AVOYELLES PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Procedure
Effective Date: 8/15/2023
The purpose of this procedure is to establish a uniform policy for the reporting,
investigation and review of incidents involving discrimination and harassment
involving Avoyelles Parish Sheriff's Office employees.
Discrimination in employment against protected classes of people.
• Employees wishing to file a complaint of discrimination or harassment may
utilize any or all the procedures listed in this Complaint Procedure. Complaints
not alleging discrimination or harassment should be pursued through the internal
• Use of this Complaint Procedure does not preclude any employee from seeking
recourse through the appropriate state or federal agencies at any time. (See
Section, Reporting to an Agency). Therefore, if an employee wishes to file a
complaint of discrimination or harassment, he/she has the following options:
- File an internal complaint pursuant to this internal Discrimination and
Harassment Complaint Procedure;
-File a complaint directly with the Louisiana Commission on Human
Rights (LCHR) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
To ensure that all of our workers enjoy a working environment free from
harassment and discrimination, we prohibit any person from harassing or
discriminating against any employee or other worker because of race, color, sex
(whether or not sexual in nature), pregnancy, religion, national origin, age,
disability, veteran status, protected activity (such as opposition to prohibited
discrimination or participation in the statutory complaint process) or any other
basis prohibited by law. Prohibited conduct includes but is not limited to:
• Making decisions relating to a person's employment, evaluation, wages,
advancement, assigned duties, or any other conditions of employment
based on race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age,
disability, veteran status, protected activity or any other basis prohibited
• Making offensive or derogatory statements, comments, slurs or gestures
because of a person's race, color, sex, pregnancy, religion, national
origin, age, disability, veteran status protected activity or any other basis
prohibited by law.
• Engaging in any other verbal or non-verbal behavior of an offensive or
derogatory nature, because of a person's race, color, sex, pregnancy,
religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, protected activity
or any other basis prohibited by law.
• Unreasonably interfering with work performance or creating an offensive
or intimidating working environment because of a person's race, color,
sex, pregnancy, religion, creed, national origin, age, disability, veteran
status, protected activity or any other basis prohibited by law.
• Engaging in unwelcome: flirtation, sexual advances, requests for sexual
favors, propositions, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual
nature, or displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures or drawings, or
• Conditioning a person's employment, evaluation, wages, advancement,
assigned duties, or any other condition of employment upon his or her
submission to sexual advances.
RETALIATION IS PROHIBITED
We prohibit retaliation against any individual who reports discrimination or
harassment, participates in an investigation of a complaint under this policy, or
otherwise acts to enforce or uphold this policy. Retaliation is a serious
violation of this policy and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to
and including dismissals. If you feel you are being retaliated against in violation
of this policy, please follow the complaint procedures outlined below. We cannot
take action to stop such behavior if we do not know about it. In the same manner,
false accusations have a damaging effect on the accused and will not be tolerated.
The act of making false accusations may lead to disciplinary actions. Questions
From A.P.S.O. employees regarding this procedure should be addressed to the
Division Commander from within the division to which the employee is assigned.
INDIVIDUALS AND CONDUCT COVERED
This policy applies to all applicants, employees, and other workers. The Avoyelles
Parish Sheriff’s Office prohibits discrimination, harassment, and retaliation by any person, including but not limited to; supervisors, managers, co-workers, or non-employees, such as vendors, consultants, clients or customers. Conduct prohibited by these policies is unacceptable in the workplace and in any work-related setting outside the workplace, such as business trips, business meetings, and business-related social events.
REPORTING AN INCIDENT OF HARASSMENT, DISCRIMINATION OR RETALIATION
• The Department requires you to report all incidents of discrimination,
harassment, or retaliation, regardless of the offender's identity or position. If you
feel you have been harassed or discriminated against, please follow the
procedure in Section, Reporting Procedures. Likewise, if you believe you have
witnessed behavior that violates this policy, regardless of whether the behavior
was directed at you, please immediately report the incident by following the
same procedure outlined below.
• Early reporting and intervention have proven to be the most effective method of
resolving actual or perceived incidents of discrimination, harassment or
retaliation. We cannot remedy a problem unless we know about it. Therefore,
while no fixed reporting period has been established, we strongly urge you to
report all incidents and concerns immediately so that rapid and constructive
action can be taken.
