Haven House Non-discrimination Policy
Effective Dates: June 2018
Section 1: Overview
As part of the process of making organizations more inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer² and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals, it is essential that non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies include language specifically addressing sexual orientation³ and gender identity⁴ or expression⁵. By promoting an open, accepting environment with employment as wells as service outreach and delivery practices, the organization’s commitment to serve those in need without prejudice is affirmed.
Section 2: Policies
A. Non-Discrimination Policy
- Haven House is committed to providing equal access to employment, programs, service, activities and benefits to qualified individuals with disabilities under the American Disabilities Act. Haven House complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability in admission to its programs, services, or activities; in access to them; in provision of benefits, in its hiring or employment practices, or in any aspect of their operations.
- This policy applies to all employees, volunteers, interns, and individuals served by Haven
B. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Non-Discrimination Policy for Service Users
- Recognizing that prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping are prevalent through society and the importance and dedication to the creation of a safe, secure space for those seeking services with the organization, it shall be the policy of Haven House to maintain and promote a facility that provides the highest quality of services to survivors of sexual and domestic violence regardless of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBTQ-identified survivors receiving services at Haven House shall receive fair and equal treatment, without bias, and shall be treated in a professional manner.
- Employees, volunteers and other individuals providing services to LGBTQ identified survivors shall not discriminate against or harass any survivor in their care and shall immediately report any evidence of discrimination, physical or sexual harassment, and verbal harassment of any such identified persons to their supervisor. Individuals who feel they have been subject to discrimination or harassment should report this occurrence to his/her supervisor or follow Haven House’ grievance procedure. The grievance procedure shall establish the process to be utilized to monitor and address the claim as well as to address the claim and document corrective actions. Haven House will strive to meet the diverse needs of all survivors seeking services and provide an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
C. Transgender Identification and Support Policy
- Haven House recognizes that transgender employees & volunteers may face additional challenges in the workplace. Affirming our commitment to an inclusive environment, embracing the diversity of staff & volunteers, Haven House seeks to ensure that employees who are currently transitioning or who have already undergone gender transitions⁶ are treated in an equal and respectful manner. Transgender employees are encouraged to dress consistently with their gender identity and should be addressed with the pronouns relevant to the gender with which they identify. Additionally, as Haven House respects all employees’ right to privacy, transgender employees shall not be subject to unwanted questions regarding their status, medical history, or sexual orientation. Individuals who feel they have been subject to discrimination or harassment should report this occurrence to his/her supervisor or follow Haven House’ grievance procedure. The grievance procedure shall establish the process to be utilized to monitor and address the claim as well as to address the claim and document corrective actions.
- As part of its commitment to provide services to those in need without discrimination or harassment, Haven House promotes an environment that is accepting and encouraging to transgender service users. Service users identifying as transgender shall receive support and accommodation from Haven House in determining their needs. Pronouns used and clothing provided shall reflect the gender with which the survivor identifies, and confidentiality shall be respected in regards to disclosures concerning transgender status, medical history or sexual orientation.
D. Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Policy
- Haven House seeks to provide a supportive environment for LGBTQ employees and service users by treating with respect those persons who are open about their sexual orientation or gender identity. Haven House also recognizes that some people might not wish to share this information with fellow employees, service users, or others involved in the organization and is equally dedicated to respecting the confidentiality of those persons. Employees, volunteers, and other individuals involved in the operation of Haven House will never reveal sensitive information about an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity without that person’s express written consent. Those in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action as detailed in Haven House’ policies.
Section 3: Definitions
These model policies include policies adapted from the National Center for Lesbian Rights, www.nclrights.org/.
1 Queer: A political and sometimes controversial term that some LGBT people have reclaimed, while others still consider it derogatory. Used most frequently by younger LGBT people, activists, and academics, the term can refer either to gender identity, sexual orientation, or both and can be used by people of any gender.
2 Sexual Orientation: The culturally-defined set of meanings through which people describe their sexual attractions. Sexual orientation is not static and can shift over time.
3 Gender Identity: This is an individual’s internal view of their gender, and is their own innermost sense of themselves as a gendered being and/or masculine, feminine, androgynous, etc. This will often influence name and pronoun preference.
4 Gender Expression: Aspects of behavior and outward presentation that may (intentionally or unintentionally) communicate gender to others in a given culture or society, including clothing, body language, hairstyles, voice, socialization, relationships, career choices, interests, and presence in gendered spaces (restrooms, places of worship, etc.).
5 Gender transitions: The process through which a person modifies his or her physical characteristics and/or gender expression to be consistent with his or her gender identity. Gender transition may, but does not necessarily, include hormone therapy, sex reassignment surgeries and/or other medical or surgical components. The process may also include telling one’s family, friends and/or co-workers, and changing one’s name and/or gender on legal documents. As each person’s transition is unique to that individual’s needs, there is no defined set of steps which add up to a “complete” transition.