Avoyelles Parish Sheriffs Office


Procedural Order

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​​ 

 ​​​​ Grievance Procedure.

• 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​​ 

 ​​ ​​​​ (EEOC);




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​​ 

 ​​​​ by law.

• 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​​ 

 ​​​​ inappropriate E-mails.

• Conditioning a person's employment, evaluation, wages, advancement,​​ 

 ​​​​ assigned duties, or any other condition of employment upon his or her​​ 

 ​​​​ submission to sexual advances.




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.




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.



• 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.





• 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

(225) 342-6969


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​​ 

 ​​​​ retaliation​​ shall:

     -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​​ 

 ​​​​ the investigation.​​ 

-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.