• Important notice to all employees: Employees who have experienced conduct
they believe is contrary to this policy have an obligation to take advantage of this
complaint procedure. Failure to fulfill this obligation could affect your rights in
pursuing legal action.
• The Department requires anyone who feels he/she has been a victim of
discrimination or harassment to report such incidents to the Chief Deputy who
serves as a neutral party in investigating the facts and circumstances of any
allegation. The Chief Deputy is a person officially designated and authorized to
conduct inquiries into equal employment opportunity complaints. The Chief
Deputy will conduct investigations as he sees fit. In the event that the Chief
Deputy is absent from duty, and if the Sheriff determines it is necessary, he shall designate a staff member to act in the Chief Deputy’s place for the length of the absence.
• If the Chief Deputy feels that the complaint would be better handled by another
individual, the Chief Deputy may seek the permission of the Sheriff to have
another investigating officer assigned to investigate the complaint. The assigned
investigating officer shall initiate an internal investigation. Complainants are
urged to report incidents as soon as possible, since a delay in reporting may
make it difficult to gather appropriate information and documentation.
• All complaints of harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation will be promptly
and thoroughly investigated. A clear written statement from the Complainant
assists the Chief Deputy in conducting the investigation and will be requested by
him. The investigation may include individual interviews with the parties
involved and, where necessary, with individuals who may have observed the
alleged conduct or who may have other relevant information. All employees
must cooperate fully during the investigation and provide all relevant
information concerning the investigation. The alleged offender should be
contacted during the investigation. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout
the investigation process to the extent possible and to the extent consistent with
our duty to prevent and correct harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.
• An EEO Committee, whose purpose will be to review the findings and/or recommendations of the Investigator(s), will be appointed by the Sheriff and shall be comprised of three members; the Chief Deputy and 2 other appointees. Once the investigating officer concludes the investigation, he will issue a fact-finding report, a preliminary finding, or a recommendation concerning the complaint, which will be provided to the EEO Committee within a reasonable time after the conclusion of the investigation, but not to exceed three (3) months, unless there are special/exigent circumstances for the delay. The length of time spent by the Investigating Officer in investigating the complaint will depend on the severity of the allegations, the number of persons to be interviewed, and the general availability of witnesses. Once the EEO Committee has received and reviewed the Investigator’s report, findings, or recommendation, the Committee will determine whether there is reason to believe discrimination has occurred and what, if any, action or remedy should be taken. The EEO Committee will then submit a report to the Sheriff, who in tum will decide whether to affirm, reject, or modify the EEO Committee's recommended actions. Should a decision be made that the complaint does not warrant a finding of discrimination, the complaining employee may file a charge with either the EEOC or LCHR. (This option does not preclude, however, the requisite time requirements set by each agency). The EEO officer will be responsible for maintaining all records and documentation of each investigation for at least 2 years.
REPORTING TO AN AGENCY
• If you believe you have been discriminated against or harassed and want to file a
complaint, you have the right to file a complaint directly with either:
Louisiana Commission on Human Rights
Post Office Box 94094
1001 North Twenty-Third Street,
Administrative Bldg., Rm. 262
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
New Orleans Field Office
1555 Poydras Street, Suite 1900
New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
• A charge of discrimination in employment must be filed with the LCHR within
180 days or with the EEOC within 300 days of the alleged discriminatory act.
Filing a complaint through the internal procedure does not extend the deadline
for the internal procedure for filing a separate charge with the LCHR or the
EEOC. Employees wishing to file a complaint should contact those office's
directly within the requisite time limits.
• Any supervisor who receives a complaint of harassment, discrimination or
-Refer the complainant to the mandatory reporting procedures
-Instruct the complainant to continue to work
-Take steps to ensure that the complainant is not subjected to further
harassment, discrimination, or retaliation. The complainant must not be
required to do anything other than report the alleged violation, cooperate
fully in the investigation and provide all relevant information concerning
-Advise the complainant that if future violations occur, he/she is to
directly inform the violator that the conduct is unwelcome and must
stop, and further, report the new violations in accordance with
established Reporting Procedures.
-Document the complaint
-If applicable, advise the violator to remove any offensive material
-Notify the appropriate Division Commander of the complaint and
forward a copy of the documentation to the Chief Deputy.