Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Harassment Policy
Glitch, Inc. is committed to maintaining a workplace free of unlawful discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition), gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, veteran status or any other factors prohibited by law (“prohibited behavior”). Bullying and abusive conduct are likewise prohibited. Such behavior is unacceptable and contrary to our core values in that it undermines our goal of providing a safe and inclusive environment. We do not tolerate any violation of this policy.
Unlawful Harassment and Discrimination
Unlawful harassment and unlawful discrimination may take many different forms. The following are some examples of prohibited behavior:
Verbal conduct such as epithets, derogatory comments, negative stereotypes, name-calling, belittling, jokes, offensive remarks, or slurs
Physical conduct such as assault, impeding or blocking normal movement, restraint, inappropriate touching, invading personal space, or any physical interference with work directed at an individual
Visual conduct such as viewing, displaying, or permitting the display of offensive, derogatory, discriminatory, or hate based material (e.g., pictures, posters, cartoons, writings or objects - whether electronic or paper); staring or making derogatory gestures
Threats and demands to submit to certain non-work related conduct or perform certain non-work-related actions in order to get or keep a job, to avoid some other loss, or as a condition of job benefits, security, or promotion
Retaliation against employees who report an incident of discrimination or harassment in good faith or participate in an investigation thereof
This policy also specifically prohibits sexual harassment. It is a specific type of unlawful and discriminatory harassment that is strictly prohibited under this policy. Although it depends upon the circumstances, sexual harassment generally involves behavior that is uninvited, unwelcome and repeated. Sexual harassment may occur regardless of the intention of the person. Sexual harassment may involve an employee at any level or gender or an individual conducting business with or for the company.
Sexual harassment means any harassment based on an individual’s sex or gender (including pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions, gender identity, nonconformity, presentation or expression, and sexual orientation), or is otherwise sexual in nature. Acts considered to constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature where: (a) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment; (b) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting the harassed individual; (c) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
Additional examples of conduct considered to constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
Verbal conduct such as sexually explicit or degrading words to describe an individual; comments about an employee’s anatomy and/or dress; questions about a person’s sexual practices; gender or sex-based bullying; use of patronizing terms or remarks; use of gender or sexual stereotypes or slurs; verbal abuse or graphic verbal commentaries about the body, or requiring or suggesting that an employee wear sexually suggestive clothing; unwanted sexual advances that condition an employment benefit upon an exchange of sexual favors; insisting on dates when the individual is not interested and/or has declined previous offers; any threat of demotion, termination, or similar adverse job action if requested sexual favors are not given; making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to sexual advances or propositioning an individual
Physical conduct such as touching, pushing, pinching, patting, grabbing, brushing against or poking another employee’s body; assault; unwelcome physical conduct
Visual/nonverbal conduct such as viewing, displaying, or permitting the display of sexually explicit materials; showing or distributing sexually-related derogatory or explicit posters, cartoons or drawings, suggestive objects, pictures, or graphic commentaries; staring at an employee’s anatomy; leering; making sexually-oriented gestures; sending inappropriate adult-themed texts, emails, gifts, and other communications; whistling
It is impossible to define every action or all words that could be reasonably interpreted as harassment or discrimination. The examples listed above are not meant to be a complete list of prohibited behavior, nor do they always constitute unlawful harassment or discrimination. However, the company prohibits not only conduct which is severe enough to constitute a violation of the law, but also conduct, which although not unlawful, is still determined by the company to be inappropriate in the workplace.
Sexual harassment also may occur outside the workplace, depending upon the circumstances. The same standards of acceptable behavior applicable to employees’ regular work environment also apply to all company sponsored business activities taking place outside the workplace. When using various forms of business communication tools (e.g., Slack), anything impermissible in real life is also impermissible in electronic communications; discrimination and harassment policies and laws apply to all forms and modes of communication. Outside business activities, including entertainment, should not be conducted at establishments where sexually explicit or offensive entertainment is offered. Employees should take care not to engage in any work-related activity (inside or outside the workplace) that might make others uncomfortable or could reflect poorly upon the company or otherwise cause damage to the company’s business reputation.
Reporting Sexual Harassment or Other Prohibited Behavior
Do not tolerate prohibited behavior, including sexual or other unlawful harassment or discrimination. We encourage anyone who experiences, encounters, or observes a violation of this policy to consider confronting the offender directly, if it is appropriate and sensible to do so, and asking him or her to stop the offending conduct. The person may not realize the advances or behavior are offensive. Sometimes a direct discussion ends the situation. Employees are not required to confront the offending party if they are not comfortable doing so.
