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.. note::
  **This page was uploaded from GitLab's Handbook**


Everyone at GitLab has a responsibility to prevent and stop harassment.
Working remotely means that the majority of our interactions are by
video call and written communication, such as email or shared documents,
with the exception of team summits, attending conferences together, and
local team meetups. No matter the method of communication, it is
expected that everyone will contribute to an inclusive and collaborative
working environment and respect each other at all times. Should you
become aware of or witness any form of harassment or behavior that
violates this policy or our `company values </handbook/values/>`__,
please report the incident directly to the Chief Culture Officer or
People Operations Generalist immediately for thorough investigation.


GitLab is a Silicon Valley, California based start-up that has grown
into a global fully distributed team. We strive to ensure our team is
fully aligned with Gitlab’s no tolerance harassment policy despite their
location. We want everyone to feel confident and comfortable
communicating concerns. GitLab respects, appreciates, understands and
supports every aspect of diversity. We aim to continuously foster a
globally aware team.


This policy applies to all team members employed by any entity of
GitLab, whether contractor or employee, in all locations. There are
local labor laws in every country and in the case of the United States,
state laws, that must be followed when handling, reporting and
investigating incidents of harassment. The People Operations team and
legal counsel, if required, in each of those countries will be called
upon to ensure compliance and the appropriate legal processes and
procedures are followed. Specific country requirements for employees
(subject to changes in employment law) are listed in the `Country & US
State Specific
Requirements <#country--us-state-specific-requirements>`__ section and
will be updated regularly. All individual contributors, managers, and
leaders will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including
termination, for any act of harassment they commit.

Types of Harassment

The following are considered forms of harassment and will not be
tolerated by GitLab:

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is considered unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature
that is sufficiently persistent or offensive enough to interfere with
the receiver’s job performance or create an intimidating, hostile or
offensive working environment.

Sexual harassment encompasses a wide range of conduct, examples of
misconduct include, but may not be limited to, the following actions:

1. Physical assaults or the attempt to commit an assault of a sexual
   nature. This physical conduct can include touching, pinching,
   patting, grabbing, brushing against or poking another team member's
2. Unwelcome sexual advances, propositions or other sexual comments,
   such as sexually oriented gestures, noises, remarks, jokes or
   comments about a person’s sexuality or sexual experience.
3. Preferential treatment or promises of preferential treatment to a
   team member for submitting to sexual conduct, including soliciting or
   attempting to solicit any team member to engage in sexual activity
   for compensation or reward.
4. Subjecting, or threats of subjecting a team member to unwelcome
   sexual attention or conduct or intentionally making performance of
   the team member's role more difficult because of that team member's
5. Creating displays, communications, or publications including content
   of a sexually offensive nature.
6. Purposely misgendering people, consistently referring to someone as
   'he' after repeated requests to call someone a 'she' or vice versa.

Sexual harrassment is considered a form of team member misconduct and
sanctions will be enforced against individuals engaging in sexual
harrassment and against supervisory and managerial personnel who
knowingly allow such behaivor to continue. Any retaliation against an
individual who complain of sexual harrassment or who testify or assist
in any proceeding under the law is unlawful.


Any form of discrimination towards an individual is strictly prohibited.
Types of discrimination may include:

-  Age
-  Disability
-  Race; including color, nationality, ethnic or national origin
-  Religious belief or lack of religious belief
-  Life expectancy
-  Sex
-  Sexual orientation
-  Transgender status

If you believe you have been discriminated against or witnessed
discriminatory practices, please contact the Chief Culture Officer or
the People Operations Generalist to initiate an investigation into the

Bullying / Workplace Violence

GitLab does not tolerate violent acts or threats of violence. The
company will not tolerate fighting, bullying, coercion or use of abusive
or threatening words directed to, about or against a co-worker, lead,
manager, executive, candidate, client/customer or vendor. No individual
employed by GitLab should commit or threaten to commit any violent act
or discuss committing such offenses, even in a joking manner.


Retaliation of any sort for filing a claim of harassment will not be
tolerated. If you believe you have been retaliated against, please
contact the Chief Culture Officer or the People Operations Generalist to
initiate an investigation.

Speaking up during a public situation

If someone messes up, people are encouraged to speak up publicly and
within the moment, in order to let that person and others know, that
what happened, is not inclusive behaviour.

