Last updated July 22, 2021.
Alianima is committed to providing all its personnel with a safe workplace, maintaining a work environment that is free from discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment. In addition to complying with state and federal anti-discrimination legislation, the purpose of this policy is (a) to protect personnel against discrimination and harassment, including those who are not covered by current legislation, and (b) to create a culture in which every individual is treated with respect.
Alianima has a zero tolerance policy for acts of discrimination and harassment in the workplace and will investigate all complaints made by any personnel or against a personnel. The personnel who is proven to have harassed or discriminated against another will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of the contract.
All allegations of discrimination or harassment will be taken seriously, investigated promptly and there will be no retaliation against complainants. Complaints will be kept as confidential and all records will be kept in a confidential file rather than in the complainant’s personal file. If necessary for the investigation, or if there is an imminent risk to a personnel, limited disclosure of information may be made.
Alianima recognizes that harassment, particularly sexual harassment, can be a manifestation of power relationships, and often happens between a supervisor and their direct report, or between a donor and a fundraiser. However, harassment can occur between any two or more people regardless of their sex or gender identity and whether or not they are in a position of power. Alianima understands that it is necessary to support its personnel to make their complaints and support their supervisors to exemplify appropriate behavior.
Alianima recognizes that sexual harassment can occur between individuals of the same sex or gender, including those who do not identify with any specific gender.
During business travel, no personnel will be required to share a bedroom with a person of a different sex or gender, or any other person that would result in their feeling vulnerable or unsafe. The employee must inform their supervisor if they are uncomfortable rooming with a particular sex, gender, or person.
No policy can prescribe what should be done on every occasion because circumstances vary. If complainants need help or advice about a particular situation or circumstance, they are encouraged to contact their supervisor or a Designated Person, as defined and specified below.
Discrimination is the differential treatment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, size, social status or any other factor that is legislatively protected in the country in which one works (“Protected Classes”). Under federal law, discrimination is illegal in work-related decisions including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
Harassment is unwelcome conduct including physical, verbal, and nonverbal behaviors, and results in a hostile environment. Under federal law, harassment is illegal when unwelcome conduct is related to any of the Protected Classes, and when enduring the conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or the conduct is so severe or pervasive that a reasonable person would consider the working environment intimidating, hostile, or abusive.
Alianima recognizes that current federal and state anti-discrimination legislation could not foresee every possible behavior and every group of people. Alianima expands the definition of discrimination to include differential treatment in work-related decisions that are based on any characteristic of an individual that is unrelated to their professional qualifications, and harassment to include unwelcome conduct directed at any individual, thus making them feel threatened, publicly humiliated or intimidated.
The workplace is any place where work-related activities are conducted, including, but not limited to, the physical work premises, work-related conferences or training sessions, work-related travel, work-related social functions, such as dinners with donors, and work-related electronic communication, such as e-mail, chat, text messages, phone calls, and virtual meetings.
A Designated Person is a personnel, advisor,, mediator, or another professional who Alianima determines is qualified to receive and investigate discrimination and harassment complaints. The Designated Person must read and sign a copy of this Policy and attend an annual training on discrimination and harassment. This position has no requirement for gender identity, racial identity, sexual orientation or other characteristics. Alianima is aware that such a definition may need revision in the future.
Examples of harassment include, but are not limited to:
Sexual harassment comprises undesirable conduct of a sexual nature. Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
Alianima understands the importance of monitoring the implementation of this policy and will collect data anonymously to assess its use and effectiveness. The following actions will be performed regularly:
Employees are encouraged to keep written records of the date, time, details of the incident(s) and witnesses, if any. When they feel comfortable, employees can try to resolve the situation by communicating their disapproval directly to the person whose conduct is insulting.
If the personnel does not feel comfortable looking for the alleged perpetrator of harassment to request that the behavior stop, or if the alleged perpetrator continues with such behavior even after being asked to stop, the personnel can contact a Designated Person for receiving complaints of discrimination and harassment. Upon receiving a complaint, the Designated Person will:
If the personnel decides to resolve the matter informally, the Designated Person must:
If the complainant chooses to make a formal complaint, or if previous attempts to resolve the matter do not lead to a satisfactory outcome for the complainant, a formal complaint must be filed. To this end, the Designated Person who initially received the complaint will form a committee with all Designated Persons then responsible for receiving complaints. In the case that a Designated Person has a conflict of interest due to their relationship with the complainant or accused, or any other reason, they must withdraw from the investigation. This committee will either investigate the complaint or refer the matter for external investigation.
Note: The measures below assume that the committee will carry out the investigation.
In the investigation, the following actions will be taken:
A provision will be defined and implemented:
At the end of the investigation, the Designated Persons committee will consult with the complainant regarding their preferred provision, such as a plan for future interactions that is acceptable to all parties, an apology, a change in the work system, a promotion (if the complainant has been demoted due to harassment), training for the accused, disciplinary action, suspension or contract termination. Based on the complainant’s contribution and the results of the investigation, the committee will make a provision. If necessary, the committee may consult with the Executive Director for assistance in defining the provision.
After defining the provision, the Designated Persons committee must:
Witnesses of Discrimination and Harassment
An employee who is aware of acts of discrimination or harassment in the workplace, even if not directly involved, must report them to a Designated Person, who must document the incident and consult with the alleged victim to determine if they would like to present a complaint. If so, the Designated Person will follow the procedure described above. If not, the documentation of the alleged incident will be filed confidentially, so that, in the event that the alleged victim or accused becomes involved in another complaint or accusation, the Designated Persons may consult the documentation of the previous situation.
Complaints against Third Parties
Alianima recognizes that personnel can be victims of discrimination or harassment by a non-personnel who supports or conducts business with Alianima, such as donors, hosts, service providers, consultant, or volunteer (“third party”). A personnel who believes that they have been discriminated against or harassed by a third party is encouraged to file a complaint with a Designated Person, who must document it and take appropriate action under the circumstances. For example, if a fundraiser files a complaint against a donor, the Designated Person may, with the personnel’s permission, recommend to the respective supervisor that that fundraiser is no longer designated to work with that donor.
Third Party Complaints
Alianima recognizes that non-personnel can be victims of discrimination or harassment by personnel of the organization. This would be the case, for example, of a service provider being harassed by a personnel at a work-related event. If a non-personnel believes they have been discriminated against or harassed by a personnel and reports the conduct to a member of Alianima, the third party will be appointed a Designated Person, who must follow the same procedure for informal and formal complaints described above.
It is possible for the personnel or third party to file an anonymous complaint by contacting a professional mediator who is not a member of Alianima. The identity of the complainant will be known by the mediator, but not by the members of Alianima. The mediator will report the complaint to a Designated Person, keeping the identity of the complainant confidential. Alianima will not be able to conduct a full investigation without interviewing the alleged witness or victim. However, if the complainant identifies the harasser, the Designated Person must interview him, keeping confidential records of both the complainant and the respondent’s response.
Alianima endeavors to grow and learn, making room for improvement in the drafting and implementation of this policy, in the hope that the activists who work for the organization will contribute to a fair and respectful culture within the movement in defense of animals and the environment.
This document is provided free of charge to other organizations in need of a template for their own non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies.
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