Anti-Harassment Policy

Purpose

 

Phandeeyar is committed to a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to work in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal employment opportunities and prohibits harassment practices. Phandeeyar expects all relationships among persons in the workplace to operate as a community in order to ensure a harassment-free experience for everyone.

 

Definition of the Scope

 

This policy applies to incidents of harassment by the community. This policy protects the rights of Phandeeyar staff internally, and also governs the behavior of staff when interacting with the community when in an official or implied role as a Phandeeyar representative.

 

Community:

  1. Phandeeyar employees;
  2. Volunteers, contractors, board members, coworking members, event participants, or anyone interacting with Phandeeyar employees in their professional capacity.

Spaces: Phandeeyar’s office spaces inside and outside of Phandeeyar as well as online and offline (e.g., this applies to all forms of communication including email, Slack, Trello, Facebook, as well as in-person interactions).

 

Response Team: The team that will be receiving the reports. The team will be triggered when:

  1. Someone (victims and/ or whistleblower) files a complaint about harassment,
  2. A member of the RESPONSE TEAM observes a harassment incident.

 

Response Team member : Human Resources Team Members and a member of Phandeeyar Board as a representative of third-party.

 

The RESPONSE TEAM reserves the right to exclude people from Phandeeyar based on their past behavior, including behavior outside of Phandeeyar spaces and behavior towards people who are not working at Phandeeyar.

Whistleblower: A whistleblower is a person who exposes any kind of information or activity that is deemed illegal, unethical, or not correct within an organization that is either private or public.

 

Equal opportunity: It is Phandeeyar’s policy to ensure equal employment opportunity without harassment on the basis of any characteristic outlined above, or protected by law.

Policy statement

 

This code of conduct applies to all Phandeeyar spaces. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from these spaces by the RESPONSE TEAM.

 

Some Phandeeyar spaces may have additional rules in place, which will be made clearly available to participants. Participants are responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules.

 

Harassment: is any form of behaviour intimidating a person or making them feel unwelcome or uncomfortable, and interactions with a person after they have made it clear that further interaction is unwelcome.

 

The following behaviors are examples of harassment prohibited by Phandeeyar:

  • Discriminating comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion.
  • Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment.
  • Deliberate misgendering or use of rejected names (repeatedly using a former, rejected name for someone after informed not to use).
  • Uncalled for or off-topic sexual images or behaviour in spaces.
  • Physical contact and simulated physical contact (e.g., textual descriptions like “*hug*” or “*backrub*”) without consent or after a request to stop.
  • Threats of violence.
  • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm.
  • Deliberate intimidation.
  • Stalking or following.
  • Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes.
  • Sustained disruption of discussion.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others.
  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.
  • Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent except as necessary to protect vulnerable people from intentional abuse.

Phandeeyar prioritizes people’s safety over people’s comfort. The RESPONSE TEAM reserves the right not to act on complaints regarding :

  • Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you.”
  • Communicating in a ‘tone’ you don’t find congenial

Reporting Steps

 

If you are being harassed by a member of the Community, or notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns:

 

  1. Please go to phandeeyar.org/whistleblower or fill out (ANTI-HARASSMENT REPORT FORM).
  2. If the report is ONLY to be sent to the Phandeeyar board, please email to board in Anti-Harassment Report Form.

 

If the person who is harassing you is on the RESPONSE TEAM, the team will recuse them from handling your incident. Or please send out the report template to Board. We will respond as promptly as possible.

 

You are encouraged to inform the harasser directly that we do not tolerate harassment. Employees should also report harassment to management at an early stage to prevent its escalation.

 

Anonymity of the reports: Reports of harassment may be submitted anonymously and we will review the validity of every report. However, in order for the RESPONSE TEAM to conduct a full investigation, we strongly urge the complainant to provide contact information so we can follow up. Full information and details about reporting procedures can be found in the ANTI-HARASSMENT REPORT FORM and RESPONSE TEAM PROTOCOLS.

 

Anti-harassment Community: If you are part of the Phandeeyar community, you should take steps to make it clear that harassment is unwelcome within it and to respond to reports of harassment. Phandeeyar is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone and we do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form.

 

Responsibilities of Phandeeyar

RESPONSE TEAM acts in good faith to assess, investigate, report, and resolve all ethical concerns in a timely manner.

  1. Assessment/Investigation: RESPONSE TEAM will conduct an assessment and/or investigation according to the Investigation Process that is outlined in our  Response Team Protocols. Without exception, Phandeeyar Representatives must not investigate any suspected unethical behavior on their own.
  2. Privacy and Confidentiality: RESPONSE TEAM will ensure privacy and confidentiality for witnesses and those falsely accused, and the accuracy of related data and testimony. We respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse. At our discretion, we may publicly name a person about whom we’ve received harassment complaints, or privately warn third parties about them. We will not name harassed victims without their affirmative consents.
  3. Education and reporting: Phandeeyar will take the following steps to help educate staff about this policy and to support reporting of prohibited behavior including:
    1. All advertising for job applicants includes the statement “An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V.”
    2. All Phandeeyar employees receive an introduction to this policy during onboarding.

Protection from retaliation: Phandeeyar considers harassment to be an ethical violation and requires reporting of all perceived incidents of harassment.

 

  1. We reserve the right to reject any report we believe to have been made in bad faith. Reports intended to silence legitimate criticism may be deleted without response.
  2. Phandeeyar prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports harassment or participates in an investigation of such reports. If a complaint of retaliation is substantiated, appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination without severance pay, will be taken.
  3. False and malicious complaints of harassment or retaliation (as opposed to erroneous reports made in good faith) may be the subject of disciplinary action.

Consequences

 

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.If a participant engages in harassing behavior, RESPONSE TEAM will take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including expulsion from all Phandeeyar spaces and identification of the participant as a harasser to other Phandeeyar members or the general public.