ANTI-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

 

Our anti-discrimination policy explains how we prevent discrimination and protect our staff members, customers and stakeholders from offensive and harmful behaviors. This policy supports our overall commitment to create a safe and happy environment for everyone.

 

We explicitly prohibit offensive behavior (e.g. derogatory comments towards colleagues of a specific gender or ethnicity.)

 

Scope

This policy applies to all staff, contractors, visitors, volunteers, customers and stakeholders.

Policy Elements

Discrimination is any negative action or attitude directed toward someone because of protected characteristics, like race and gender. Other protected characteristics are:

  • Age

  • Religion

  • Ethnicity / nationality

  • Disability / medical history

  • Marriage / civil partnership

  • Pregnancy / maternity/ paternity

  • Gender identity / sexual orientation

Discrimination and harassment

Our anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies go hand-in-hand. We will not tolerate any kind of discrimination that creates a hostile and unpleasant environment for staff, interns or volunteers.

  • Hiring managers disproportionately disqualifying male or female job candidates on purpose.]

  • [Managers bypassing team members with specific protected characteristics (e.g. race) for promotion without being able to formally prove (e.g. with documentation) the reasons other staff members were selected instead.]

  • [staff members making sexist comments.]

  • [staff members sending emails disparaging someone’s ethnic origin.]

Staff members who harass their colleagues will go through our disciplinary process and we may reprimand, demote or terminate them depending on the severity of their offence.

We recognize that sometimes discrimination is unintentional, as we may all have unconscious biases that could be difficult to identify and overcome. In case we conclude that a staff member unconsciously discriminates, we will support them through training and counseling and implement processes that mitigate biases. But, if this person shows unwillingness to change their behavior, we may demote or terminate them.

We will not be lenient in cases of assault, sexual harassment or workplace violence, whether verbal, physical or psychological. We will terminate staff members who behave like this immediately.

Actions to prevent discrimination

What to do in cases of discrimination

If you are the victim of discriminatory behavior (or if you suspect that others are being discriminated against,) please talk to HR (or your manager) as soon as possible. HR is responsible for hearing your claim, investigating the issue and determining punishment.

Punishment for discriminatory behavior depends on the severity of the offence. For example, inadvertently offending someone might warrant a reprimand. Conversely, willfully bypassing staff members for promotion because of a protected characteristic will result in termination.

If you decide to make a claim to a regulatory body (e.g. the Tanzania Ministry of Labour and Employment ) we are committed and bound by law not to retaliate against you.

How we address discrimination complaints

HR is proactive and responsive about determining whether discrimination occurs through “fact finding” techniques. For example, we:

  • [Look into similar claims about the same person or process to determine if discrimination is systemic.]

  • [Track metrics and look into data that give us some insight on people’s behaviors (e.g. percentage of job applicants of a certain race a hiring manager disqualifies.)]

  • [Evaluate testimonies on social media that visitors, job candidates or former staff members have made.]

  • [Conduct discreet interviews and gather information.]

SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY

Our sexual harassment policy aims to protect men and women in our company from unwanted sexual advances and give them guidelines to report incidents. We will also explain how we handle claims, punish sexual harassment and help victims TO recover.

We won’t tolerate sexual harassment in our workplace in any shape or form. Our culture is based on mutual respect and collaboration. Sexual harassment is a serious violation of those principles.

Scope

This policy applies to every person in our company regardless of gender, sexual orientation, level, function, seniority, status or other protected characteristics. We are all obliged to comply with this policy.

Also, we won’t tolerate sexual harassment from inside or outside of the company. staff members, investors, contractors, customers and everyone interacting with our company are covered by the present policy. For further details about how we deal with harassment from the outside of our company, please refer to our third party harassment policy.

Policy elements

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment has many forms of variable seriousness. A person sexually harasses someone when they:

  • Insinuate, propose or demand sexual favors of any kind.

  • Invade another person’s personal space (e.g. inappropriate touching.)

  • Stalk, intimidate, coerce or threaten another person to get them to engage in sexual acts.

  • Send or display sexually explicit objects or messages.

  • Comment on someone’s looks, dress, sexuality or gender in a derogatory or objectifying manner or a manner that makes them uncomfortable.

