restrict the rights and opportunities of others through violence, intimidation, the destruction of property, or verbal assault which has the effect of inciting violence or causing undue alarm, even if communicative in nature, are not protected speech and are to be condemned. This Post will not tolerate it. This is a THREE STRIKE TOLERANCE POLICY!

Definitions and Idaho’s statute definition of Assault and Battery and Malicious Harassment

Vituperation: lengthy harsh bitter criticism, abuse bad-mouthing, berating, blame, castigation, censure, criticism, defamation, insults, libel, obloquy, reprimand, reproach, scolding, slander, tirade, upbraiding, verbal abuse.

Verbal Abuse: Verbal abuse is the use of words to cause harm to the person being spoken to. It is difficult to define and may take many forms. Similarly, the harm caused is often difficult to measure. The most commonly understood form is name-calling. Verbal abuse may consist of shouting, insulting, intimidating, threatening, shaming, demeaning, or derogatory language, among other forms of communication. Perpetrators of verbal abuse often misuse their authority and prey on those in a subordinate position. Victims of verbal abuse are often told they are to blame for the abuser's behavior and reluctant to take action to end the abuse. Verbal abuse may lead to stress, depression, physical ailments, and other damage. When questioning whether or not a person is being verbally abused by someone, it is pertinent to ask them the following questions and try to see if these methods may stop the abuse.

1. Has this behavior started recently or has it been ongoing?

2. Have they done something to incite this person without first addressing why he or she is acting out?

3. Have they directly told this person that he or she is making them uncomfortable? If they have not told them, they should do so immediately.

4. Learn how to use your voice to stop the verbal abuse. After recognizing that the verbal abuse is happening, it is up to the victim to stop it in its tracks. This is two-fold because it can either stop the abuser or aggravate him. The goal of using your voice is not to become the aggressor but to end the conflict.

5. You may have them practice these phrases to become more confident standing up for themselves. "Back off," "Stop it" and "Please leave" are phrases that can be said sharply and abruptly. The more comfortable you become saying the phrases the easier it will be to say them to the verbal abuser.

The underlying premise of verbal abuse is control, which is a means of holding power over another. Unlike physical abuse, there are no outer signs of injury, like bruises, and black eyes. Broken bones may not exist but there will be damage.

STATUTE CITATIONS:

  1.  Idaho Code prohibits Discrimination on the bases of Race, Sexual Orientation, Religion, National Origin, Color, Disability and Age (40+) in employment including hiring, firing, recruitment, promotion, pay and benefits and all other terms and conditions of employment.
  1. TITLE 67, CHAPTER 59 of the Idaho Code
  1. TITLE 44, CHAPTER 17 of the Idaho Code.
  1. TITLE 18, CHAPTER 9 of the Idaho Code:  Assault and Battery:  18-901. Assault defined. An assault is:

(a) an unlawful attempt, coupled with apparent ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another; or

(b) an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.

  1. TITLE 18, CHAPTER 79 of the Idaho Code:  Malicious Harassment:   18-7902. Malicious harassment defined -- Prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person, maliciously and with the specific intent to intimidate or harass another person because of that person's race, color, religion, ancestry, or national origin, to:

(a) Cause physical injury to another person; or

(b) Damage, destroy, or deface any real or personal property of another person; or

(c) Threaten, by word or act, to do the acts prohibited if there is reasonable cause to believe that any of the acts described in subsections (a) and (b) of this section will occur. For purposes of this section, "deface" shall include, but not be limited to, cross-burnings or the placing of any word or symbol commonly associated with racial, religious or ethnic terrorism on the property of another person without his or her permission.

Prohibited Conduct

Any of the following acts, even if communicative in nature, are prohibited.

1. Use of force against the person or property of any member of the Legion or against the person or property of anyone on the Legion premises, or the threat of such physical abuse.

2. Theft of, or intentional damage to, Legion property, or property in the possession of, or owned by, a member of the Legion.

3. Bullying, intimidation, and harassment: a person acts with the purpose to bully, intimidate, and harass another by:

(a) Making, or causing to be made, a communication or communications (including the use of electronic and/or social media) anonymously or at extremely inconvenient hours, or in offensively coarse language, or any other manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm; or

(b) Subjecting another to striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or threatening to do so; or

(c) Engaging in any other course of alarming conduct or of repeatedly committed acts with purpose to alarm or seriously annoy such other person, such that the behavior substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the Legion or the rights of other members to participate in or benefit from them being a Legion member or volunteer.

4. Defamation, which is judicially defined to mean, and here means, the unprivileged oral, written, or electronic publication of a false statement of fact that exposes the person about whom it is made to hatred, contempt, or ridicule, or subjects that person to loss of the good will and confidence of others, or so harms that person's reputation as to deter others from associating with her or him. Defamation is considered against the good order of the Legions.

Policy Investigation and Enforcement

An independent Incident Review Committee comprised of four (4) Legion Post 154 Members, two will be male and 2 will be female, who are in good standing and who are not current officers. The members will be appointed by the Commander and approved by the Executive Committee. In the event one or more of the members of this committee isn’t available to investigate and review a complaint then the Commander will immediately appoint a replacement(s).

This committee will thoroughly review and be familiar with the Post policies contained in this document. The committee is assigned the task of investigating any complaints received. All post members and officers are to give them their complete support. They will expeditiously investigate and report their findings and recommendations to the Adjutant.

Upon completion of the investigation they will submit a report to the Adjutant. The Adjutant will then call an emergency meeting of the Executive Committee (if a committee meeting isn’t already scheduled within the next 48 hours) to review the findings and take appropriate action.

Formal Procedures for violation of this policy

  1. Some complaints can be and should be resolved by informal methods, while others will require the implementation of formal procedures. All complaints are treated confidentially; complainants are encouraged to report incidents even if they do not wish to pursue the matter beyond the reporting stage. Members/Volunteer or guests who believe themselves to be victims of verbal assault, intimidation, bullying, harassment or defamation should report such incidents to the Commander or any of the Legion officers as soon as possible. In the case that is it the Commander, report the issue to the Adjutant.

2. If the situation is not resolved by the previous method the Legion will take the following actions:

First Offense: the person shall cease and desist all actions concerning this matter and will review the Legions Verbal Assault, Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying and Defamation Policy. They will formally apologize to the person or persons in writing. Also, if this problem is occurring in the lounge sanctions shall be applied as per the American Legion Post 154’s House Rules.

  • If the offense is physical the person will not be allowed in the Legion or on its property. Formal Charges may be filed according to National Bylaws and the Post 154 Bylaws. This offence shall be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency to determine whether charges should be filed. If no criminal or civil convictions they may request a review board investigation to be allowed back onto Legion property.

Second Offense: the person shall cease and desist all actions concerning this matter; the person will be investigated by the Incident Review Committee. Following the investigation report results at a minimum the following sanctions will be applied: they will not be allowed on Legion property for three (3) months. They shall review the Legions Discrimination, Verbal Assault, Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying and Defamation Policy, and formally apologize to the person or persons in writing. In addition, they will formally apologize to the General Membership at the next available meeting. This offense shall be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency to determine whether charges should be filed. If this problem is occurring in the lounge the person will not be allowed in the lounge for six (6) months and further sanctions may be applied as per the American Legion Post 154’s House Rules.

Third Offense: STRIKE THREE AND YOU ARE OUT! The person will not be allowed in the Legion or on its property. Formal Charges may be filed according to National Bylaws and the Post 154 Bylaws.  This offense shall be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency to determine whether charges should be filed.