COALITION TO ABOLISH THE FUR TRADE
HARASSMENT AND MISCONDUCT POLICY
Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade (CAFT) is committed to being inclusive to the largest number of contributors, with the most varied and diverse backgrounds possible. CAFT strives to provide a friendly, safe and welcoming environment. This Policy outlines the expectations of CAFT for all those who participate in our community, as well as the consequences for unacceptable behavior. CAFT invites all those who participate in CAFT to help us create positive experiences for everyone.
CAFT does not tolerate harassment or any other mistreatment of community members at official CAFT events, including harassment on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, species, religion, national origin, immigration status, disability, genetic information, or any other basis prohibited under federal, state, or local law.
Harassment under this Harassment and Misconduct Policy (Policy) may include conduct that creates a hostile, degrading, or humiliating environment for a community member at CAFT events. Engaging in such conduct is a violation of this Policy.
The guidelines in this Policy shall be understood by the reasonable person standard and apply to official CAFT events, though these standards are not binding for a determination that conduct constitutes harassment under this Policy.
If CAFT determines that a community member’s conduct has violated this Policy, CAFT will take steps to ensure the conduct is effectively addressed, and any community member found to have engaged in harassing conduct may be subject to corrective action including removal.
Because the intent of this Policy is to deter conduct that is unwanted, unreasonable, and demeaning, CAFT may consider a community member’s conduct to be in violation of this Policy even if it falls short of unlawful harassment under applicable law. When determining whether conduct violates this Policy, CAFT considers whether a reasonable person would conclude that the conduct created a hostile, degrading, or demeaning environment.
This Policy applies to everyone who attends official CAFT events. Everyone – including CAFT personnel, volunteers, community members, donors, advisors, or third parties – is responsible for following and upholding this Policy. Additionally, harassment of community members by non-community members (e.g. guests, vendors, journalists, and collaborators) at official CAFT events is unacceptable, as is harassment of non-community members by community members.
Official CAFT personnel shall be trained in this Policy and applicable law.
EXAMPLES OF HARASSMENT
Harassment can range from extreme forms such as violence, threats, and coercion to less obvious actions such as bullying, ridiculing, or repeatedly bothering community members, particularly on the basis of immutable characteristics related to a protected class.
For example, harassment may include the following types of conduct: derogatory or demeaning comments, particularly on the basis of immutable characteristics related to a protected class; slurs or epithets; repeated unwanted sexual advances; physical and other threats; displaying or sharing derogatory images; assault or unwanted bodily contact; or quid pro quo sexual demands. This list of examples is not exhaustive, and other behaviors may constitute unacceptable harassment.
The guidelines in this Policy shall be understood by the reasonable person standard and apply to official CAFT events, though these standards are not binding for a determination that conduct constitutes sexual harassment under this Policy. Subjective factors including intent (“I was joking”) or intoxication shall not be a defense to, nor the sole basis for, allegations of harassment.
Sexual harassment, which is harassment specifically based on sex, can take two forms:
- Hostile Activism Environment: Conduct that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a community member’s activism performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive activism environment, based upon their sex; and
- Quid Pro Quo Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a community member’s activism, or when submission to or rejection of such conduct by a community member is used as the basis for activism decisions affecting that community member.
Sexual harassment can happen regardless of an individual’s gender identity or expression, can occur between same-sex individuals as well as between opposite-sex individuals, and need not be motivated by sexual desire.
Official CAFT personnel facing credible allegations of sexual misconduct may be required to take leave from official duties and events pending investigation and adjudication by CAFT. The guidelines in this Policy shall be understood by the reasonable person standard and apply to official CAFT events, though these standards are not binding for a determination that conduct constitutes sexual harassment under this Policy.
Community members are instructed to promptly (ideally within 24 hours) report any violation of this Policy. Any community member who believes they have experienced or witnessed a potential violation of this Policy, should report the conduct so that CAFT can take steps to remedy any violations.
If you suspect harassment, discrimination, or retaliation has occurred, you are encouraged to promptly provide a written complaint to the Report Team at firstname.lastname@example.org, or directly to any official CAFT personnel.
When possible, a complaint should include a description of what occurred, date(s) and time(s) of the incident(s), place(s) where the incident(s) occurred, names of individuals involved, and names of any witnesses.
Official CAFT personnel who receive a complaint or otherwise learn that this Policy may have been violated are instructed to promptly (ideally within 24 hours) forward that complaint to the Report Team at email@example.com.
