The USO is committed to complying with all applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It is the policy of the USO not to discriminate against any qualified employee, applicant or volunteer with regard to any terms or conditions of employment or volunteer engagement because of such individual's disability or perceived disability, so long as the employee or volunteer can perform the essential functions of the job. Consistent with this policy of nondiscrimination, the USO will provide reasonable accommodations to a qualified individual with a disability, as defined by the ADA, who has made the USO aware of his/her disability, provided that such accommodation does not constitute an undue hardship on the USO.
Volunteers with a disability who believe they need a reasonable accommodation to perform the essential functions of their job should contact their supervisor or center director. The USO encourages individuals with disabilities to come forward and request reasonable accommodation.
Upon receipt of an accommodation request, the volunteer’s supervisor will meet with the volunteer to discuss and identify the precise limitations resulting from the disability and the potential accommodation that the USO might make to help overcome those limitations. The USO will determine the feasibility of the requested accommodation considering various factors, including, but not limited to the nature and cost of the accommodation, the availability of tax credits and deductions, outside funding, the USO’s overall financial resources, and the accommodation's impact on the operation of the USO, including its impact on the ability of other employees or volunteers to perform their duties and on the USO’s ability to conduct business.
The USO will inform the volunteer of its decision on the accommodation request. If the accommodation request is denied, volunteers will be advised of their right to appeal the decision by submitting a written statement to their supervisor, center director, and the Director of Volunteer Services explaining the reasons for the request. If the request on appeal is denied, that decision is final.
The ADA does not require the USO to make the best possible accommodation, to reallocate essential job functions, or to provide personal use items (i.e., eyeglasses, hearing aids, wheelchairs etc.).
A volunteer who has questions regarding this policy or believes that he or she has been discriminated against based on a disability should notify their supervisor, center director, executive leadership in the case of chartered centers, or the Director of Volunteer Services in Arlington, VA. All such inquiries or complaints will be treated as confidential to the extent permissible by law.
The USO does not discriminate against volunteers, employees, or applicants living with or affected by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) or AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). The USO recognizes that HIV and AIDS pose significant and sensitive issues for the workplace, and treats HIV infection and AIDS as medical conditions in accordance with our policy on Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. HIV status will not influence decisions about engaging or terminating a volunteer.
Volunteers living with or affected by HIV infection and AIDS, like those with any other illness, will be treated with compassion and understanding. Coworker concerns will be handled in an educational fashion, in accordance with our guiding principles and values. Coworkers are expected to continue their working relationship with any volunteer or employee who has HIV infection or AIDS. Coworkers who refuse to work with, withhold services from, harass, or otherwise discriminate against a volunteer or employee with HIV infection or AIDS will be subject to the same disciplinary actions that would be applied to other policy violations.
An employee’s or volunteer’s health condition is private and confidential. The USO does not require HIV testing for current employees, volunteers, or applicants, and under no circumstances will an employee’s or volunteer’s health status be revealed to a third party without the employee’s or volunteer’s consent. An employee or volunteer with HIV/AIDS is under no obligation to disclose his/her condition to a manager or any other employee or volunteer of the organization. Supervisors are expected to take careful precautions to protect the confidentiality of information regarding any employee’s or volunteer’s health condition, including an employee or volunteer with AIDS or HIV infection.
Volunteers living with HIV/AIDS, and those who have any related concerns, should feel free to confidentially discuss any issues regarding this policy with their supervisor, center director, executive leadership in the case of chartered centers, or the Director of Volunteer Services in Arlington, VA.
The USO will not tolerate any form of harassment in the workplace and is committed to providing a work environment that fosters mutual respect and working relationships free of harassment, including harassment based on race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, age, national or ethnic origin, disability, or military status. This policy specifically prohibits any form of harassment by or toward employees, volunteers, contractors, suppliers, or users of USO services and facilities.
Under this policy, harassment is any verbal or physical conduct based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, or retaliation that has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment; unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance; or affecting an individual's employment opportunities. Harassment will not be tolerated. Forms of harassment include, but are not limited to, unwelcome verbal or physical advances and sexually, racially, or otherwise derogatory or discriminatory materials, statements, or remarks. All employees, including supervisors and managers, as well as volunteers, will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or volunteer service, for any act of harassment.
Individuals who believe they have been subjected to harassment should report the incident to their supervisor, higher management, or the Director of Volunteer Services immediately. All complaints will be investigated promptly and as confidentially as possible and corrective action, up to and including termination of employment or volunteer service, will be taken when warranted. Any volunteer, employee or supervisor who observes or becomes aware of harassment should advise his/her supervisor, higher management, or the Director of Volunteer Services immediately. All complaints and concerns should be brought forward right away so that appropriate steps to address them can be taken in a timely manner.
