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Summary of EEO Policies

Affirmative Action Policy
Affirmative Action is comprised of measures taken to prevent unlawful employment discrimination and to remedy the effects of past discrimination. At Metra, these measures include, but are not limited to, efforts to recruit, hire, employ, train, and promote qualified minorities[1], women, and individuals with handicaps/disabilities.[2]

Executive Order 11246, as amended, and the Federal Transit Administration Circular 4704.1 require Metra to establish an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Plan with an Affirmative Action component. Metra’s EEO Plan, on file in the EEO department, takes proactive measures to address and/or eliminate the present effect of past practices that prevented minorities, women and those with disabilities access to equal employment opportunities. It also ensures that employment-related decisions be consistent and non-discriminatory. The Plan expresses Metra’s commitment to recruit, hire, promote, train, and retain qualified minorities, women, and individuals with handicaps/disabilities, and to affirmatively address any imbalances between these categories in our current workforce. Each Senior Director’s/Chief Officer’s/Director’s affirmative action accomplishments and his/her commitment to equal employment opportunity practices are reviewed annually with the Senior Employment, Labor Relations and EEO Officer . During these meetings, areas of improvement are also discussed. Problem areas are identified and communicated to the CEO/Executive Director. Proactive measures to address problems areas are taken where appropriate.

[1] According to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) guidelines, minority is used to mean particular groups who share a race, color or national origin. These groups include the following: Black or African-American (not of Hispanic origin): All persons having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa; Hispanic or Latino: A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race; Asian: A person having origins in any of the original people of the Far East, Southeast Asia, India, or the Indian Subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand and Vietnam; American Indian or Alaskan Native: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintain their culture through tribal affiliation or community attachment; and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander

[2] The Illinois Human Rights Act affords non-discriminatory protection to handicapped applicants and employees. Under the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) an employer can not discriminate against qualified applicants/employees on the basis of disability.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
Metra is an equal opportunity employer. As an equal opportunity employer, all qualified employees and job applicants, will be granted equal access to job opportunities and equal terms and conditions of employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, veteran’s status, armed forces reserve or national guard status, unfavorable military discharge, physical or mental disability, arrest record, order of protection status, or any other protected category.

Metra has a Reasonable Accommodations Committee (RAC) that processes requests for reasonable accommodations pursuant to the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) and the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA). RAC procedures are incorporated by reference.  Employees/applicants may obtain a copy by contacting the EEO Department.

As an equal opportunity employer, Metra provides for the rights of all applicants/employees to be offered job opportunities without discrimination due to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, veteran’s status, armed forces reserve, national guard status, or physical or mental disability. Retaliation against employees who make bona fide discrimination/harassment complaints is prohibited.

Anti-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment Policy
As an equal opportunity employer, Metra provides for the rights of all applicants/employees to be offered job opportunities without regards to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, veteran’s status, armed forces reserve or national guard status, unfavorable military discharge, physical or mental disability, arrest record, order of protection status, or any other protected category. Retaliation against employees/applicants that make bona fide discrimination/harassment complaints is prohibited; as is, aiding, abetting or coercing someone to discriminate.

Discrimination is any action taken against an employee which affects the terms and conditions of his or her employment, because of that person’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, citizenship, marital status or any other characteristic protected by law or Metra policy.

Under this policy, unlawful harassment is verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward another; that is so severe or pervasive that it has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment; has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance; or otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities. Harassing conduct also includes, but is not limited to: epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes and display, or circulation in the workplace of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group (including through e-mail). Any employee that believes he/she has been harassed, discriminated against, or retaliated against should immediately follow the steps outlined in the Complaint Procedure described near the end of the EEO Policy Statements section.

Anti-Retaliation Policy
All employees and applicants for employment shall be protected from coercion, intimidation, retaliation, interference, harassment, or discrimination for filing a complaint or for participating in an investigation of a complaint. Reprisal against, or interference with, an employee’s or applicant’s right to file a complaint concerning harassment, discrimination, or retaliation constitutes a violation of this policy and will not be tolerated. Violators will be subject to discipline up to and including discharge. Any employee that believes he/she has been harassed, discriminated against, or retaliated against should immediately follow the steps outlined in the Complaint Procedure described near the end of the EEO Policy Statements section.

