Anti-discrimination & Harassment Policies
Anti-Discrimination Policy: The diversity of our workforce is a tremendous asset that helps us fulfill our mission. We are committed to providing equal opportunity in all aspects of employment and will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, family status, marital status or any other protected status. We will not tolerate harassment or unlawful behaviors of any kind, including derogatory comments or conduct based sexual orientation, race or ethnicity.
Mutual Respect: We strive to provide an environment that allows all employees, sub-contractors, and customers to excel, be creative, take initiatives, find new ways to solve problems, and generate opportunities. Teamwork helps us to leverage our diverse backgrounds, talents, and ideas. Our high standards for professional and ethical conduct govern how we interact with guests, vendors, colleagues and members of the public at all times. Extend courtesy and respect to all individuals, respect the property of others, act fairly and honestly, and take steps to understand local laws and customs wherever we operate.
Hostility, Violence, Bullying and Harassment is Prohibited: We have zero tolerance for hostility, violence, or bullying and harassment in our workplace. Bullying and harassment includes any inappropriate conduct or comment by a person towards a worker that the person knew or reasonably ought to have known would cause that worker to be humiliated or intimidated. Examples of bullying and harassment include deliberately impeding or undermining a person’s work, excluding or isolating a person socially, cyber-bullying, and spreading malicious rumours or gossip that are not true. Bullying and harassment does not include any reasonable action taken by an employer or supervisor relating to the management and direction of workers or the place of employment. Reasonable direction or management includes performance management, corrective action, or instruction provided to assist an employee in their development or advancement.
Our anti-discrimination policy explains how we prevent discrimination and protect our employees, customers and stakeholders from offensive and harmful behaviors. This policy supports our overall commitment to create a safe and happy workplace for everyone.
Our company complies with all anti-discrimination laws, including [Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA.)] We explicitly prohibit offensive behavior (e.g. derogatory comments towards colleagues of a specific gender or ethnicity.)
This policy applies to all employees, contractors, visitors, customers and stakeholders.
Discrimination is any negative action or attitude directed toward someone because of protected characteristics, like race and gender. Other protected characteristics are:
Disability/ medical history
Marriage / civil partnership
Pregnancy / maternity/ paternity
Gender identity/ sexual orientation
Discrimination and harassment
Our anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies go hand-in-hand. We will not tolerate any kind of discrimination that creates a hostile and unpleasant environment for employees, interns, customers or volunteers.
Employees who harass their colleagues will go through our disciplinary process and we may reprimand, demote or terminate them depending on the severity of their offence.
We recognize that sometimes discrimination is unintentional, as we may all have unconscious biases that could be difficult to identify and overcome. In case we conclude that an employee unconsciously discriminates, we will support them through training and counseling and implement processes that mitigate biases as we indicate in the next section. But, if this person shows unwillingness to change their behavior, we may demote or terminate them.
We will not be lenient in cases of assault, sexual harassment or workplace violence, whether physical or psychological. We will terminate employees who behave like this immediately.
Actions to prevent discrimination
To ensure that our conduct and processes are fair and lawful, we:
Use inclusive language in job ads and include EEO statements.
Set formal job-related criteria to hire, promote and reward team members.
Offer compensation and benefits according to position, seniority, qualifications and performance, not protected characteristics.
Accommodate people with disabilities.
Require managers to keep detailed records of their decisions concerning their team members and job candidates.
We will also consider additional measures to prevent discrimination, like:
Using hiring processes that reduce bias like structured interviews and blind hiring programs.
Organizing trainings on diversity, communication and conflict management to improve collaboration among employees of different backgrounds.
What to do in cases of discrimination
If you are the victim of discriminatory behavior (or if you suspect that others are being discriminated against,) please talk to our leadership team, manager, or owner as soon as possible. These individuals are responsible for hearing your claim, investigating the issue and determining punishment.
Punishment for discriminatory behavior depends on the severity of the offence. For example, inadvertently offending someone might warrant a reprimand. Conversely, willfully bypassing employees for promotion because of a protected characteristic will result in termination.
