Harassed in the Workplace?  Ferndale DDA Shares Resources to Help

Harassed in the Workplace?  Ferndale DDA Shares Resources to Help

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Sept. 24, 2020)

Ferndale, MI – The Ferndale Downtown Development Authority (DDA) recently compiled a guide to help those who have faced harassment in the workplace.  Be it unwanted sexual advances, racial discrimination, or other offensive acts, there are resources.

“These types of behaviors have no place in Ferndale and we support any employee who uses their voice to speak out against them,” the guide stated.  “This harassment can include but is not limited to: verbal or physical sexual advances, unwelcome physical contact, offensive or degrading language, display of denigrating materials (photos, objects, etc.), or any behavior which an employee has expressed objection to in the past.”

Listed resources are:

State of Michigan – The State of Michigan has a department that is specifically tasked with investigating these claims – The Department of Human Resources Division of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). They MUST investigate all claims received within 180 days of an incident. Confidentiality and privacy will be protected, to the extent provided by law and retaliation against anyone making a complaint is strictly prohibited. Download a copy of the Discriminatory Harassment Complaint Form HERE.

City of Ferndale– Criminal behavior can also be reported to the Ferndale Police Department in person at 310 E 9 Mile Road or by calling the Non-Emergency Line at 248-541-3650, Option #5. If you are unsure about who to contact or if you have questions, you can also reach out to Officer Jillian Mahlmeister (Community Engagement Officer) at 248-584-2596 or jmahlmeister@ferndalepolice.org.

For incidents in other cities, please contact local law enforcement.

Affirmations LGBTQ+ Community Center- If you feel you have been discriminated against based on sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, Affirmations can provide a welcoming space for support. The building is currently closed due to COVID-19, but you can reach them during business hours at (248)-398-7105.

DDA Director Lena Stevens said of the effort “In June, 2020 the Ferndale DDA formally supported the City of Ferndale’s ‘Declaration of Commitment to Antiracism’. We stated that discrimination in any form threatens the vision that the Ferndale DDA has for our downtown. It is our responsibility to put these words into action when we hear that people do not feel welcome. While the DDA does not have the resources to provide direct assistance, we saw an opportunity to remind people about the excellent places they can turn for help and guidance.

“This is an excellent time for organizations like the DDA to discuss what they stand for,” Stevens said.  “The conclusion for the Ferndale DDA this summer has been “We Care.” That means we care about people feeling welcome, safe, and happy to be here.

“This summer has been an amazing time for people and organizations to evaluate what they stand for and evaluate if they are living up to that vision. Everyone has the capacity for growth and change, and that should be encouraged. The Ferndale DDA strives to be a part of making this a welcoming place, and if providing these resources helps one person to use their voice, it’s worth it.”

To learn more about Downtown Ferndale, visit www.DowntownFerndale.com.

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