Skip to content →

Sharing our Guiding Documents: Harassment and Bullying Policy

We are sharing our guiding documents for anyone interested in learning more about Sassafras, co-ops, or both. These include our Bylaws, Code of Conduct, Cultural Values and Practices, Basic Worker Expectations, Harassment and Bullying Policy, and Conflict Resolution Policy. Below is our Harassment and Bullying Policy.

Harassment

Harassment-Free Space

We are committed to providing a harassment-free workplace for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of community members in any form.

Harassment includes:

  • Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion.
  • Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment.
  • Deliberate misgendering or use of ‘dead’ or rejected names.
  • Violence or threats of violence.
  • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm.
  • Deliberate intimidation.
  • Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes.
  • Sustained disruption of discussion.
  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.
  • Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent except as necessary to protect vulnerable people from intentional abuse.
  • Publication of non-harassing private communication.

Sexual Harassment

The following are examples of specific sexual harassment and should be dealt with under the separate Sexual Harassment Policy.

  • Gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behavior in spaces where they’re not appropriate.
  • Physical contact and simulated physical contact (eg, textual descriptions like “*hug*” or “*backrub*”) without consent or after a request to stop.
  • Stalking or following.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others.

Bullying

Bullying-Free Space


The purpose of this policy is to communicate to all staff (including contractors) that Sassafras will not in any instance tolerate bullying behavior. Staff found in violation of this policy will be disciplined, up to and including termination.

Definition
Sassafras defines bullying as repeated inappropriate behavior, either direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment. Such behavior violates Sassafras’ Code of Conduct, which clearly states that all staff will be treated with dignity and respect.

Types of Bullying
Regardless of the intention, the impact of bullying is what is important for accountability. Sassafras considers the following types of behavior examples of bullying:

  • Verbal bullying: Slandering, ridiculing or maligning a person or their family; persistent name calling that is hurtful, insulting or humiliating; using a person as butt of jokes; abusive and offensive remarks.
  • Physical bullying: Pushing, shoving, kicking, poking, tripping, assault or threat of physical assault, damage to a person’s work area or property
  • Gesture bullying: Non-verbal threatening gestures; glances that can convey threatening messages.
  • Exclusion: Socially or​​ physically excluding or disregarding a person in work-related activities.

In addition, the following examples may constitute or contribute to evidence of bullying in the workplace:

  • Persistent singling out of one person.
  • Shouting or raising voice at an individual in public or in private.
  • Using verbal or obscene gestures.
  • Not allowing the person to speak or express themselves (i.e., ignoring or interrupting).
  • Personal insults and use of offensive nicknames.
  • Public humiliation in any form.
  • Constant criticism on matters unrelated or minimally related to the person’s job performance or description.
  • Ignoring or interrupting an individual at meetings.
  • Repeatedly accusing someone of errors that cannot be documented.
  • Deliberately interfering with email and other communications.
  • Spreading rumors and gossip regarding individuals.
  • Encouraging others to disregard a supervisor’s instructions.
  • Setting them up for failure (e.g., no training, overloading, underloading, withholding information, assigning meaningless tasks, setting deadlines that cannot be met, giving deliberately ambiguous instructions).
  • Inflicting menial tasks not in keeping with the normal responsibilities of the job.
  • Taking credit for another person’s ideas.
  • Refusing reasonable requests for leave in the absence of work-related reasons not to grant leave.
  • Deliberately excluding an individual or isolating them from work-related activities, such as meetings.
  • Unwanted physical contact, physical abuse or threats of abuse to an individual or an individual’s property (defacing or marking up property).

Reporting and Enforcement of Harassment and Bullying

Reporting an Incident of Harassment or Bullying

Sassafras encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of harassment and bullying regardless of the offender’s identity or position. Individuals who believe that they have been the victim of such conduct should discuss their concerns with the Mediator or a Human Relations Committee member. See the complaint procedure described below.

Complaint Procedure

Individuals who believe they have been the victims of conduct prohibited by this policy or believe they have witnessed such conduct should discuss their concerns with the Mediator or a member of the Human Relations “HR” Committee.

Sassafras encourages the prompt reporting of complaints or concerns so that rapid and constructive action can be taken before relationships become irreparably strained. Therefore, while no fixed reporting period has been established, early reporting and intervention have proven to be the most effective method of resolving actual or perceived incidents of harassment or bullying.

Any reported allegations of harassment or bullying will be investigated promptly by a third party hired by the HR Committee. The investigation may include individual interviews with the parties involved and, where necessary, with individuals who may have observed the alleged conduct or may have other relevant knowledge.

Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigatory process to the extent consistent with adequate investigation and appropriate corrective action.

Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or bullying for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment or bullying itself, will be subject to disciplinary action. Acts of retaliation should be reported immediately and will be promptly investigated and addressed.

Misconduct constituting harassment and bullying will be dealt with appropriately. Responsive action may include, for example, training, referral to counseling or disciplinary action such as a warning, reprimand, withholding of advancement or pay increase, reassignment, temporary suspension without pay, or termination, as Sassafras believes appropriate under the circumstances.

If a party to a complaint does not agree with its resolution, that party may appeal to Sassafras’ other officers.

False and malicious complaints of harassment or bullying (as opposed to complaints that, even if erroneous, are made in good faith) may be the subject of appropriate disciplinary action.

Published in Uncategorized