EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT AND PARTICIPATION
ADOPTED FEBRUARY 16, 2004 – UPDATED MARCH 5, 2023
It is the declared policy of the Pocahontas Communications Cooperative to extend equal employment and program participation opportunities to all qualified persons at all levels of occupation without regard to race, gender, religion, color, national origin, handicapping condition or marital status. This statement of policy is to be distributed throughout the administration of the Pocahontas Communications Cooperative instructing all employing and supervisory personnel to implement this policy at every opportunity in compliance with the West Virginia and Virginia Human Rights Acts.
Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Gender, Age, Race, Color, Religion or National Origin in Programs and Activities
No person in the United States shall on the basis of gender, age, race color, religion or national origin be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
In addition to the sanction of non receipt of Federal funds, however, the Pocahontas Communications Cooperative is of the general view that discrimination on the basis of gender, age, race color, religion or national origin in any program or activity of this organization is not to be permitted except where necessary to accomplish a specific purpose that does not impinge upon essential equality or fundamental fairness in the treatment of participants or employees of this organization. Accordingly, employees of this organization are required by this policy to comply with the provisions of this policy as in the case of any rule or regulation adopted by the Board of Directors.
B. Application to Specific Programs and Activities.
This policy’s prohibition against action by employees or other persons acting in the name and on the behalf of this organization which bases any exclusion from participation in, denial of benefits from, or discrimination in, any program or activity because of the gender, age, race, color, religion or national origin of a participant or employee, applies to all programs and activities conducted by this organization, including, but not limited to, the following:
Employment Activities. Applies to all aspects of the organization’s employment programs, including but not limited to, recruitment, advertising, process of application for employment promotion, granting of tenure, termination layoffs, wages, job assignments, leaves of absence of all types, fringe benefits, training programs, employer- sponsored programs, including social or recreational programs and any other term, condition or privilege of employment. Specifically, the following personnel employment practices are prohibited:
a. Tests. Administration of any test or other criterion which has a disproportionately adverse effect on persons on the basis of gender unless it is a valid predictor of job success and alternative tests or criterion are unavailable,
b. Recruitment. Recruitment of employees from entities which furnish as applicants only or predominately members of one sex, age, race, color, creed or national origin if such action has the effect of discriminating on the basis of gender, age, race, color, religion or national origin;
c. Compensation. Establishment of rates of pay on the basis of gender, age, race, color, religion or national origin;
d. Job Classification. Classification of jobs as being for males or females;
e. Fringe Benefits. Provision of fringe benefits on basis of gender; all fringe benefit plans must treat males and females equally;
f. Marital and Parental Status. Any action based on marital or parental status; pregnancies are considered temporary disabilities for all job-related purposes and shall be accorded the same treatment by the organization as are all other temporary disabilities. No inquiry shall be made by the district in job applications as to the marriage status of an applicant, including whether such applicant is “Miss or Mrs.” But, inquiry may be made as to the gender, age, race, color, religion or national origin of a job applicant for employment if made of all applicants and, is not a basis for discrimination.
g. Employment Advertising. Any expression of preference, limitation, or specification based on gender, age, race, color, religion or national origin unless sex is a bona’ fide occupational qualification for the particular job in question.
C. Policy Enforcement.
To ensure compliance with this policy, Pocahontas Communications Cooperative shall:
1. Designate a member of the administrative staff;
a. to coordinate efforts of the organization to comply with this policy;
b. to develop, and ensure the maintenance of a filing system to keep all records required under this policy;
c. to investigate any complaints of violations of this policy;
d. to administer the grievance procedure established in this policy; and,
e. to develop affirmative action programs, as appropriate; and,
2. Provide for the publication of this policy on an ongoing basis to participants, employees, and prospective employees, such publication to include the name, office address and telephone number of the compliance administrator designated pursuant to this policy in paragraph C (1.) above.
D. Grievance Procedure.
Any participant or employee of this organization who believes he or she has been discriminated against, denied a benefit, or excluded from participation, in any county education program or activity, on the basis of gender, age, race, color, religion or national origin in violation of this policy, may file a written complaint with the compliance administrator designated in paragraph C (1.), of this policy, above. The compliance administrator shall cause a review of the written complaint to be conducted and a written response mailed to the complainant within ten working days after receipt of the written complaint. A copy of the written complaint and the compliance administrator’s response shall be provided each member of the Board of Directors. If the complainant is not satisfied with such response, he or she may submit a written appeal to the Board of Directors indicating with particularity the nature of disagreement with the response and his or her reasons underlying such disagreement.
The Board of Directors shall consider the appeal at its next regularly scheduled Board meeting following receipt of the response.
The Board of Directors shall permit the complainant to address the Board in public or closed session, as appropriate and lawful, concerning his or her complaint and shall provide the complainant with its written decision in the matter as expeditiously as possible following completion of the hearing.
The General Manager shall present a report to the Board of Directors in a meeting on or about the third Monday of July, 2004, and in a meeting to be held on or about the anniversary of that date each year thereafter, describing this organization’s compliance with this policy during the previous year, which report can be the basis of an evaluation of the effectiveness of this policy by the Board of Directors and a determination as to whether or not additional affirmative action is necessary in light of all the facts.