How we address discrimination complaints
We are proactive and responsive about determining whether discrimination occurs. For example, we:
Look into similar claims about the same person or process to determine if discrimination is systemic.
Track metrics and look into data that give us some insight on people’s behaviors
Evaluate testimonies on social media that visitors, job candidates or former employees have made.
Conduct discreet interviews and gather information.
We will investigate all claims discreetly. We will never disclose who made a complaint to anyone or give out information that may help others identify that person (e.g. which department or role they work in.)
We should all strive to prevent and address discrimination. Be aware of your implicit biases and speak up whenever you or your colleagues are discriminated against. If you have any ideas on how we can ensure fairness and equality in our workplace, we are happy to hear them.
Our anti-harassment policy expresses our commitment to maintain a workplace that’s free of harassment, so our employees and sub-contractors can feel safe and happy. We will not tolerate anyone intimidating, humiliating or sabotaging others in our workplace. We also prohibit wilful discrimination based on age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, racial, religion or disability.
This workplace harassment policy applies to all employees, contractors, public visitors, customers and anyone else whom employees come into contact with at work. For more details on how to recognize, report and deal with sexual harassment and harassment from outside our company, please refer to our third party harassment policy.
What is the definition of harassment in the workplace?
Harassment includes bullying, intimidation, direct insults, malicious gossip and victimization. We can’t create an exhaustive list, but here are some instances that we consider harassment:
Sabotaging someone’s work on purpose.
Engaging in frequent or unwanted advances of any nature.
Commenting derogatorily on a person’s ethnic heritage or religious beliefs.
Starting or spreading rumors about a person’s personal life.
Ridiculing someone in front of others or singling them out to perform tasks unrelated to their job (e.g. bringing coffee) against their will.
Sexual harassment is illegal and we will seriously investigate relevant reports. If an employee or, sub-contractor is found guilty of sexual harassment, they will be terminated.
How to address harassment
If you’re being harassed, whether by a colleague, customer or vendor, you can choose to talk to any of these people:
Offenders. If you suspect that an offender doesn’t realize they are guilty of harassment, you could talk to them directly in an effort to resolve the issue. This tactic is appropriate for cases of minor harassment (e.g. inappropriate jokes between colleagues.) Avoid using this approach with customers or stakeholders.
Your manager. If customers, stakeholders or team members are involved in your claim, you may reach out to your manager. Your manager will assess your situation and may contact the leadership team, supervisors or owners if appropriate.
Our third party harassment policy aims to address employee or sub-contractor harassment coming from people outside of our company. We won’t tolerate this kind of behavior, even if it means having awkward conversations with partners or losing business. Ensuring our employees or sub-contractors are safe in our workplace is our first priority.
In this policy, we indicate how to recognize harassment and how to report incidents. We also explain how we investigate claims and protect victims.
This policy applies to everyone outside our company including vendors, investors, customers, contractors, shareholders and any other people we are connected to or do business with.
We aim to protect every employee, sub-contractor, intern, customer or volunteer regardless of level, function, seniority, status or protected characteristics like race, gender and sexual orientation.
For a more detailed explanation of our stance towards harassment, please refer to our workplace harassment policy and our sexual harassment policy.
Harassment is any kind of behavior that humiliates, victimizes or threatens a person, like directing racial slurs and making sexual advances. Even seemingly harmless actions, like a customer calling an employee or sub-contractor constantly outside work for non-emergencies and without prior agreement, can constitute harassment. Innuendos, veiled threats and inappropriate or offensive jokes are all included in our definition.
Harassment can happen in-person, over the phone, via email or through a messaging app. It can come from strangers or people you know. Anyone who objectifies, threatens or ridicules our employees is a harasser. We will describe our rules for dealing with these behaviors.
Harassment from customers
Harassment coming from customers is often difficult to deal with. Employees or sub-contractors might be reluctant to report customers, especially ones who are responsible for substantial revenue. This causes the customer’s behavior to go unpunished and continue.
Please don’t hesitate to report a customer (or a customer’s employee) if they behave inappropriately and make your life difficult. Reporting them means that they won’t harass you anymore and that we will also have the chance to protect other employees who would come in contact with the harasser.
