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 for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, species, religion, or other status. 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 safe and positive experiences for everyone.

CAFT does not tolerate harassment or any other mistreatment of community members at official CAFT events, activities, or meetings, including harassment on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, species, religion, national origin, immigration status, disability, marital status, status as a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, 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 disrespectful, intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment for a community member. Engaging in such conduct is a violation of 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 an intimidating, hostile, degrading, or demeaning environment.

This Policy applies to everyone who attends official CAFT events. Everyone – including organizers, community members, leadership, 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 will not be tolerated, nor will 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, or physical touching to less obvious actions such as bullying, ridiculing, teasing, or repeatedly bothering community members.

For example, harassment may include the following types of conduct: derogatory or insensitive jokes, pranks, or comments; slurs or epithets; unwelcome sexual advances or invitations; non-verbal behavior such as staring, leering, or gestures; ridiculing or demeaning comments; innuendos or veiled threats; displaying or sharing offensive images such as posters, videos, photos, cartoons, screensavers, emails, or drawings that are derogatory or sexual; offensive comments about appearance, or other personal or physical characteristics related to a protected class, such as sexually charged comments or comments on someone’s physical disability; unnecessary or unwanted bodily contact such as groping or massaging, blocking normal movement, or physically interfering with the work of another individual; or threats or demands that a person submit to sexual requests as a condition of receiving opportunities or to avoid loss of opportunities.

This list of examples is not exhaustive, and there may be other behaviors that constitute unacceptable harassment under the policy.

“I was joking” or “I didn’t mean it that way” are not defenses to allegations of harassment. Nor is being under the influence of alcohol or other substances. This Policy applies to conduct in official CAFT activism, activism-related spaces, community parties, and other social events. Although all official CAFT events are drug and alcohol free, community members are expected to be particularly careful about what they say and do in these circumstances.

SEXUAL 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, gender identity or lack thereof, or gender expression and can, for example, occur between same-sex individuals as well as between opposite-sex individuals, and does not require that the harassing conduct be motivated by sexual desire.

Official CAFT personnel facing credible allegations of sexual misconduct will be removed indefinitely pending further investigation by CAFT and/or independent third parties.

REPORTING PROCEDURES

Community members are instructed to promptly (ideally within 24 hours) report any violation or suspected violation of this Policy. Any community member who believes they have been harassed, or have witnessed or heard about a potential violation of this Policy, should report the conduct so that CAFT can take steps to remedy any violations of this Policy.

If you suspect harassment, discrimination, or retaliation has occurred, you are encouraged to promptly provide a written complaint to the Report Team at report@caftusa.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 of, or learn of, any information that suggests that this Policy may have been violated are instructed to promptly (ideally within 24 hours) forward that complaint to the Report Team at report@caftusa.org.

CAFT will investigate any allegations and take appropriate remedial action, including potentially employing impartial third-party investigators and/or sexual misconduct response professionals.

CAFT will keep all complaints confidential to the extent possible while still fulfilling the obligation to investigate and end any harassing conduct.

INVESTIGATION PROCESS

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 effort to investigate and take prompt action to end harassment.

Community members must cooperate in good faith and provide truthful information in an investigation.

The purpose of the Report Team investigation is initially to reach reasonable conclusions to determine if harassment or other misconduct occurred. 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.

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. Official CAFT personnel facing credible allegations of sexual misconduct shall take leave from all official duties and events pending investigation and adjudication by CAFT as outlined in this Policy.

RETALIATION PROHIBITED

This Policy is intended to encourage community members to come forward with their concerns without fear of retaliation. It is against CAFT policy for any community member to retaliate against another 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 harassment and/or a violation of this Policy;
  • Expressing an intent to report what they believe in good faith to be harassment and/or a violation of this Policy;
  • Assisting another community member in an effort to report harassment and/or a violation of this Policy; or
  • Participating in any investigation under this Policy.

Retaliating against a community member who made a complaint or otherwise participates in the investigation process is grounds for corrective action, up to and including removal.

If you have questions about this Policy, please email report@caftusa.org.