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Humanist Community Of Central Ohio Policy On Hostile Conduct/Harassment

Purpose and Scope of Policy

The Humanist Community of Central Ohio (HCCO), in an effort to support our mission of educating the public about Humanism and to build a Humanist community, will host, or sponsor events or meetings that our members and the public can attend. To ensure that everyone attending our events is able to participate in them fully, HCCO is committed to providing a safe and hospitable environment. Accordingly, intimidating, threatening, or harassing conduct during our meetings or events are prohibited. This policy will apply to speakers, HCCO Representatives, volunteers, and attendees.

For the purpose of this policy, events and/or meetings include any gathering sponsored, supported, or hosted by HCCO, that can be attended by our members or the general public, and that HCCO has control over conduct at the event and/or meeting. HCCO will try to work with other groups who will support our policy or have similar policies in place for those events/ meetings we may co-sponsor.

HCCO Representatives means, for the purpose of this policy, paid employees, officers, Board members of HCCO, and meeting and/or event facilitators or organizers.

Prohibited Conduct

In general, prohibited conduct includes any abusive conduct that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with another person’s ability to enjoy and participate in our events and/ or meetings.

Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to, yelling at or threatening speakers or attendees, or any significantly disruptive conduct. For example, repeated interruption of a speaker by an attendee is prohibited.

Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to, harassment based on race, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or any other protected group status, as provided by local, state, or federal law. By way of example, abusive conduct directed at someone because of their race is prohibited.

Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to, sexual harassment. By way of example, unwelcome sexual attention, stalking, and physical contact such as pinching, grabbing, or groping are prohibited.

Critical examination of beliefs, including critical commentary on another person’s views, does not, by itself, constitute hostile conduct or harassment. A purpose of this policy is to promote the free exchange of ideas, not to inhibit it.

Consequences of Hostile or Harassing Conduct

If a person engages in hostile or harassing conduct, appropriate remedial action will be taken, which may include, but is not limited to, being asked to leave the event or meeting. Threats of hostile conduct that are made prior to an event may result in exclusion from our events or meetings.

The exact remedy for hostile or harassing conduct will depend on an evaluation of all relevant circumstances, such as the severity of the conduct and prior violations by the person engaging in prohibited conduct.

When there is a reasonable basis for believing the conduct is illegal, appropriate law enforcement authorities will be notified.

Reporting Hostile or Harassing Conduct; Investigations

Persons who are the targets of, or witnesses to, hostile or harassing conduct should notify HCCO Representatives as soon as possible.

Reports of hostile or harassing conduct will be promptly addressed. Where HCCO Representatives are witnesses to the prohibited conduct, immediate remedial action may be taken. Where a report of hostile or harassing conduct is made to HCCO after the conduct has occurred, reasonable measures will be taken to establish the facts. This will typically include discussion with witnesses, if any, and the person accused of engaging in the prohibited conduct. Inquiries into hostile or harassing conduct will be carried out as confidentially as possible given the circumstances.

When possible we will inform the person(s) reporting the hostile or harassing conduct what action in general was taken to resolve the issue if any. The HCCO Secretary will also keep records used in connection with implementing this policy. These records will not be disclosed to individuals outside of the organization except as required by law.

Adopted by the Humanist Community of Central Ohio Board of Trustees on August 29th 2012

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