No one reporting a problem concerning possible acts of harassment will be retaliated against in any manner for having done so in good faith. Anyone engaging in any form of retaliatory action against another person for exercising rights under this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or volunteer service.
Volunteers with questions about what constitutes harassing behavior should be directed to their supervisor, center director, executive leadership in the case of chartered centers, or the Director of Volunteer Services in Arlington, VA.
The USO strives to provide a safe workplace for all employees and volunteers, and does not tolerate any type of workplace violence committed by or against employees or volunteers. Threats, threatening conduct, or any other acts of aggression or violence in the workplace will not be tolerated. Any employee or volunteer determined to have committed such acts will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Anyone engaged in violent acts on the USO’s premises will be reported to the proper authorities and fully prosecuted.
While not inclusive, the following list provides examples of prohibited behaviors:
Any potentially dangerous situations must be reported immediately to a supervisor, center director, and executive leadership in the case of chartered centers with governing boards. All reported incidents will be investigated. Reports or incidents warranting confidentiality will be handled appropriately and information will be disclosed to others only on a need-to-know basis. All parties involved in a situation will be counseled and the results of investigations will be discussed with them. The USO will actively intervene at any indication of a possibly hostile or violent situation.
The USO strives to maintain a work environment free from the harmful effects of alcohol and drugs. In recognition of the serious consequences to the USO, its employees and volunteers, and the communities it serves (and pursuant to the provisions of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988), all employees and volunteers are subject to the following:
Note: The USO complies with all DOT laws governing drug testing for those assigned to USO mobile units.
The USO is dedicated to providing a safe, healthy, and productive work environment for all its employees, volunteers, visitors, and other individuals associated with the USO. In an effort to promote the health and welfare of all individuals, the USO will take all steps necessary to ensure a clean and healthful atmosphere in all worksites by maintaining a smoke-free workplace. Employees, volunteers, and visitors are permitted to smoke in designated areas and are expected to use receptacles placed in the designated smoking areas when disposing of their smoking materials.
A volunteer’s dress, grooming, and personal hygiene should be appropriate to the work situation so as to present a consistent, professional, and business-like image to internal and external customers. Provocative attire is not permitted. Each USO center, event, or office setting may require a standard uniform or recommended attire. Some volunteer assignments may require a particular dress code in order to promote safety and public health such as wearing close-toed shoes, donning hair nets, or wearing rubber gloves. Volunteers are expected to adhere to the standards and requirements established for each assignment or office setting in order to promote safety, health, and the integrity of the USO.
Any volunteer who does not meet the standards of this policy may be asked to refrain from service at that time if their dress does not convey the appropriate image of the USO or if it compromises the volunteer’s or other’s safety.
Food plays an important role in the services the organization delivers as a kind of “ritual” of comfort and fellowship. Since many USO Centers, Mobile Canteens and special events provide food such as snacks, fruit and hot dogs to USO guests, it is imperative that we assure the health and well-being of our customers through safe food handling practices. If your assignment includes working with food, it is critical to be aware that each state and municipality has strict laws on how food may be handled in a public setting. Some forms of food preparation, handling, and distribution can be done only with proper training and certification. Volunteers are expected abide by all state laws when preparing, handling, and distributing food to USO customers including wearing hair nets and latex gloves, utilizing serving utensils, washing hands frequently, and any other laws or guidelines imposed by local or state health departments.
The safety and health of our constituents is a top priority. Failure by volunteers to follow proper food handling regulations and practices is not an acceptable practice. For more information about local and state food handling laws and practices, consult your supervisor or center director.
The USO encourages volunteers to raise questions or address problems concerning their service and expects that this will be done in a professional manner.
If a conflict arises, volunteers should take their issues or concerns first to their immediate staff supervisor, and if the matter is not resolved, then they should take their concerns to their department head or center director. USO staff will investigate and attempt to resolve well-founded volunteer concerns as appropriate.
Every effort should be made to resolve issues promptly and at the most immediate staff supervisory level possible. Dispute resolution may include, but not be limited to, discussions between volunteers, their staff supervisors, center or department head, or executive leadership in the case of chartered centers with governing boards.
If disputes come to the Director of Volunteer Services, the Director may recommend additional action, send the dispute back to the center for further examination, support staff decisions, or take no further action. The decision of the Director of Volunteer Services shall be final.