CAFT will investigate any allegations and take appropriate remedial action. It may employ impartial third-party investigators and/or sexual misconduct response professionals.
CAFT will keep all complaints confidential to the greatest extent possible while still fulfilling the obligation to investigate and end any harassing conduct.
CAFT commits to promptly investigate and respond to all complaints regarding potential violations of this Policy.
Once a concern has been raised, the Report Team conducts a prompt and thorough investigation to determine facts, potentially enlisting assistance from impartial third-party investigators or sexual misconduct response professionals.
Each investigation is tailored to the specific issues being investigated and is also documented and tracked to ensure reasonable progress and timely closure of the investigation. The investigation may include meeting with the complainant, the accused, and other individuals who may have relevant information. Relevant documents shall also be reviewed. The investigation will be conducted promptly, thoroughly, impartially, and in as confidential a manner as is possible consistent with proper investigation of the complaint.
Confidentiality serves in the investigative process to preserve the integrity of the investigation while it is ongoing, to ensure fairness to all involved, and to protect the privacy of community members who have brought complaints or are accused of misconduct. Nothing in this Policy is to be construed as a guarantee of absolute confidentiality. Disclosure of information learned through the complaint process and the investigation will be limited to disclosures that are necessary for CAFT to fulfill its duties under this Policy. However, no disclosures external to CAFT personnel will be made after a case has been adjudicated and remedial action is complete.
Community members should cooperate in good faith and provide truthful information in an investigation. However, refusal to cooperate is their right, and though such refusal may result in an investigation informed only by others’ accounting of events, it shall never be construed as evidence of wrongdoing or ill intent.
FINDINGS AND ADJUDICATION
The purpose of the Report Team investigation is initially to reach reasonable conclusions to determine if harassment or other misconduct occurred. In keeping with CAFT’s commitment to justice and safety, which includes respect for due process, such determination shall be guided (but are not bound) by the reasonable person standard, shall be based on evidence, and shall not be made on the basis of hearsay evidence, though such evidence may be considered during the investigation.
The Report Team then adjudicates outcomes based upon this investigation, legal counsel, and, when appropriate, third-party professionals. Outcomes range from no action to education, coaching or counseling, warnings, and other appropriate corrective actions up to and including removal.
Where appropriate and when chosen by the injured party, restorative justice shall be prioritized. Adjudication, including even removal, shall not be designed for a punitive purpose, but rather, if possible, to encourage understanding of self and others, and its practical application to reform conduct. For individuals who have had no prior findings of misconduct, the ideal outcome uses the minimum severity required for total remedy of that misconduct appropriate to its gravity. The final decision on adjudication, and the subsequent decision on the offending party’s fulfillment of any requirements imposed, lie solely with the Report Team.
In the event that a member of the Report Team is a complainant or accused party in a complaint that member shall not participate in the duties of that body as outlined above with respect to that complaint. The same is true if a member believes that they cannot maintain impartiality in a complaint (for any reason), or is believed to be so unable by a majority of all official CAFT personnel. Official CAFT personnel facing credible allegations of sexual misconduct may be required to take leave from official duties and events pending investigation and adjudication by CAFT, as outlined in this Policy.
When an individual is found in violation of this Policy, along with the decision on outcomes of that violation, they will be provided information on the process to seek a review of that decision if they so choose – and can show some cause.
After this communication, an individual desiring a review has 15 days to give written notice briefly stating cause. This review automatically proceeds unless a majority of (unbiased and uninterested) official CAFT personnel together deem it to be baseless.
After confirmation that the review will proceed, the individual has 60 days to submit their argumentation and evidence using the guidelines provided to them.
The final decision regarding the merits of the review and any necessary revisions are made by the Report Team, with input from other CAFT personnel, the complainant and other injured parties, and appropriate third parties chosen by CAFT. No review process exists for decisions regarding subsequent fulfillment of requirements imposed in adjudication of the complaint.
This Policy is intended to encourage community members to come forward with their concerns without fear of retaliation. It is against CAFT policy for CAFT personnel and volunteers to retaliate against another person for their participation in the complaint process.
Retaliation is when someone penalizes another person for any of the following:
- Reporting what they believe in good faith to be a possible violation of this Policy;
- Expressing an intent to report what they believe in good faith to be a possible violation of this Policy;
- Assisting another community member in an effort to report a possible violation of this Policy; or
- Participating in any investigation under this Policy.
Retaliation by CAFT personnel and/or volunteers against a community member who has made a complaint or otherwise participated in the investigation process is grounds for corrective action, up to and including removal.
If you have questions about this Policy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.