  • Make obscene comments, jokes or gestures that humiliate or offend someone.

  • Pursue or flirt with another person persistently without the other person’s willing participation. Also, flirting with someone at an inappropriate time (e.g. in a team meeting) is considered sexual harassment, even when these advances would have been welcome in a different setting. This is because such actions can harm a person’s professional reputation and expose them to further harassment.

The most extreme form of sexual harassment is sexual assault. This is a serious crime and our company will support staff members who want to press charges against offenders.

Our company’s rules on sexual harassment

  • No one has the right to sexually harass our staff members. Any person in our company who is found guilty of serious harassment will be terminated. Also, if representatives of our contractors or vendors sexually harass our staff members, we will demand that the company they work for take disciplinary action and/or refuse to work with this person in the future.

  • Sexual harassment is never too minor to be dealt with. Any kind of harassment can wear down staff members and create a hostile workplace. We will hear every claim and punish offenders appropriately.

  • Sexual harassment is about how we make others feel. Many do not consider behaviors like flirting or sexual comments to be sexual harassment, thinking they are too innocent to be labeled that way. But, if something you do makes your colleagues uncomfortable, or makes them feel unsafe, you must stop.

  • We assume every sexual harassment claim is legitimate unless proven otherwise. We listen to victims of sexual harassment and always conduct our investigations properly. Occasional false reports do not undermine this principle.

  • We will not allow further victimization of harassed staff members. We will fully support staff members who were sexually harassed and will not take any adverse action against them. For example, we will not move them to positions with worse pay or benefits or allow others to retaliate against them.

  • Those who support or overlook sexual harassment are as much at fault as offenders. Managers and HR especially are obliged to prevent sexual harassment and act when they have suspicions or receive reports. Letting this behavior go on or encouraging it will bring about disciplinary action. Anyone who witnesses an incident of sexual harassment or has other kinds of proof should report to HR.

How to report sexual harassment

If you are being sexually harassed (or suspect another person is being harassed), please report it to [HR manager or your manager.] In serious cases like sexual assault, please call the police and inform HR that you plan to press charges. We acknowledge it’s often hard to come forward about these issues, but we need your help to build a fair and safe workplace for you and your colleagues.

If you want to report sexual harassment within our company, there are two options:

  • Ask for an urgent meeting with your [HR manager or supervisor.] Once in the meeting, explain the situation in as much detail as possible. If you have any hard evidence (e.g. emails), forward it or bring it with you to the meeting.

  • Send your complaint via email. If you address it to your supervisor, please cc HR to the email and attach any evidence or information that can be used in the investigation. HR and your supervisor will discuss the issue and contact you as soon as possible.

If you report assault to the police, our company will provide any possible support until the matter is resolved. In any case, we will ensure you are not victimized and that you have access to relevant evidence admissible in court, like security video footage or emails (without revealing confidential information about other staff.)

Inadvertent harassment

Sometimes, people who harass others do not realize that their behavior is wrong. We understand this is possible, but that doesn’t make the perpetrator any less responsible for their actions.

If you suspect that someone doesn’t realize their behavior is sexual harassment under the definition of this policy, let them know and ask them to stop. Do so preferably via email so you can have records. Please do not use this approach when:

  • Your manager, an upper manager, investor or customer is the perpetrator.

  • Sexual harassment goes beyond the boundaries of off-hand comments, flirting or jokes.

In the above cases, report to HR as soon as possible.

Disciplinary action and repeat offenders

staff members who are found guilty of sexual assault will be terminated after the first complaint and investigation.

staff members who are found guilty of sexual harassment (but not assault) the first time may:

  • Be reprimanded and fired.

  • Get a “below expectations” performance review.

  • See expected promotions and/or salary increases freeze.

We may also transfer harassers or take other appropriate action to protect their victims. We will terminate repeat offenders after the second claim against them if our investigation concludes they are indeed guilty.

We apply these disciplinary actions uniformly. Staff members of any sexual orientation or other protected characteristics will be penalized the same way for the same offenses.

