1. Key Realty Knowledge Base
  2. Key Realty Policy Manual

Section 13: Agent Conduct

13.1 Conduct

13.2 Harassment Policy & Complaint Procedure


13.1 Conduct

13.1.1 Alcohol

Consumption of alcohol when working is inappropriate. No member of our firm should come to their office under the influence of alcohol. While alcohol is available at certain Key events, we do not provide it cost-free and encourage only moderate and responsible consumption of alcohol. 


13.1.2 Conduct in the Key Office Environment 

It is the responsibility of each sales associate to, at all times, conduct himself/herself in a manner that will reflect favorably on the Company and fellow associates.


13.1.3 Cooperation with Other Brokers

The real estate industry, by design, is a highly cooperative business.  The information must be shared to facilitate the marketing and sale of real estate.  Therefore, it is in the best interest of our clients and our industry for agents to adopt an attitude of cooperation and information sharing. Of course, confidential client information should not be shared.


13.1.4 Dress  

When on real estate business or attending all company functions including company-sponsored continuing education and training, all associates are expected to wear at a minimum, business casual attire. 


13.1.5 Gossip

In the workplace, gossip is an activity that can drain, distract and reduce job satisfaction. We all have participated in this, yet most of us say we don’t like it. 


Definition of gos·sip: 

Noun: Rumor or talk of a personal, sensational, or intimate nature. A person who habitually spreads intimate or private rumors or facts. Trivial, chatty talk or writing. 

Verb: To talk idly, especially about the affairs of others; go about tattling.


You will notice that gossip is a noun or verb - which means it is something you are or DO. That also means that is something you choose to do – and you can choose NOT to do it. You enter into gossip by choice – you can opt-out of this activity at work. Ending gossip means ending a particular type of communications – and that can be a talk or email communications. 

  • Gossip always involves a person who is not present. 
  • Unwelcome and negative gossip involves criticizing another person 
  • Gossip often is about conjecture that can injure another person’s credibility, reputation.

In order to create a more professional workplace, gossiping about other agents, clients, supervisors, and managers are prohibited.


13.2 Harassment Policy & Complaint Procedure


13.2.1 Outline of Policy

This anti-harassment policy and complaint procedure applies to all employees, agents and other individuals working for the company. The policy addresses discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, retaliation and consensual romantic relationships occurring between managers or supervisors and employees or agents of Key Realty. It outlines Key Realty’s objective in maintaining the policy and describes prohibited conduct in detail. The policy includes examples of conduct that would be considered in violation of the policy and its consequences. The policy contains a detailed complaint process and emphasizes the importance of confidentiality.


13.2.2 Policy Objective

Key Realty strives to create and maintain a work environment in which people are treated with dignity, decency, and respect. The environment of the company should be characterized by mutual trust and the absence of intimidation, oppression, and exploitation. Employees and agents should be able to work and learn in a safe, yet stimulating atmosphere. The accomplishment of this goal is essential to the mission of the company. For that reason, Key Realty will not tolerate unlawful discrimination or harassment of any kind. Through enforcement of this policy and by the education of employees and agents, the company will seek to prevent, correct and discipline behavior that violates this policy.


All employees and agents, regardless of their positions, are covered by and are expected to comply with this policy and to take appropriate measures to ensure that prohibited conduct does not occur. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against any employee or agent who violates this policy. Based on the seriousness of the offense, disciplinary action may include verbal or written reprimand, suspension or termination of employment.


13.2.3 Prohibited Conduct Under This Policy

Key Realty, in compliance with all applicable federal, state and local anti-discrimination and harassment laws and regulations, enforces this policy in accordance with the following definitions and guidelines: Discrimination

It is a violation of Key Realty’s policy to discriminate in the provision of employment or affiliation opportunities, benefits or privileges; to create discriminatory work conditions; or to use discriminatory evaluative standards in employment or affiliation if the basis of that discriminatory treatment is, in whole or in part, the person’s race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information or marital status.

Discrimination of this kind may also be strictly prohibited by a variety of federal, state and local laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This policy is intended to comply with the prohibitions stated in these anti-discrimination laws.

