Anti-Harassment, Anti-Bullying and Non-Discrimination Policy
The Fairfield County Writers Group (“FCWG”) is committed to providing an environment that is free from all forms of discrimination and conduct that can be considered harassing, bullying, coercive, or disruptive, including sexual harassment. Actions, words, jokes, or comments based on an individual's sex, race, color, gender, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, religion, marital status, disability, medical condition, sexual orientation, pregnancy, childbirth, or any other basis protected by law will not be tolerated.
This policy applies to any and all acts of discrimination, harassment, bullying, and intimidation. It applies to all members, volunteers and guests of the FCWG, at FCWG-related or sponsored events. It also applies to written communications about the FCWG, its events, its volunteers/guests, in email, instant message, text message (SMS) or social networks.
Harassment interferes with the atmosphere of camaraderie that the FCWG strives for, and creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive social environment.
Sexual harassment is defined as unwanted sexual advances, or visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. This definition includes many forms of offensive behavior and includes gender-based harassment of a person of the same or opposite sex as the harasser. The following is a partial list of impermissible conduct or harassment examples:
- Unwanted sexual advances.
- Offering employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors.
- Making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to sexual advances.
- Visual conduct that includes leering, making sexual gestures, or displaying of sexually suggestive objects or pictures, cartoons or posters.
- Verbal conduct that includes making or using derogatory comments, epithets, slurs, or jokes.
- Verbal sexual advances or propositions.
- Verbal abuse of a sexual nature, graphic verbal commentaries about an individual's body, sexually degrading words used to describe an individual, or suggestive or obscene letters, notes, or invitations.
- Physical conduct that includes touching, assaulting, or impeding or blocking movements.
Unwelcome sexual advances (either verbal or physical), requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
- submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment;
- submission or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for making employment decisions;
- the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment; or,
- sexual favors, e.g. unwanted sexual advances, which condition an employment benefit upon an exchange of sexual favors.
Bullying is unwelcome or unreasonable behavior that demeans, intimidates or humiliates people, either individually or as members of a group. Bullying behavior, though it can occur in isolated incidences, typically follows a pattern of persistent, intimidating actions, some examples of which are listed below:
- verbal communications, including abusive and offensive language; insults; teasing; spreading rumors and innuendo; criticizing actions, appearance or behavior without foundation; and trivializing the contributions, work or achievements of others.
- social manipulation, including isolating individuals from normal social interactions; excessive supervision, demands or delegation of duties; and setting unrealistic deadlines for task completion.
- psychological manipulation, including unfairly blaming individuals for mistakes; setting people up for failure; deliberately excluding people from group projects or activities; performing practical jokes; and belittling or disregarding others’ opinions or suggestions.
- mobbing, the bullying or social isolation of a person through collective unjustified accusations, humiliation, harassment, group intimidation or emotional abuse
Any of the above conducts by or towards any volunteer, guest, member, vendor or anyone else who does business with FCWG will not be tolerated. Any volunteer or member who violates this policy will have their membership from the FCWG online groups (Facebook/etc.) revoked, and will not be welcome at group events. To the extent a person with whom FCWG does business engages in unlawful harassment or discrimination, FCWG will take appropriate corrective action. If you experience or witness sexual or other unlawful harassment related to FCWG activity, notify the group’s organizer(s) immediately. If an organizer is unavailable or you believe it would be inappropriate to contact that person, you should immediately contact any other group moderator (mod/admin). You can raise concerns and make reports without fear of reprisal or retaliation. Furthermore, any moderator or admin who becomes aware of possible sexual or other unlawful harassment must immediately advise the FCWG organizer so it can be investigated in a timely and confidential manner.
All allegations of sexual harassment will be quickly and discreetly investigated. To the extent possible, your confidentiality and that of any witnesses and the alleged harasser will be protected against unnecessary disclosure. When the investigation is completed, you will be informed of the outcome of the investigation.
FCWG will take action up to and including termination of any member or volunteer who retaliates against another member or volunteer for engaging in any of these protected activities, and will contact local authorities (police, social services, etc.) as seems appropriate.
Please contact the FCWG Organizer(s) if you have any questions about this policy or require further information on the subject of sexual or other harassment or discrimination. Complaints or reports of discrimination or harassment should be directed to the FCWG Organizer(s) or any of the moderators or admins as soon as possible after the incident.
Complaints will be investigated as discreetly as possible. The FCWG Organizer(s) will make the final determination regarding the complaint, and what corrective action, including contacting local authorities, as appropriate.
A member or volunteer who engages in sexual harassment, including any moderator who knows about the harassment and took no action to stop it, may be held personally liable for monetary damages. The FCWG will NOT pay damages assessed personally against a member or volunteer.
The FCWG will not retaliate or discriminate against any individual for making a complaint of harassment or discrimination or for participating in the investigation of any such complaint.