(1) The executive branch is committed to equal opportunity, nondiscrimination, and harassment prevention in all aspects of employment and in programs, services, and activities offered to the public.

(2) Agency managers, as defined by the agency in policy or rule to promote consistency with internal policies and procedures, may not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on an individual's race, color, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, religion, creed, sex, pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, political beliefs, genetic information, military service or veteran's status, culture, social origin or condition, or ancestry. Likewise, agency management may not tolerate discrimination or harassment because of a person's marriage to or association with individuals in one of the previously mentioned protected classes.

(3) Agency managers may use a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) where the reasonable demands of a position require a distinction based on age, physical or mental disability, marital status, sex, religion, or national origin. A BFOQ is a legal exception to an otherwise discriminatory hiring practice. Exceptions are strictly construed, as provided in 49-2-303, MCA, and the burden rests with the agency to demonstrate the exemption should be granted. Federal and state laws prohibit BFOQs based on race or color.

(4) To promote a work and customer service environment free from discrimination, agency managers shall:

(a) base hiring decisions on individual competencies and qualifications;

(b) promote an inclusive work environment where individuals are afforded every opportunity to reach their fullest potential;

(c) recognize individual differences as a key element of organizational and team success;

(d) treat individuals with dignity and respect; and

(e) value the rights of all Montanans to benefit from equal access to employment and programs, services, and activities offered to the public.

(5) Agency managers who observe behaviors that may be viewed as discriminatory shall stop the behavior and notify their agency's EEO officer, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator, or human resources manager.

History: 2-18-102, MCA; IMP, 2-18-102, MCA; NEW, 2000 MAR p. 3515, Eff. 12/22/00; AMD, 2011 MAR p. 1672, Eff. 8/26/11; AMD, 2016 MAR p. 1838, Eff. 10/15/16.