Discrimination in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary measures up to and including termination. Harassment

Key Realty prohibits harassment, including sexual harassment, of any kind, and will take appropriate and immediate action in response to complaints or knowledge of violations of this policy. For purposes of this policy, harassment is any verbal or physical conduct designed to threaten, intimidate or coerce an employee, agent, co-worker or any person working for or on behalf of Key Realty. Verbal taunting (including racial and ethnic slurs) that, in the employee’s opinion, impairs his or her ability to perform his or her job is included in the definition of harassment.


The following examples of harassment are intended to be guidelines and are not exclusive when determining whether there has been a violation of this policy:

Verbal harassment includes comments that are offensive or unwelcome regarding a person’s nationality, origin, race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, body, disability or appearance, including epithets, slurs and negative stereotyping.


Nonverbal harassment includes distribution, display or discussion of any written or graphic material that ridicules, denigrates, insults, belittles or shows hostility, aversion or disrespect toward an individual or group because of national origin, race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, appearance, disability, sexual identity, marital or other protected status. Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and is prohibited under Key Realty’s anti-harassment policy. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment is defined as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions or such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.


There are two types of sexual harassment:

1.) “Quid pro quo” harassment, where submission to harassment is used as the basis for employment decisions. Employee benefits such as raises, promotions and better working hours are directly linked to compliance with sexual advances. Therefore, only someone in a supervisory capacity (with the authority to grant such benefits) can engage in quid pro quo harassment. Examples: A supervisor promising an employee a raise if they go on a date with them; a manager telling an employee they will fire him if they do not have sex with them.


2.) “Hostile work environment,” where the harassment creates an offensive and unpleasant working environment. A hostile work environment can be created by anyone in the work environment, whether it be supervisors, other employees, managers, agents or customers. Hostile environment harassment consists of verbiage of a sexual nature, unwelcome sexual materials or even unwelcome physical contact as a regular part of the work environment. Texts, emails, cartoons or posters of a sexual nature; vulgar or lewd comments or jokes; or unwanted touching or fondling all fall into this category.


Sexual harassment occurs when unsolicited and unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature:

  • It is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment.
  • It is used as a basis for an employment decision.
  • Unreasonably interferes with an employee’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or otherwise offensive environment.


Sexual harassment may take different forms. The following examples of sexual harassment are intended to be guidelines and are not exclusive when determining whether there has been a violation of this policy:

1.) Verbal sexual harassment includes innuendoes, suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propositions, lewd remarks and threats; requests for any type of sexual favor (this includes repeated, unwelcome requests for dates); and verbal abuse or “kidding” that is oriented toward a prohibitive form of harassment, including that which is sexual in nature and unwelcome.


2.) Nonverbal sexual harassment includes the distribution, display or discussion of any written or graphic material, including calendars, posters, and cartoons that are sexually suggestive or show hostility toward an individual or group because of sex; suggestive or insulting sounds; leering; staring; whistling; obscene gestures; content in letters and notes, facsimiles, e-mail, photos, text messages, tweets, and Internet postings; or other forms of communication that is sexual in nature and offensive.


3.) Physical sexual harassment includes unwelcome, unwanted physical contact, including touching, tickling, pinching, patting, brushing up against, hugging, cornering, kissing and fondling and forced sexual intercourse or assault.

Courteous, mutually respectful, pleasant, noncoercive interactions between employees, including men and women, that are appropriate in the workplace and acceptable to and welcomed by both parties are not considered to be harassment, including sexual harassment. Retaliation

No hardship, loss, benefit/penalty may be imposed on an agent or employee in response to:

  • Filing or responding to a bona fide complaint of discrimination or harassment.
  • Appearing as a witness in the investigation of a complaint.
  • Serving as an investigator of a complaint.
  • Retaliation or attempted retaliation in response to lodging a complaint or invoking the complaint process is a violation of this policy. Any person who is found to have violated this aspect of the policy will be subject to sanctions up to and including termination of employment.


