Equal Opportunity Policy

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Equal Opportunity Statement

The purpose of the TEXAS RIOGRANDE LEGAL AID, INC. (TRLA) Equal Opportunity Policy is to assure the right of all persons to work in, participate in, and receive the assistance provided by TRLA without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or AIDS-related illness. The policy protects (1) any person being served by or seeking the assistance of the program, (2) any person employed by, or seeking employment by, the program, and (3) any person participating on a program Board, advisory or planning committee.

Equal Opportunity Policy

IT IS A POLICY OF TRLA TO RECRUIT, HIRE, TRAIN, AND PROMOTE PERSONS IN ALL JOB CLASSIFICATIONS, WITHOUT REGARD TO RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, SEX, NATIONAL ORIGIN, AGE, DISABILITY, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY OR EXPRESSION, OR AIDS-RELATED ILLNESS. IT IS ALSO THE POLICY OF THIS ORGANIZATION TO ADMINISTER ALL ITS SERVICES TO ITS ELIGIBLE CLIENTS WITHOUT REGARD TO THE PREVIOUSLY STATED CRITERIA.

Affirmative Action Program Policy

TRLA WILL ADMINISTER ALL PERSONNEL MATTERS WITHOUT REGARD TO RACE, SEX, RELIGION, COLOR, NATIONAL ORIGIN, AGE, DISABILITY, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY OR EXPRESSION OR AIDS-RELATED ILLNESS. It is the purpose of TRLA to abide by its affirmative action plan in that all employment related decisions will be designed to further the principles of equal opportunity. These matters include compensation, transfers, layoffs, recall from layoffs, TRLA sponsored trainings, TRLA sponsored education, and all other related employment benefits.

When any position for employment is available, TRLA will seek qualified applicants without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or AIDS-related illness. In addition to following the guidelines of Sections 1006(b)(6) and 1007(a)(8) of the Legal Services Corporation Act, and Part 1616 of the Corporation Regulations, TRLA will abide by the following guidelines in recruitment:

1. Advertisements will be placed in media chosen to reach qualified persons, including minorities and women. All employment advertisements will contain the phrase “Equal Opportunity Employer”.

2. All recruitment materials distributed by TRLA shall include the following statement: “TEXAS RIOGRANDE LEGAL AID IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER AND DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE ON THE BASIS OF RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, SEX, NATIONAL ORIGIN, AGE, DISABILITY, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY OR EXPRESSION, OR AIDS-RELATED ILLNESS.”

3. TRLA employment applications will notify applicants that discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or AIDS-related illness is prohibited by this agency.

In hiring, placement, and promotion of applicants and employees, TRLA will make decisions on the basis of individual ability and performance, and the staffing needs of TRLA consistent with the commitment to equal opportunity that is set forth in this statement of equal opportunity policies. All hiring, placement, and promotional activities will be periodically reviewed by TRLA to assure that full consideration, as required by program policy, has been given to all qualified minority and women applicants and employees.

All compensation and fringe benefits, including access to training and educational programs for employees of TRLA, will be determined without regard to race, sex, religion, color, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or AIDS-related illness.

TRLA will not tolerate harassment against any individual, whether employee or client, based on race, sex, religion, color, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or AIDS-related illness.

This agency has assigned the overall responsibility for equal opportunity implementation to the Director of Administration. This person will provide assurances as may be requested to confirm that such a plan is being implemented. The Director of Administration will consult periodically with a designated staff person from the Texas Legal Services Union, Local No. 2, UAW/65 to assist in reviewing the Affirmative Action Program.

TRLA will adopt the applicable parts of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between TRLA and TLSU in addressing discrimination-related grievances of staff. Eligible TRLA clients will be afforded the client complaint procedure for pursuing complaints based on a violation of this statement. Other complaints will be afforded the TRLA non-client (non-employee) complaint procedure as is described in the TRLA Personnel Policy Manual.

It is the policy of TRLA to make available information concerning TRLA’s participation in the Affirmative Action Program to all employees, applicants for employment, and the general public through such means as:

(a) posting the equal opportunity policy statement and federal equal employment opportunity posters in employee lounges and/or bulletin boards, etc;

(b) inclusion of information on equal opportunity and Affirmative Action in new employee orientation materials;

(c) training employees on these policies, including how respond to harassment and bullying in all forms;

(d) noting that TRLA is an “Equal Opportunity Employer” in job descriptions, advertisements and recruiting materials, and;

(e) establishing a practice, when possible, of contracting with equal opportunity employers.