HR responsibilities

First and foremost, HR and managers should try to prevent sexual harassment by building a culture of respect and trust. But, when sexual harassment occurs and an staff member makes a complaint, both HR and managers must act immediately.

Managers should talk to HR and explain our company’s procedures to their team member who made the complaint.

When HR receives a complaint that an staff member harasses another staff member, they will:

  • Ask for as many details and information as possible from the person or people making the complaint.

  • Keep copies of the report with dates, times and details of incidents and any possible evidence in a confidential file (separate from the personnel file.) HR should update this file with all future actions and conversations regarding this complaint.

  • Launch an investigation. If the matter is complex, the HR person can defer to a more senior manager.

  • Check if there have been similar reports on the same person. If there are, HR should contact the perpetrator’s manager to let them know that their team member may get fired when the investigation is over.

  • Inform the harassed staff member of our company’s procedures and their options to take legal action if appropriate.

  • Take into account the wishes of the harassed staff member. Some might want the matter to be resolved informally and discreetly, while others might expect more radical actions (e.g. transferring the perpetrator.) HR should consider the circumstances and decide on appropriate action.

  • Contact the harasser and set up a meeting to explain the complaint and explicitly ask for this behavior to stop, or,

  • Arrange for mediation sessions with the two staff members (harasser and perpetrator) to resolve the issue, if the harassed staff member agrees or,

  • Launch a disciplinary process depending on the severity of the harassment. In cases of sexual assault or coercing someone to sexual favors under threats, we will terminate the harasser immediately. We will terminate staff members who are found guilty in a court of law of sexually assaulting another staff member, even if HR has not conducted its own investigation.

HR or managers must not, under any circumstances, blame the victim, conceal a report or discourage staff members from reporting sexual harassment. If HR or a manager behaves that way, please send an email to their own manager or a senior HR leader explaining the situation.

We welcome any feedback or complaints about our procedures and how our staff members handled each case.

 

 

 

 

Helping harassment victims

Apart from investigating claims and punishing perpetrators, we want to support the victims of sexual harassment. If you experience trauma, stress or other symptoms because of harassment, consider:

  • [Taking a few days of sick leave to restore your mental health.]

  • [Asking your insurance provider whether they cover mental health services.]

  • [Speaking to our designated counselors.]

Your job and benefits will not be jeopardized or altered if you choose any of those options or other means to recovery.

Speak up, we listen

Sexual harassment can exhaust those who endure it. Speaking up about this issue is often tough for fear of not being heard, upsetting managers and challenging corporate culture.

Please don’t let these fears deter you. Our company will do everything possible to stop sexual harassment and any other kind of harassment from happening, while supporting harassed staff members. We need to know what’s going on so we can act on it. And by raising your voice on this issue, you help our company create a happy workplace and thrive.

 

We will investigate all claims discreetly. We will never disclose who made a complaint to anyone or give out information that may help others identify that person (e.g. which department or role they work in.)

We should all strive to prevent and address discrimination. Be aware of your implicit biases and speak up whenever you or your colleagues are discriminated against. If you have any ideas on how we can ensure fairness and equality in our workplace, we are happy to hear them.

 

ANTI-HARASSMENT POLICY

Our anti-harassment policy expresses our commitment to maintain a workplace that’s free of harassment, so our staff members can feel safe and happy. We will not tolerate anyone intimidating, humiliating or sabotaging others in our workplace. We also prohibit wilful discrimination based on [age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, racial, religion or disability.]

 

Scope

This workplace harassment policy applies to all staff members, contractors, public visitors, customers and anyone else whom staff members come into contact with at work. For more details on how to recognize, report and deal with sexual harassment and harassment from outside our company, please refer to our sexual harassment policy and our third party harassment policy.

Harassment includes bullying, intimidation, direct insults, malicious gossip and victimization. We can’t create an exhaustive list, but here are some instances that we consider harassment:

  • [Sabotaging someone’s work on purpose.]

  • [Engaging in frequent or unwanted advances of any nature.]

  • [Commenting derogatorily on a person’s ethnic heritage or religious beliefs.]

  • [Starting or spreading rumors about a person’s personal life.]

  • [Ridiculing someone in front of others or singling them out to perform tasks unrelated to their job (e.g. bringing coffee) against their will.]