Report the customer to leadership or ownership via email or in-person and inform your manager of your report. If you have emails or other evidence, please attach them or bring them to HR’s office.
Leadership or owners will investigate your claim and contact the customer to ask them to change their behavior. If the customer is a business, our leadership or owner will do the following:
Contact that business’ HR department and file a complaint against the person who harassed you.
Explicitly ask for that behavior to stop.
Ask the customer-company to assign another person as your contact. We will push for this solution in three cases:
If the harassment from that person has happened before to you or your colleagues.
If the incident of harassment was severe (like a threat of violence or an explicit request for a sexual favor).
If you tell us you don’t feel comfortable working with this person anymore.
We will also discuss possible solutions on our end. For example, we may remove you from that person’s customer account and assign you to an account of equal worth. If you needed to interact with that person in specific cases, we may assign another employee to fill in for you at those times. We will not penalize you or retaliate against you in any way. Your working hours, salary/wage or other benefits won’t be affected.
If the customer-company ignores our report, or if the incident of harassment happens again and the customer seems unwilling to deal with the person responsible, we will dissolve our contract with that customer.
If the customer is an individual, we will refuse our products/services until they correct their behavior.
Harassment from prospective customers
Salespeople and marketers interact with prospects every day. If any of these prospects harasses you:
Drop all interactions with them (like answering calls and sending emails) and report this to your manager. If somebody harassed you via email, forward those emails to your manager and our HR department for reference.
Leave immediately if someone harasses you at an on-site meeting. Please call your manager as soon as possible to let them know.
Your manager will make sure that your performance metrics won’t be affected due to a prospect’s inappropriate behavior. For example, you don’t have to continue speaking to a harasser so that you hit your individual targets. If a prospect’s behavior negatively affects your goals (like revenue targets), talk to your manager. They will do everything possible to resolve this issue like assigning you to other prospects or lowering your daily or weekly targets to account for the missed opportunity.
After speaking to your manager, please mark that prospect as unqualified [in our CRM system], so other employees or sub-contractors won’t attempt to contact them later. This will help prevent other employees or sub-contractor from being exposed to the prospect’s behavior.
Harassment from vendors and contractors
Our harassment and anti-violence policies apply to our vendors and contractors. We will communicate them in writing whenever we sign a contract with another business.
If an employee of vendor or contractor harasses you, please report directly to leadership or owners. This team will:
Report the person who harassed you to the vendor’s HR department.
Demand that either this person stops this inappropriate behavior immediately or the vendor assigns a different employee to that position, depending on the severity of the harassment.
If harassment continues after our intervention or our vendor ignores our report, we will dissolve our contract with this vendor.
Involving the police
Our company will involve the police if a harasser stalks, assaults or verbally/ physically threatens an employee. This applies to all possible third-parties from customers to investors. When harassers seem dangerous (for example, if a harasser refuses to leave the premises and threatens you with physical violence), call the police before reporting.
Manager’s & Owner’s responsibilities
We have an open door policy* and we encourage our employees to share their concerns and thoughts with us. However, sometimes employees or sub-contractors may not feel comfortable reporting on harassment, whether it has happened to them or a colleague. This is why we expect managers to always be alert and ready to spot harassment towards their team members.
If you suspect one of your team members is being harassed, talk to them to get more information. Assure them that they won’t be penalized for reporting harassment from any source and that our company is committed to protect them from harassment.
Help us keep our workplace safe
We all work best in environments where we feel safe and happy. We can’t control the behavior of people outside of our organization, but we can act to stop it. Please let us know whenever you are being harassed or witness others being the victims of harassment, whether the perpetrator is a customer, an employee or a partner.
*Here’s our open door policy definition: it’s simply the management practice of leaving your proverbial door open to all employees or sub-contractors. This enhances communication across levels of the organization.
And what’s the open door policy significance to our business? It translates to better communication which in turn helps build a culture of trust. We think this is the only way to achieve innovation and growth. Everyone has valuable thoughts to share and both our workplace and ways of working could always be improved.
We ask our employees or sub-contractors, as the heart of our business, to be ready to provide positive or negative feedback, or share ideas that can help us thrive.