CenterPoint Energy provides a workplace in which everyone may participate and contribute. Each of us plays a critical role in creating a fair and diverse workplace.
We follow federal and state labor and employment laws. We do not tolerate unlawful discrimination of any kind. We are committed to fair, lawful, and effective human resources policies and practices in all aspects of employment, including: recruitment, hiring, evaluation, training, career development, performance evaluation, compensation, promotion, disciplinary action, and dismissal.
You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect, without regard to race, sex, sexual orientation, color, religion, creed, national origin, age, disability, citizenship, marital status, or status as a veteran. CNP will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals who are disabled. You will not be subject to retaliation for reporting a situation that you believe violates this policy.
CenterPoint Energy attracts and hires people who wish to excel. We make hiring and promotion decisions based solely on our business needs and the individual’s qualifications to do the job at hand.
Remember these key points:
- If you need a workplace accommodation, discuss your needs with your supervisor and Human Resources.
- Speak up if you feel that you have been discriminated against or if you witness discrimination against others.
- Review your decisions to ensure that merit drives your actions – not bias.
We have zero tolerance for harassment, discrimination, or other abusive conduct. Each of us is responsible for promoting a courteous, respectful, and professional work environment. Our employees, customers, vendors, and suppliers should be treated with respect, courtesy, and dignity. Unwelcome, insulting, or offensive remarks or intimidating behavior have no place at CNP.
Harassment is behavior that unreasonably disrupts another person in his or her work because of that person’s race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, citizenship, marital status, or status as a veteran. Each of us has the right to be free from improper conduct at work.
Even small, innocent actions can create an environment that may be offensive to others. In some cases, harassment and discrimination can be subtle and difficult to identify. Be alert to your own behavior.
Sexual harassment is the most common form of harassment. It violates our company’s policies.
QUESTION: Someone put an off-color joke on the bulletin board in the break room. Several of us thought it was offensive. When we complained to our supervisor, she said we were being “too sensitive.” What should we do now?
ANSWER: Your supervisor should not have ignored your complaint. Report the incident to Human Resources, another manager, or call the Concerns Helpline.
Sexual harassment can occur under many different circumstances, especially when:
- Requests for dates, sexual favors, or other similar conduct of a sexual nature serve as the basis for employment decisions.
- An intimidating, offensive, or hostile work environment results from sexual advances, inappropriate comments, offensive jokes, or other insulting behavior.
- Sexually suggestive, vulgar, or derogatory pictures, cartoons, drawings, or e-mails are present in the workplace.
To maintain a work atmosphere free of harassment, you should:
- Exercise good judgment in your relationships with co-workers and vendors.
- Avoid offensive or sexually explicit language in all of your communications.
- Be willing to see a situation from the other person’s perspective.
Violence in the Workplace
We provide a safe workplace for everyone. We will not tolerate workplace violence or threats of any kind – whether committed by or against our employees. This includes acts or threats of violence, intimidation, bullying, assault, or aggressive conduct. Threatening behavior includes spoken or written words, as well as actions.
You should report threatening situations immediately to your supervisor, Security, Human Resources, or the Concerns Helpline.
We prohibit weapons on our property, in company or personal vehicles, and wherever we conduct business, unless state laws differ. We act promptly to investigate and reduce threats of workplace violence. We reserve the right to search personal property and to keep our workplaces safe for everyone.
The following behaviors are prohibited:
- Making threatening remarks or gestures
- Causing physical injury to someone else
- Intentionally damaging someone else’s property
- Acting aggressively in a way that causes someone to fear injury
QUESTION: I just learned that one of my employees has accused me of sexual harassment. What is going to happen?
ANSWER: We take reports of sexual harassment very seriously. You will be formally notified of the complaint and given a chance to tell your side of the story. After a full investigation, we will review the facts, the seriousness of the conduct, any past warnings, and the credibility of those involved, before taking action. If we conclude that you did not harass the complaining employee, we will notify you. If we conclude that harassment did occur, we will take appropriate disciplinary action.
Substance abuse negatively impacts productivity, attendance, and on-the-job safety. We expect our workplaces to be free from the effects of illegal drug use and alcohol abuse. We expect your full concentration while on the job. You must be able to perform your job free from the effects of prohibited drugs or alcohol.
We reserve the right to search personal and company property, enforce our rules, and test employees for all types of substance abuse. Our workplaces have specific prevention procedures to meet our rules and collective bargaining agreements.
While on the job, on company property, at a customer site, or in company vehicles, you may not:
- Abuse alcohol
- Use, sell, or possess illegal drugs, controlled substances, or prescription drugs contrary to your doctor’s orders
An employee who reports to work under the influence of, or is unfit to work because of the effects of alcohol or illegal drugs is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination from employment.
QUESTION: I just returned from a party where I was drinking. What if I’m not on call, but am asked to work during an emergency?
ANSWER: You should inform the person who called you back to work. If your judgment is impaired, it is not safe for you to drive, work in a safety sensitive area, or make important decisions. You should not work this emergency if you have been drinking.
QUESTION: I want to apply for an opening in another district. I have the skills and experience, but the rumor on the street is that the local manager will hire someone younger. Should I apply?
ANSWER: The only way the hiring manager will know you are interested in this job is if you apply. The job should go to the person whose qualifications and skills best fit our needs. Factors that are not job related – like age – should not be considered. If you believe you are being subject to unlawful discrimination, contact Human Resources.