Sexual harassment is illegal and we will seriously investigate relevant reports. If an staff member is found guilty of sexual harassment, they will be terminated.

How to address harassment

If you’re being harassed, whether by a colleague, customer or vendor, you can choose to talk to any of these people:

  • Offenders. If you suspect that an offender doesn’t realize they are guilty of harassment, you could talk to them directly in an effort to resolve the issue. This tactic is appropriate for cases of minor harassment (e.g. inappropriate jokes between colleagues.) Avoid using this approach with customers or stakeholders.

  • Your manager. If customers, stakeholders or team members are involved in your claim, you may reach out to your manager. Your manager will assess your situation and may contact HR if appropriate.

  • HR. Feel free to reach out to HR in any case of harassment no matter how minor it may seem. For your safety, contact HR as soon as possible in cases of serious harassment (e.g. sexual advances) or if your manager is involved in your claim. Anything you disclose will remain confidential.

Disciplinary Consequences

Punishment for harassment depends on the severity of the offence and may include counseling, reprimands, suspensions or termination.

 

THIRD PARTY HARASSMENT POLICY

Our third party harassment policy aims to address staff member harassment coming from people outside of our company. We won’t tolerate this kind of behavior, even if it means having awkward conversations with partners or losing business. Ensuring our staff members are safe in our workplace is our first priority.

In this policy, we indicate how to recognize harassment and how to report incidents. We also explain how we investigate claims and protect victims.

Scope

This policy applies to everyone outside our company including vendors, investors, customers, contractors, shareholders and any other people we are connected to or do business with.

We aim to protect every staff member, intern or volunteer regardless of level, function, seniority, status or protected characteristics like race, gender and sexual orientation.

For a more detailed explanation of our stance towards harassment, please refer to our workplace harassment policy and our sexual harassment policy.

Policy elements

Harassment is any kind of behavior that humiliates, victimizes or threatens a person, like directing racial slurs and making sexual advances. Even seemingly harmless actions, like a customer calling an staff member constantly outside work for non-emergencies and without prior agreement, can constitute harassment. Innuendos, veiled threats and inappropriate or offensive jokes are all included in our definition.

Harassment can happen in-person, over the phone, via email or through a messaging app. It can come from strangers or people you know. Anyone who objectifies, threatens or ridicules our staff members is a harasser. We will describe our rules for dealing with these behaviors.

Harassment from customers

Harassment coming from customers is often difficult to deal with. staff members might be reluctant to report customers, especially ones who are responsible for substantial revenue. This causes the customer’s behavior to go unpunished and continue.

Please don’t hesitate to report a customer (or a customer’s staff member) if they behave inappropriately and make your life difficult. Reporting them means that they won’t harass you anymore and that we will also have the chance to protect other staff members who would come in contact with the harasser.

Report the customer to HR via email or in-person and inform your manager of your report. If you have emails or other evidence, please attach them or bring them to HR’s office.

HR will investigate your claim and contact the customer to ask them to change their behavior. If the customer is a business, our HR will do the following:

  • Contact that business’ HR department and file a complaint against the person who harassed you.

  • Explicitly ask for that behavior to stop.

  • Ask the customer-company to assign another person as your contact. We will push for this solution in three cases:

    • If the harassment from that person has happened before to you or your colleagues.

    • If the incident of harassment was severe (like a threat of violence or an explicit request for a sexual favor).

    • If you tell us you don’t feel comfortable working with this person anymore.

We will also discuss possible solutions on our end. For example, we may remove you from that person’s customer account and assign you to an account of equal worth. If you needed to interact with that person in specific cases, we may assign another staff member to fill in for you at those times. We will not penalize you or retaliate against you in any way. Your working hours, salary/wage or other benefits won’t be affected.

If the customer-company ignores our report, or if the incident of harassment happens again and the customer seems unwilling to deal with the person responsible, we will dissolve our contract with that customer.

If the customer is an individual, we will refuse our products/services until they correct their behavior.

Harassment from prospective customers

Salespeople and marketers interact with prospects every day. If any of these prospects harasses you:

  • Drop all interactions with them (like answering calls and sending emails) and report this to your manager. If somebody harassed you via email, forward those emails to your manager and our HR department for reference.