Sexual Harassment Policy
All employees of Metra are entitled to a workplace free from sexual harassment and intimidation. Metra strictly prohibits any form of sexual harassment. In addition, inappropriate sexual conduct will not be tolerated. Sexual harassment is the attempt to control, influence, or affect the career, salary, or job of an individual in exchange for sexual favors. It covers a broad spectrum of unwelcome, sexually focused behavior.

Sexual harassment is any unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is offensive or intimidating to a reasonable person, which the employee has to tolerate in order to keep his/her job, or the normal advantages of employment. Some examples of this behavior are sexual jokes, leering, cartoons, pictures, magazines, repeatedly asking someone for a date, using sexually degrading language or gestures, profanity, discussing one’s sex life, and groping or any other inappropriate touching of body parts. These examples are illustrative of the types of comments, literature and behaviors that are commonly viewed as falling within the realm of conduct that might rise to the level of sexual harassment. It is not intended to be all inclusive. Employees are strictly prohibited from sending jokes or other sexual communications via any Metra communication system, including, but not limited to, e-mail, text messages, facsimile machines, telephones including cell phones, push-to-talk devices, and voice-mail systems.

Employees are also strictly prohibited from reading and/or having pornographic, sexually suggestive, written or graphic materials in their possession on company property. Every employee at Metra has a duty to report questionable sexual conduct promptly to a supervisor, and a personal responsibility not to engage in sexual harassment.

Disability Policy
It is the policy of Metra to provide equal employment opportunity to persons with disabilities[3] in all aspects of employer/employee relations. This includes all employment related decisions including, but not limited to, hiring, compensation, benefits, terms and conditions of employment, opportunities for promotions, training, and other privileges of employment.

Metra will take affirmative action to employ disabled individuals by making notices of job vacancies available to agencies and organizations that are directly involved in the placement of disabled persons through mailing, telephone contacts, site visits, etc. Job requirements and descriptions shall be reviewed to ensure that unnecessary or discriminatory job standards are eliminated.

Further, Metra will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with physical and mental disabilities so that they may be able to perform the essential functions of their jobs, unless it will cause undue hardship to the corporation to do so. The Reasonable Accommodation Committee (RAC) has been established to review all accommodation requests.

In addition, it is the policy of Metra to include all employees, without regard to physical or mental disability, in the participation and receipt of benefits from the services, programs and activities of Metra as a public entity, and in particular, as a provider of public transportation. It is also the policy of Metra to comply with the letter and spirit of all local, state and federal statutes and regulations concerning discrimination against disabled persons.

[3] Persons with “handicaps” as defined by the Illinois Human Rights Act are also included in the policy.

Complaint Procedure in Reporting Alleged EEO Discrimination
Any applicant/employee who believes he/she has been harassed (including sexual harassment), discriminated or retaliated against in violation of any of Metra’s policies as stated above should immediately; 1) report the problem to his/her supervisor or manager; and/or 2) contact the EEO Department.

The EEO Internal Complaint Resolution Procedure (incorporated by reference) will be followed when an employee or applicant for employment believes his/her issue(s) cannot be resolved through mediation or counseling.

The Senior Employment, Labor Relations and EEO Officer, or a designee, is authorized to conduct a thorough and prompt investigation of the complaint. This investigation will include, but is not limited to: 1) meeting with the parties involved, 2) interviewing witnesses, 3) reviewing records and documentation, and 4) making whatever inquiries are necessary in order to arrive at a satisfactory resolution of the complaint.

All complaints will be kept as confidential as possible, and information regarding the complaint will be disclosed only to the extent necessary to conduct an adequate investigation and to comply with Metra’s legal responsibilities. Involved parties and/or witnesses are also instructed to keep their participation in any investigation confidential.

Any employee found to have violated Metra’s policy against harassment (including sexual harassment), or discrimination will be subject to discipline, up to and including discharge. Retaliation against an employee who reports harassment, sexual harassment, or discrimination, or against an employee(s) that participates in the investigation of such a complaint, will be viewed as a violation of this policy. Retaliatory conduct will not be tolerated and may lead to discipline, up to and including discharge.

Discrimination is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA), the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, the Illinois Human Rights Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA).

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