Wednesday, December 8, 2010


The purpose of this policy is to comply with State ethics laws and to eliminate the appearance of favoritism that conflicts with TriMet business operations. See HR-134 Conflict of Interest: Ethics Statement.  Violations of this policy are subject to all penalties, sanctions, and disciplinary action permitted by law and by TriMet's policies, including suspension and dismissal, as determined appropriate. 


An employee may not directly supervise or have grievance adjustment authority over a relative or member of the employee's household. An employee may not appoint, employ or promote a relative or a member of the employee's household to, or discharge, fire or demote a relative or a member of the employee's household from, a position with TriMet. The foregoing situations present an actual conflict of interest for the employee. When a conflict arises, the employee must immediately provide written notice of the nature of the conflict to the employee's supervisor/manager and the General Counsel, and request that the supervisor/manager review and resolve the conflict.
The supervisor/manager, subject to approval by the General Counsel, will appoint an alternate to review and resolve the conflict or direct another appropriate resolution, and the employee shall refrain from engaging in any of the prohibited actions.
An employee may not participate in any interview, discussion or debate regarding a relative's or member of the employee household's appointment, employment or promotion to, or discharge, firing or demotion from, a position with TriMet. The term "participate" does not include serving as a reference, providing a recommendation or performing other ministerial acts that are part of the normal job functions of the employee. 
The prohibitions in this policy do not apply to unpaid volunteer positions with TriMet.
For purposes of this policy:

"Relative" means the employee's: spouse or domestic partner, children or children of the employee's spouse or domestic partner, brothers, sisters, half brothers, half sisters, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, stepparents, stepchildren, parents or parents of spouse or domestic partner.
"Member of Household" means any person who resides with the employee.


TriMet respects the privacy and individual rights of others and believes that one's personal life is one's own business. However, personal and romantic relationships can impact the workplace, and in some instances, can result in favoritism or abuse. Potential conflict or areas of sensitivity may arise out of personal and romantic relationships, especially in the context of supervision, evaluation, vacation and personal leave, or by simply working closely together within the same department or work area. Therefore, employees who are romantically involved, even if they are not "Relatives" or "Members of Household" for purposes of TriMet's Nepotism Policy, may not be in a direct supervisory relationship. 
Further, we must all be mindful of how personal and romantic relationships between employees can negatively impact the work environment. Because the effects on other people at work are frequently not apparent to the persons involved in personal and romantic relationships, anyone with such an involvement should be attentive to the feelings of colleagues and to the potential conflicts that may be involved. Relationships can change and sour, and in some instances, may give rise to feelings of intimidation or discomfort. Although it is not possible to regulate human emotion or create a detailed policy concerning a complete bar against romantic relationships, an employee will be held responsible for the perceived or actual creation of an uncomfortable work environment for the other employees. 
While general responsibility for assuring adherence to TriMet policy must rest with the individual department head, each employee has a particular responsibility to avoid the potential conflict caused by romantic relationships within their respective department. 
Employees may seek advice on these personal questions on a confidential basis from their department heads or the Human Resources Department. 

Respectful Workplace Conduct

The purpose of this policy is to educate employees about the variety of forms, both obvious and subtle, in which harassment, discrimination, intimidation and inappropriate workplace conduct occur. We are committed to offering employees training to identify harassment and discrimination, and providing employees with confidential procedures under which they can report harassment and discrimination. This policy also is intended to make clear to employees that harassment, discrimination, intimidation and inappropriate workplace conduct will not be tolerated at TriMet and, if substantiated, will subject an employee to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Conduct that is not unlawful or prohibited by some legal principle but that is still hostile, disrespectful, or harmful to the work environment or working relationships will also not be tolerated.  Employees may be terminated from employment if convicted of criminal activities that are directly related to work responsibilities or have an adverse or negative impact on TriMet’s business or employees in the workplace.  


This policy applies to all TriMet employees. This policy is administered by and subject to the oversight of Human Resources (“HR”). Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action.


It is TriMet’s policy that all employees be able to work in a productive, respectful atmosphere, free from harassment by co-workers, supervisors, managers, independent contractors, or other individuals. Harassment on the basis of gender, pregnancy, race, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, gender identity, military/veteran status, political affiliation, or any other group protected by law is strictly prohibited under this policy. Retaliation on the basis of a complaint or report of harassment is also strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated.
Employee conduct on and off the job is expected to continuously comply with the requirements set forth in essential functions and selection criteria of the job description.


1. What should I expect from a respectful workplace?
TriMet demands a work ethic based upon integrity, fairness, and personal respect for each employee. Negative slurs, stereotyping, profiling, use of offensive written or graphic materials, or threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts on the basis of protected characteristics will not be tolerated. Employees should treat each other respectfully, work professionally with one another, and act professionally in their dealings with subordinates, peers, and supervisors.

2. Do all employees have the same responsibility to avoid and prevent discrimination, harassment, retaliation and intimidation, and to ensure a respectful workplace?

Yes. This policy applies equally to all persons working for TriMet as employees or contractors.

3. What behaviors are prohibited in a respectful workplace?
The following behaviors are strictly prohibited:
BIAS HARASSMENT - Demeaning, insulting, offensive, threatening, or intimidating actions or words directed at a person on the basis of the person’s gender, race, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, gender identity, military/veteran status, political affiliation, or any other group protected by law.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT - Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed toward an individual because of gender. Sexual harassment includes conduct that is not sexual in nature but is gender-related. Sexual harassment also includes the harassment of the same or of the opposite sex. No person will subject an employee to unwelcome sexual advances or intimidating or harassing behavior, or condition an individual’s employment or continued employment on submitting to such advances or behavior. Specifically,
  • RETALIATION: Retaliation against an employee for refusal to submit to sexual advances. Such refusal will not be used as a basis for any decision adversely affecting an employee’s employment with TriMet, including performance evaluations, wages, advancement, assigned duties, shifts, career development, or any term or condition of employment, including any action which, within the context of the employee’s work situation, is adverse to a term or condition of the employee’s employee. In addition, no such effect may be threatened or implied.
  • FAVORISTISM: No person will confer, or promise or imply to confer, employment opportunities or benefits upon an employee in return for submitting to sexual advances or as a response to intimidating or harassing behavior of another employee.
  • INTIMIDATION: No person will directly, indirectly, or through other persons coerce, bully, intimidate, threaten or abuse an employee, or otherwise engage in behavior that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
  • DISRESPECTFUL CONDUCT - Physical or verbal conduct or behavior that is coercive, bullying, intimidating, threatening, abusive, or is intended to or does in fact materially and negatively affect an employee’s working conditions.

Retaliation Policy

It is a violation of state and federal law, as well as TriMet policy, to retaliate against employees or customers who have filed a complaint of discrimination, participated in an investigation of unlawful discrimination, declared misuse of public funds, or engaged in other legally sanctioned, appropriate behavior.
Discrimination, for purposes of this policy, is defined by law and explained in the following sections:Discrimination based upon age, disability, race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, or any other group protected by law is prohibited.
Managers and supervisors are responsible to ensure that this policy is followed in their work units. The Employee Services Director is responsible for investigating allegations of retaliation under this policy, which is administered by Human Resources.
An employee who believes that this policy has been violated may file a complaint with his/her supervisor or manager or the Employee Services Director (or designee) in Human Resources.

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