Hacker Dojo Harassment Policy
Hacker Dojo is committed to providing a safe and welcoming place for everyone to meet and hack; each one of us, including staff, members and visitors, are responsible for creating a respectful environment, free of harassment, intimidation, bias and unlawful discrimination. Hacker Dojo does not tolerate any behavior that (i) disrupts or interferes with another person’s rightful use of the Dojo or (ii) creates an intimidating, offensive or hostile environment. To that end, the Board of Directors of Hacker Dojo (the “Board”) has created this policy to help us all comply with the law and maintain a safe, positive work environment.
This policy protects everyone who comes to the Dojo and applies regardless of whether an employee, member or visitor is engaging in harassing conduct. If you witness or experience behavior that you believe to be harassment, you should report it a staff member or to the Ombudsperson (as detailed below). Know that if you make a report of harassment in good faith, you will be protected by the Hacker Dojo’s Non-Retaliation Policy (also detailed below). The Dojo will comprehensively investigate any conduct that is alleged to be harassing, and if it determines that a violation of this policy has occurred, we will take appropriate actions to protect against future violations.
What is Harassment?
Behavior that targets an individual and repeatedly makes them feel unsafe or unwelcome specifically because of their age, gender, sex, orientation, race, nationality, origin, or religion may be a violation of that person’s civil rights and it may violate this harassment policy. California law defines harassment to include abuse or threats of abuse, stalking, sexual assault, unwanted sexual solicitation or demands for sexual compliance. In particular, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome verbal, visual, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature or based on someone’s sex that is severe or pervasive and affects working conditions or creates a hostile work environment. Harassing conduct could include sexual pranks, grabbing or touching of a sexual nature, or posting demeaning or offensive materials. Both men and women can be the victims of harassment.
However, not all offensive conduct is harassment; a person’s actions must be severe and continuous enough to create a hostile environment. General conflicts (such as calling someone a “jerk”), most one-time incidents (such as a single offensive remark or joke), friendly physical gestures (such as a pat on the back), and a staff member’s right to manage a difficult or emergent situation (such as escorting a disruptive person off the premises) are generally not considered harassment under law and this policy.
What Should I do if I Experience or Witness Harassment?
If you experience or witness behavior that you think is harassing, you should first clearly inform the harasser that his or her conduct is offensive and unwelcome and request that the behavior stop. If the behavior continues, you should immediately bring the matter to the attention of any staff member who is present on the scene. If the staff member is involved in the harassing activity or is otherwise unavailable, the violation should be immediately reported to the Ombudsperson, Laura Nelson, who can be reached at laura ((at)) hf.cx. If the Ombudsperson is unavailable or involved in the harassing activity, you may also reach out to any member of the Board at [email protected]
If you hear of harassment second-hand, please encourage the affected individual contact the Ombudsperson to report the incident.
And, of course, if you witness or experience conduct at the Dojo that is criminal or presents imminent physical danger to any person, you should immediately call 911, cooperate with any responding officer and request that he or she make a detailed report of the incident.
Who is an Ombudsperson?
An ombudsperson is a volunteer, non-staff position selected by the Board of Directors to serve as a trusted first and primary point of contact for staff, members and visitors. The Board has appointed Laura Nelson as the Ombudsperson, and she can be reached at laura ((at)) hf.cx.
The Ombudsperson’s duty is to accurately and compassionately field complaints from staff, members, and visitors concerning harassment and to ensure that these complaints are timely evaluated and acted upon to secure the safety of those at the Dojo.
I’ve Made a Report; What Happens Next?
Once you have made a report, Hacker Dojo will conduct an investigation. While we may request your cooperation during the investigation, we recommend that you do not attempt to independently investigate or resolve any alleged harassment and that you treat the process as confidential. If you report a matter without anonymity, you will be provided appropriate information regarding its final resolution, respecting any confidentiality and legal restraints that may limit what information you can receive.
If Hacker Dojo determines that a violation of this policy has occurred, it will take appropriate steps to protect against future violations, which may include termination of the violator’s employment or membership rights with Hacker Dojo or banning the violator from the premises.
Your Report is Treated Confidentially
In reporting any matter, your identity will be kept confidential to the greatest extent possible under the circumstances; we will only share the information necessary to conduct a thorough and appropriate investigation. You also have the option of requesting that your report be handled anonymously, but understand that anonymous reporting may affect or impede our ability to thoroughly investigate your complaint.
Other than reporting the suspected violation, you should treat the matter as confidential and not discuss it with anyone outside of the investigative process. We respect the privacy of all persons involved in the investigation and expect you to do the same.
Our Non-Retaliation Policy
Hacker Dojo does not retaliate or tolerate retaliation against any person who raises a question or concern; who reports suspected incidents of harassment; or who participates or cooperates in any investigation related to such claim. Our commitment to non-retaliation is a cornerstone of this policy. It assures you that in posing any question, raising any concern, reporting misconduct, or cooperating in any investigation, you will not suffer any negative consequences for doing so—period. Anyone who violates this policy is subject to disciplinary consequences, up to or including termination of employment, revocation of membership, or banning the violator from the premises.
In raising any question or concern, reporting misconduct or cooperating with any investigation, you must act in good faith. This does not mean that you need to be right, nor does it mean that your question or concern must have substantial facts to support it. It requires only that the information that you are providing not be fabricated or presented in an intentionally misleading manner.
What if I still have questions?
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this policy, you can reach out to the Ombudsperson at laura ((at)) hf.cx or talk to any staff member.