Regardless of whether you confront the offender, we encourage and expect that anyone who believes that they are the subject of harassment or discrimination or who has observed or believes they have observed such harassment or discrimination, to promptly contact their manager or any other manager at the company, including executive leadership. Reporting may be done either in writing or verbally. Employees also have the option to make a report to the Operations Team. Please also note that managers are required by law to report to HR/Operations anything they hear of or witness in relation to harassment.
Although you may feel reluctant or embarrassed to make such a report, we encourage you to do so. Employees may not be discriminated against or retaliated against for reporting what they reasonably believe to be prohibited behavior, including harassment or discrimination. If you believe that you have been subject to retaliation, please report it immediately. The report and investigation of the allegation of retaliation will follow the procedure set forth in this policy. Any person found to have retaliated against another for reporting discrimination or harassment, or for participating in an investigation of sexual conduct, will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination from employment.
The company does not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind. It investigates reported incidents of prohibited behavior and retaliation as described in the following section. Investigations are conducted in as discreet a manner as is compatible with a thorough investigation of the complaint; complete confidentiality is not guaranteed. Investigations will be conducted in a timely, objective and thorough manner that provides all parties with appropriate due process and reaches reasonable conclusions based on the evidence.
Additionally, you are encouraged to contact your local police department in cases where the conduct may constitute a crime.
The safety and comfort of our staff is a top priority. We take this policy very seriously. False reports of harassment or discrimination will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination from employment.
Unlawful Harassment - Supervisor & Manager Responsibility
While maintaining a work environment free from discrimination and harassment is everyone’s responsibilty, manager and supervisory staff members have an even greater responsibilty in ensuring that the Glitch workplace is free of any form of discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment. Disciplinary action, up to and including termination from employment, will be taken where it is determined that a manager or other supervisor failed to report violations of this policy, witnessed or reported, to the Operations Department.
When an employee reports discrimination, harassment, or other violation of this policy, we will promptly investigate and take corrective action as warranted under the circumstances. The specific steps to be taken during the investigation will vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the allegations. At the minimum, Operations will:
- Review the complaint, whether verbal or written;
- Notify the accuser, the accused, and witnesses of the complaint;
- To the extent known and accessible, collect and preserve relevant documents and records;
- Interview the accuser, the accused, and witnesses;
- Notify the accuser and the accused of the final determination;
- Take corrective action, as appropriate; and/or
- Where appropriate, institute immediate interim actions including but not limited to placing the accused on a leave of absence or suspension
We will strive to keep these investigations confidential. However, we may need to disclose certain information to facilitate the investigation and resolve the matter.
If the company finds this policy was violated or other inappropriate conduct of a sexual, discriminatory or retaliatory nature has occurred, disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination from employment, may result. If the offending party is not an employee, prompt and remedial action will be taken as is appropriate under the circumstances. It is a condition of employment that employees cooperate with these investigations. Refusal to do so will result in discipline, up to and including termination from employment. Further, we may take corrective action notwithstanding the conclusion that the alleged conduct neither violates this policy nor the law, but that such conduct was impermissibly interfering with the work environment.
Discrimination and Harassment - Alternative Remedies (New York State Only)
Discrimination and harassment are prohibited by U.S. federal and state law. In addition to utilizing our complaint procedure, anyone who believes they have been subjected to discrimination or harassment may also file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR), New York City Commission on Human Rights or New York City Commission on Human Rights (CCHR). Contact information for these agencies is as follows:
- U.S. EEOC: (800) 669-4000; (800) 669-6820 (TTY); www.eeoc.gov; firstname.lastname@example.org
- New York State Division of Human Rights: (888) 392-3644 or dhr.ny.gov/complaint
- New York City Commission on Human Rights: (718) 722-3131 or www.nyc.gov/humanrights
The EEOC does not hold hearings or award relief, but may take other action including pursuing cases in federal court on behalf of complaining parties. The DHR has the power to award relief, which varies but may include requiring us to take action to stop the harassment or redress the damage caused, including paying monetary damages, attorneys’ fees, and civil fines. The CCHR can assess civil penalties of up to $250,000 in the case of a willful violation, as well as emotional distress damages and other remedies to the victim, can require the violator to undergo training, and can mandate other remedies such as community service.