Harassment Complaint

Frequently Asked Questions​

The County of Sacramento’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office can only accept complaints of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation: 1) from County employees, or 2) against County employees, or 3) complaints of discrimination from people who receive​ County services.

A workplace complaint involves discrimination or harassment claims based on one (or more) protected category. Complaints may also involve allegations of retaliation for engaging in activity, such as filing a discrimination or harassment complaint or being a witness.

Under federal and state law, the protected categories are:

  • Race, color
  • Ancestry, national origin
  • Religion, creed
  • Age (over 40)
  • Disability, mental and physical
  • Sex, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or related medical conditions)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity, gender expression
  • Medical condition
  • Genetic information
  • Marital status
  • Military and veteran status
  • Political Affiliation

Both discrimination and harassment must have a basis of one (or more) of the protected categories.​

Discrimination involves a personnel decision (e.g., hiring, promoting, or terminating an employee), based on an individual’s protected characteristic or status, with the perpetrator such as a supervisor or manager having authority to make a personnel decision.

Harassment is unwelcome conduct of a verbal, visual, or physical nature based on a protected characteristic or status and unreasonably interferes with an individual’s ability to perform one's job. A coworker, supervisor, or non-employee could be perpetrators of harassment.

Additionally, prohibited is discrimination or harassment based on the perception that an individual holds one of the above-mentioned protected characteristics/statuses or based on an individual’s association with a protected characteristic/status.

A “zero tolerance” policy aims to eliminate any undesirable behavior that is based on a protected characteristic. Discriminating against or harassing any County employee, applicant, agent, contractor, or volunteer based on any protected characteristic is prohibited. Therefore, one instance of inappropriate conduct based on a protected category may be a violation of the policy.

​Know the Administrative Policies: 

Speak up when you witness harassment because you will help increase a sense of accountability for maintaining a safe office environment. By not putting a halt to inappropriate behavior, you send a message to others on your team that you condone the behavior. If you do not feel comfortable speaking up, report the behavior to a supervisor, a DPS Human Resources Team Member (Team phone numbers list on the Complaint Guidelines).

Speak up if you feel comfortable doing so. Regardless, report the conduct to any supervisor, manager, a DPS Human Resources Team Member, or view the Complaint Guidelines.

No. Verbal reports are acceptable, yet written complaints are preferable (Review Complaint Guidelines and complete the Online Complaint Form or the MS Word Complaint Form)​, as the County reviews and investigates any report of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.

No, not if the reported behavior would be a violation of County discrimination or harassment policy. Honoring such requests may place other employees at risk of discrimination or harassment, and place the County at risk for failing to take prompt action.

The Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Office reviews whether the Department of Personnel Services has authority to investigate. If so, an HR Service Team representative interviews witnesses, evaluates documents, and concludes whether County policy violation occurred. If a violation of County policy occurred, the perpetrating employee receives corrective action.

If the complaint issues are not based on protected characteristics (EEO related), workplace violence, or a County policy violation, your concerns are forwarded to and addressed by the appropriate department supervisor or manager.

The County is required to provide a work environment free of harassment; thus, it must take any action within its authority to stop harassing behavior regardless of the person’s nonemployee status.

Yes. At the conclusion of an investigation, a findings letter sent to the Complainant or Respondent advises if County policy violation occurred.

No. As personnel record confidentiality exists, a Complainant will not obtain details about a Respondent’s corrective action or discipline.

The County cannot promise complete confidentiality. The County processes complaints as confidentially as possible, but information must be released to individuals who have a need to know in order to conduct a thorough investigation and to carry out due process.

Please contact the EEO Office at EEOOffice@saccounty.gov or (916) 874-7148 to discuss the concern(s).

The County of Sacramento’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office can only accept complaints of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation:

  1. From County employees, 
  2. Against County employees
  3. Or complaints of discrimination from people who receive County services

Supervisor and Management additional FAQs: (It is crucial to encourage an environment free from harassing behavior in the workplace.)​​​