Effective Date: December 2019
This policy seeks to ensure that all staff feel safe, respected, and fully valued as they work at Pact and contribute to the shareholders we serve. Through enforcement of this policy and training of staff, Pact will address instances of discrimination or harassment between and against Pact staff to prevent, correct, and discipline any and all behaviors that violate this policy.
This policy applies to all Pact and Pact subsidiary employees worldwide for actions occurring at the workplace or any work-related setting including, but not limited to, business trips, office outings or work-sponsored social events, and off-site social events involving Pact staff members that fall outside Pact’s Anti-Nepotism and Fraternization Policy. This policy also applies to communications and materials sent or received via phone, email, fax, social media, and any other communication platform.
Pact will neither accept nor tolerate any harassment of, by, or among employees, contractors, clients, vendors, shareholders, funders, visitors, or other third parties based upon any protected characteristic.
Please see Pact’s Gender Mainstreaming in Programming Policy for further information about Pact’s commitment to gender equity and equality in our programmatic work.
Pact is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all staff and prospective staff and to maintaining a working environment free from discrimination, harassment, and bullying. While broadly outlining norms and expectations for how we engage with one another as colleagues, this policy specifically describes types of prohibited discrimination and harassment that have no place within the global Pact community.
This policy is driven by a recognition that Pact staff can only do their critical work in an environment built around mutual respect in which we are all free to be our full selves. This requires proactively promoting healthy norms and behaviors, work that must and will be an ongoing endeavor. It also ensures that all staff have clear channels though which we can report, address, and redress violations of basic norms related to discrimination and harassment.
Pact will neither accept nor tolerate any discrimination or harassment of, by, or among employees, clients, vendors, stakeholders, or visitors based upon, but not limited to, the following characteristics:
- National Origin
- Immigration Status
- Place of Birth
- Ethnicity, Language or Accent
- Religion or Religious Degree
- Sex (e.g., pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions)
- Gender Identity or Expression, or Transgender Status
- Sexual Orientation
- Physical or Mental Disability, Medical Condition, or Use of Guide or Support Animal
- HIV/AIDS Status
- Blindness or Partial Blindness
- Genetic Information (including atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait)
- Marital or Domestic Partnership Status
- Familial Status or Family Responsibilities
- Military or Veteran Status
- Personal Appearance
- Political Affiliation or Activities
- Creditworthiness or Credit History
- Tobacco Use (unless prohibited by law)
- Unemployment Status
- Source of Income
- Protective Order Status or Status as a Domestic Violence or Crime Victim
- Lawful Activities or Use of Lawful Products
- Union Membership
- Arrest Records, Past Convictions or Expunged Juvenile Records
- Declining to Engage in Religious or Political Meetings or Communications
- Association with a Protected Class Member
- Any Other Characteristics Protected by National or Local Law
Pact is committed to fair pay, transparent compensation principles, and a diverse and inclusive workplace. Pact defines discrimination as the unequal treatment of an employee or applicant during the course of Pact business or the use of unequal power dynamics to influence an employee’s behavior, often, but not necessarily, due to the employee’s or applicant’s status as having a protected characteristic. Discriminatory behavior may be a one-time occurrence or a consistent over a period of time.
Discrimination may include, but is not necessarily limited to: hostile or demeaning behavior towards applicants or employees because of their Protected Characteristic(s); allowing the applicant’s or employee’s Protected Characteristic(s) to be a factor in hiring, promotion, compensation or other employment-related decisions unless otherwise permitted by applicable law, and providing unwarranted assistance or withholding work-related assistance, cooperation, and/or information to applicants or employees because of their Protected Characteristic(s).
Pact seeks to give full and equal employment opportunities to all people capable of performing any position. Pact will review options for providing reasonable accommodation to any person with a disability who requests and requires one.
Pact defines harassment as when an employee is treated poorly through negative or hostile sexual, verbal, physical, or other treatment often, but not necessarily, due to the employee’s status as having a protected characteristic. Harassment may be a one-time occurrence or a consistent behavior over a period of time.
It is against Pact policy for any employee to engage in unwelcome verbal or physical conduct that relates to an individual’s Protected Characteristic(s) including instances that:
- Have the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment
- Have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance
- Otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities.
Pact divides harassment into two categories: 1) sexual harassment and 2) bullying and abusive conduct.
Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, any unwanted sexual advances, innuendos, suggestive comments, teasing, jokes, language, gestures, looks, obscene visual material, requests for quid pro quo sexual favors from an employee, or engaging in any other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature in-person or electronically including when:
- Submission to such conduct is used as an express or implicit condition of employment at Pact;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the individual who submits to or rejects such conduct; or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an employee's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
Note that Pact’s Anti-Nepotism and Fraternization Policy covers the types of allowable and prohibited romantic or sexual relationships between Pact employees.
Bullying and Abusive Conduct
Pact has no tolerance for bullying or abusive conduct. Pact defines bullying and abusive conduct as any action that is malicious, hostile, or offensive and unrelated to an employer's legitimate business interests, regardless of whether such conduct is related to an individual’s protected characteristics.
Examples of bullying and abusive conduct includes, but is not limited to, verbal abuse such as derogatory remarks, insults, epithets, slurs, jokes, or negative stereotyping; physical conduct that is threatening, intimidating, humiliating, or undermining of another person's work; or negative written or graphic material that shows hostility towards a Pact employee.
Reporting of Discrimination and Harassment
If you believe that you have experienced or witnessed discrimination or harassment in violation of this policy, follow the process outlined below:
- Report the incident immediately to your manager, to another Pact manager whom you trust, to the Chief Human Capital Officer or your Country Office HR representative, or to Pact’s ethics reporting system. Employees may also submit the Complaint Form for Reporting Sexual Harassment.
- Managers who receive reports must take immediate and appropriate action as necessary to protect the employee, and report the matter verbally or in writing to Global HR or Pact’s ethics reporting system.
- Global HR will promptly investigate reports as confidentially as possible. It may be necessary to discuss the allegations with the accused individual or other employees to conduct a thorough investigation. In that case, only the necessary individuals will be informed of the allegations and will be requested to treat the matter confidentially.
- If Pact determines that discrimination or harassment has occurred, the organization will take action to end the discrimination or harassment. Steps Pact may take include, but are not limited to, training, warnings, transfers, suspension, probation, and termination as noted in the Enforcement section below.
In addition to Pact’s reporting process, an employee may be able to file a formal complaint with their local government authorities (depending on where they work) — the Annex: Government Remedies for more information.
It is unlawful and against this policy to retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint of discrimination or harassment or for cooperating in an investigation of a complaint of discrimination or harassment. Even if no violation is found after an investigation, no action will be taken against an employee who reported the complaint in good faith.
Anyone found to be engaging in any type of discrimination or harassment will be subject to disciplinary action including, but not limited to, training, warnings, transfers, suspension, probation, and termination of employment. Further, Pact will not tolerate any retaliation against any employee and will also take disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment against any employee engaging in retaliation.
- Harassment: When an employee is treated poorly through negative or hostile sexual, verbal, physical, or other treatment often, but not necessarily, due to the employee’s status as having a protected characteristic.
- Discrimination: The unequal treatment of an employee during the course of Pact business or the use of unequal power dynamics to influence an employee’s behavior, often, but not necessarily, due to the employee’s status as having a protected characteristic.
- Sexual Harassment: Any unwanted sexual advances, innuendos, suggestive comments, teasing, jokes, language, gestures, looks, obscene visual material, requests for quid pro quo sexual favors from an employee, or engaging in any other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature in-person or electronically.
- Bullying and Abusive Behavior: Pact defines bullying and abusive conduct as any action that is malicious, hostile, or offensive and unrelated to an employer's legitimate business interests, regardless of whether such conduct is related to an individual’s protected characteristics.
Annex: Government Remedies
In addition to Pact’s complaint reporting process, an employee may file a formal complaint with the local state and/or federal administrative agencies listed below. For individual Country Office and state government remedies, please refer to the relevant Country Office Employee Handbook or individual states’ fair employment practice agencies.
- Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): Complaints to the EEOC must be filed within 300 days from the last date of discrimination alleged. Complete instructions for how to file a complaint with the EEOC can be found on the agency’s website: https://www.eeoc.gov/employees/howtofile.cfm.
- Washington, DC: Complaints to the DC Office of Human Rights (“DCOHR”) must be filed within one year: https://ohr.dc.gov/complaints/process. An employee making a complaint only under the DC Human Rights Act may also file a lawsuit in DC Superior Court without filing with the DCOHR.