Equal Opportunity Policy

Landmark Learning, Inc. believes Equal Opportunity can deliver advantages to our business and workplace. Treating people fairly has a positive impact on staff and customers and enhances our reputation as an employer of choice. Equal Opportunity principles are in line with our aim to get the best from our people and give them the greatest opportunity to do their work well.

All persons - full, part time, and contract people working on our premises, and our clients and students - are covered by Equal Opportunity law and by this policy.

Equal Opportunity

Equal Opportunity means fairly treating staff and customers.

Fair treatment is:

  • treating people as individuals without making judgments based on irrelevant personal characteristics
  • creating a work environment free from discrimination, harassment, bullying and victimisation
  • allowing all employees to work to their full potential
  • making decisions based on merit

Direct and Indirect Discrimination

Unlawful discrimination is unfairly treating people because of their particular personal characteristics or because they belong to a certain group. Discrimination can be direct or indirect. Indirect discrimination is treatment which appears to be equal but is unfair on certain people. To be unlawful it must also be unreasonable.

It is unlawful to unfairly treat people because of their:

  • age
  • pregnancy
  • sex
  • association with child
  • chosen gender
  • caring responsibilities
  • race
  • identity of spouse
  • disability
  • religious appearance or dress
  • sexuality
  • political opinion
  • marital or domestic partnership
  • status
  • religion
  • social origin
  • irrelevant criminal record
  • trade union activity

It is unlawful to unfairly treat people in employment, education, providing goods and services, accommodation, clubs and associations, granting qualifications, advertising or selling land.

Sometimes discriminating behaviours are referred to as bullying. Bullying is behaviour which makes people feel offended, afraid or humiliated and in the circumstances it is reasonable to feel that way. Bullying behaviour relating to age, sex, chosen gender, race, disability, sexuality, marital or domestic partnership status, pregnancy, association with child, caring responsibilities, identity of spouse, religious appearance or dress, political opinion, religion, social origin, irrelevant criminal record or trade union activity is unlawful.

Legitimate comment on performance or work related behaviour is not unfair treatment. Managers can give full and frank feedback in a constructive and sensitive way.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is sexual behaviour which makes people feel offended, afraid or humiliated and in the circumstances, it is reasonable to feel that way. Both men and women can sexually harass or be harassed. Sexual harassment is determined from the point of view of the person feeling harassed. It is how the behaviour is received not how it is intended that counts.

Sexual harassment can be:

  • unwelcome touching or kissing
  • comments or jokes, leering or staring
  • sexual pictures, objects, emails, text messages or literature
  • direct or implied propositions, or requests for dates
  • questions about sexual activity.

Mutual attraction or friendship with consent is not sexual harassment.

Victimisation

Victimisation is unfairly treating people for complaining or helping others to complain, either within our organisation or to the Equal Opportunity Commission. Unlawful victimisation is unfair treatment for complaints about discrimination or sexual harassment.

Statement of Commitment

Landmark Learning, Inc. commits to fair treatment in our policies, procedures or practices in:

  • employment – recruiting, selecting, terms and conditions, training, promotion and transfer, termination
  • providing goods and services
  • offering or providing education
  • offering or providing accommodation

Discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation will not be tolerated.

Rights and Responsibilities

Equal Opportunity law gives rights and responsibilities to employees, current and potential, and to employers.

Staff have:

  • the right for employment decisions to be made on merit
  • the right not to be discriminated against, sexually harassed or victimised at work
  • the right to be protected by their employers from these behaviours
  • the right to complain
  • the right to work in an environment free of discrimination and sexual harassment
  • the responsibility not to discriminate against, sexually harass or victimise other staff or clients
  • the responsibility to be familiar with Equal Opportunity policies and complaint procedures
  • the right to report to management if they are being harassed by anyone in the course of their work

Clients or students have:

  • the right not be discriminated against, sexually harassed or victimised by the providers of goods and services
  • a responsibility not to harass the providers of goods and services

Employers have:

  • the right to control, direct and monitor work performance
  • the right to give legitimate comment on performance or work related behaviour
  • the responsibility to ensure that the workplace and goods and services offered are free from discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation
  • the responsibility to take all reasonable steps to prevent these behaviours
  • the responsibility to respond quickly, seriously and effectively to any complaints

Our Practice

Landmark Learning, Inc. has an Equal Opportunity Policy which applies to all.

  • Mairi S Padgett, Administrative Director, has the responsibility for implementing this policy, to communicate the policy to employees, and to ensure it is followed.
  • Employees have the responsibility to be familiar with this policy and follow it.
  • Copies of this policy can be obtained from the Landmark Learning office or website.

Complaints

As an owner I have the ultimate responsibility for implementing this policy. Any complaints about policy breaches will be dealt with quickly, seriously and confidentially.

In the first instance contact Mairi S Padgett. She is able to:

  • hear your complaint
  • give you information on policies and procedures
  • discuss options to resolve the problem
  • refer you for more help if needed

In most cases, any further action will be guided by the person making the complaint. If there is a risk to any employees’ health or safety at work, action will be taken by management.

For further confidential help contact the office at 828-293-5384.

At any time you have the right to contact an external agency for advice or help. Anyone making a complaint or helping someone else to complain about unlawful discrimination or harassment is protected from being victimised for complaining.

Anyone found to have breached this policy or the law, or to have made a false or malicious complaint, will be disciplined.

Discipline may include demotion, suspension or dismissal.

I support and endorse this Equal Opportunity Policy.

Mairi S Padgett,
Administrative Director

April 15, 2013