13.2.4 Consensual Romantic or Sexual Relationships

Key Realty strongly discourages romantic or sexual relationships between a manager or other supervisory employee and agents or employees because such relationships tend to create compromising conflicts of interest or the appearance of such conflicts. In addition, such a relationship may give rise to the perception by others that there is favoritism or bias in employment or agent decisions affecting the staff employee or agent. 

13.2.5 Complaint Process

Key Realty will courteously treat any person who invokes this complaint procedure, and the company will handle all complaints swiftly and confidentially to the extent possible in light of the need to take appropriate corrective action. Lodging a complaint will in no way be used against the employee or agent or have an adverse impact on the individual’s independent contractor or agent status. Because of the damaging nature of harassment to the victims and to the entire workforce, aggrieved employees or agents are strongly urged to use this procedure. However, filing groundless or malicious complaints is an abuse of this policy and will be treated as a violation.

13.2.6 Confidentiality

Individuals wishing to discuss an incident confidentially or seeking information and advice of a personal nature are encouraged to contact Key management. 


During the complaint process, the confidentiality of the information received, the privacy of the individuals involved and the wishes of the complaining person will be protected to as great a degree as is legally possible. The expressed wishes of the complaining person for confidentiality will be considered in the context of the company’s legal obligation to act on the charge and the right of the charged party to obtain information. In most cases, however, confidentiality will be strictly maintained by the company and those involved in the investigation. In addition, any notes or documents written by or received by the person(s) conducting the investigation will be kept confidential to the extent possible and according to any existing state or federal law.

13.2.7 Complaint procedure

Key Realty has established the following procedure for lodging a complaint of harassment, discrimination or retaliation. The company will treat all aspects of the procedure confidentially to the extent reasonably possible.

An individual who feels harassed, discriminated or retaliated against may initiate the complaint process by filing a complaint in writing with Key Realty management. No formal action will be taken against any person under this policy unless Key Realty management has received a written and signed complaint containing sufficient details to determine if the policy may have been violated. If a supervisor, broker or manager becomes aware that harassment or discrimination is occurring, either from personal observation or as a result of an employee’s coming forward, it should be immediately reported it to the broker or manager.


Upon receiving a complaint or being advised by a broker or manager that violation of this policy may be occurring, Key Realty management will review the complaint with the company’s legal counsel.


Key management will notify the person(s) charged [hereafter referred to as “respondent(s)”] of a complaint and initiate the investigation to determine whether there is a reasonable basis for believing that the alleged violation of this policy occurred.


During the investigation, Key management, together with legal counsel or other management employees, will interview the complainant, the respondent, and any witnesses to determine whether the alleged conduct occurred.


The person conducting the investigation on behalf of Key Realty will conclude the investigation and submit a written report of his or her findings to the company.


If it is determined that harassment or discrimination in violation of this policy has occurred, appropriate action will be taken. The appropriate action will depend on the following factors:

a.) the severity, frequency, and pervasiveness of the conduct; 

b.) prior complaints made by the complainant; 

c.) prior complaints made against the respondent; and 

  1. ) the quality of the evidence (e.g., first-hand knowledge, credible corroboration)

If the investigation is inconclusive or if it is determined that there has been no violation of policy but potentially problematic conduct may have occurred, Key management will initiate appropriate preventive action.


Key management will then meet with the complainant and the respondent separately, notify them of the findings of the investigation and inform them of the action being recommended.

The complainant and the respondent may submit statements to Key management challenging the factual basis of the findings. Any such statement must be submitted no later than five working days after the meeting with Key management in which the findings of the investigation are discussed.


Key management and/or legal counsel will then meet with the complainant and respondent, the company will review the investigative report and any statements submitted by the complainant or respondent, discuss results of the investigation with other management staff as may be appropriate, and decide what action, if any, will be taken. Key management will report the company’s decision to the complainant, the respondent, and the appropriate management. The company’s decision will be in writing and will include findings of fact and a statement for or against disciplinary action. If disciplinary action is to be taken, the respondent will be informed of the nature of the discipline and how it will be executed.

13.2.8 Alternative legal remedies

Nothing in this policy may prevent the complainant or the respondent from pursuing formal legal remedies or resolution through local, state or federal agencies or the courts.