  • Leave immediately if someone harasses you at an on-site meeting. Please call your manager as soon as possible to let them know.

Your manager will make sure that your performance metrics won’t be affected due to a prospect’s inappropriate behavior. For example, you don’t have to continue speaking to a harasser so that you hit your individual targets. If a prospect’s behavior negatively affects your goals (like revenue targets), talk to your manager. They will do everything possible to resolve this issue like assigning you to other prospects or lowering your daily or weekly targets to account for the missed opportunity.

After speaking to your manager, please mark that prospect as unqualified [in our CRM system], so other staff members won’t attempt to contact them later. This will help prevent other staff members from being exposed to the prospect’s behavior.

Harassment from vendors and contractors

Our harassment and anti-violence policies apply to our vendors and contractors. We will communicate them in writing whenever we sign a contract with another business.

If an staff member of vendor or contractor harasses you, please report directly to HR. Our HR will:

  • Report the person who harassed you to the vendor’s HR department.

  • Demand that either this person stops this inappropriate behavior immediately or the vendor assigns a different staff member to that position, depending on the severity of the harassment.

If harassment continues after our intervention or our vendor ignores our report, we will dissolve our contract with this vendor.

Involving the police

Our company will involve the police if a harasser stalks, assaults or verbally/ physically threatens an staff member. This applies to all possible third-parties from customers to investors. When harassers seem dangerous (for example, if a harasser refuses to leave the premises and threatens you with physical violence), call the police before reporting to HR.

Manager’s responsibilities

We have an open door policy and we encourage our staff members to share their concerns and thoughts with us. However, sometimes staff members may not feel comfortable reporting on harassment, whether it has happened to them or a colleague. This is why we expect managers to always be alert and ready to spot harassment towards their team members.

If you suspect one of your team members is being harassed, talk to them to get more information. Assure them that they won’t be penalized for reporting harassment from any source and that our company is committed to protect them from harassment.

Inform HR of your conversation and act immediately to protect your team members (like assigning someone else to interact with the person who harassed them until HR’s investigation is complete).

Managers must also make sure their team members’ metrics won’t be affected. For example, if an outbound sales rep must do five calls per day to promote our company’s product and hangs up on a call because of the prospect’s inappropriate behavior, that call should be marked as successful. Similarly, if an staff member has won a contract of $5,000, but is unable to follow through because of the prospect’s behavior, that amount will still count towards our staff member’s individual targets.

HR responsibilities

When HR receives a report about third-party harassment, they must:

  • Ask for as many details and information as possible from the person making the complaint.

  • Keep copies of the report with dates, times and details of incidents and any possible evidence in a confidential file. HR should update this file with all future actions and conversations regarding this complaint.

  • Launch an investigation. HR should always maintain professionalism when communicating with third parties, while also showing that they take the matter seriously and want to protect our staff members.

  • Inform the harassed staff members of our company’s procedures and provide legal advice if appropriate.

  • Take into account the wishes of the harassed staff member. If an staff member says they don’t want to interact with a harasser again, HR should consult with that staff member’s manager to find a solution that won’t penalize the staff member.

HR or managers must not, under any circumstances, blame the victim, conceal a report or discourage staff members from reporting harassment. If HR or a manager behaves that way, please send an email to their own manager or a senior leader explaining the situation.

We welcome any feedback or complaint about our procedures and how our staff members handled each case.

Helping harassment survivors

We want to support the victims of harassment. If you experience trauma, stress or other symptoms because of harassment, consider:

  • [Taking a few days of sick leave to restore your mental health.]

  • [Asking your insurance provider whether they cover mental health services.]

  • [Talking to our EAP (staff member Assistance Program) Officer to evaluate options.]

  • [Speaking to our designated counsellors.]

Your job and benefits will not be jeopardized or altered if you choose any of those options or other means of recovery.

Help us keep our workplace safe

We all work best in environments where we feel safe and happy. We can’t control the behavior of people outside of our organization, but we can act to stop it. Please let us know whenever you are being harassed or witness others being the victims of harassment, whether the perpetrator is a customer, a staff member or a partner