This makes for a situation from which all parties can learn, and is one
which promotes understanding. Additionally it makes it possible for that
someone to de-escalate the situation by correcting themselves and

This does not ensure there will be no consequences. However, it will
greatly reduce the chance of escalation and has the potential to return
a situation to once again become comfortable and inclusive.

Reporting Alleged Harassment

1. Any individual who believes they have been the target of harassment
   of any kind is encouraged to immediately and directly address the
   harasser, letting them know that their behavior is unwelcome,
   offensive and must stop immediately.
2. If they do not wish to address the harasser directly or the behavior
   doesn’t cease, they should report the misconduct to the Chief Culture
   Officer or the People Operations Generalist.
3. Once reported, an impartial investigation will be conducted by People
   Operations or by an independent third party, depending on the
   severity and circumstances of the complaint.
4. Individual(s) reporting an incident or pattern of behavior will be
   asked to provide a written account of any action(s) causing concern,
   dates and times such actions occurred, and names of anyone involved,
   including participants and witnesses. All complaints or concerns of
   alleged harassment or discrimination will be taken seriously and
   handled confidentially.

The Role of Managers

If managers become aware of misconduct, they must deal expeditiously,
seriously, confidentially and fairly with any allegations, whether or
not there has been a written or formal complaint made to People
Operations. Informed managers are expected to:

1. Take all complaints or concerns of alleged harassment seriously no
   matter how minor or who is involved.
2. Ensure that any form of harassment or misconduct is immediately
   reported to People Operations.
3. Take appropriate action to prevent retaliation or the alleged
   misconduct from recurring during and after an investigation.

Managers who knowingly allow or tolerate any form of harassment or
retaliation, including the failure to immediately report such misconduct
to People Operations, are in violation of this policy and subject to
disciplinary action, including termination.

The Role of Individual Contributors

All employees have the responsibility to help create and maintain a work
environment free of bullying and harassment and can help by:

1. Being aware of how their own behavior may affect others and changing
   it if necessary
2. Treating their colleagues with dignity and respect
3. Taking a stand if they think inappropriate jokes or comments are
   being made to others
4. Making it clear to others where they find their behavior unacceptable
5. Intervening, if possible, to stop harassment or bullying occurring
6. Reporting promptly to their manager or the People Operations
   department any incident of bullying or harassment witnessed by them.

The Role of People Operations

The Chief Culture Officer, People Operations Business Partners, and
People Operations Generalist are responsible for:

1. Ensuring that any individual filing a complaint and any accused
   individual(s) is made aware of the seriousness of misconduct.
2. Explaining GitLab's no tolerance harassment policy and investigation
   procedures to all individuals included in a complaint.
3. Arranging for an immediate investigation of alleged misconduct and
   the preparation of a written report summarizing the results of the
   investigation and making recommendations for remediation to
   designated company officials.
4. Notifying appropriate authorities (police, FBI, country specific
   bureaus) when criminal activities are alleged.
5. Exploring informal means of resolving potential harassment if a
   written (formal) complaint is not made when verbal allegations are

Classification of disciplinary action

All individual contributors, managers, and leaders will be subject to
disciplinary action, up to and including termination, for any act of
harassment they commit. Although disciplinary action will be specific to
each case, it can generally be classified into 4 levels:

Level 1

First time occurrences of inappropriate behavior. An act out of
character. After formal investigation coworkers still feel comfortable
working with the delinquent.

-  Suspension (Paid/Unpaid based on country)
-  Formal apology towards inflicted parties

Level 2

Recurring socially inappropriate behavior.

-  Suspension (Paid/Unpaid based on country)
-  Mandatory course on Inclusivity
-  Formal apology towards inflicted parties
-  Written admonition
-  Potential transfer to another team
-  Potential of termination

Level 3

Major infraction, including retaliation, or recurring socially
inappropriate behavior after a written admonition.

-  Termination of contract

Level 4

Serious cases, including any criminal offence.

-  Termination of contract
-  Reported to the Police/Authorities

Training & Guidance

Training and guidance on understanding, preventing, and dealing with
discrimination & sexual harassment will be provided to both managers and
individual contributors. This training will be given annually or as when
new legal requirements are introduced.


`COM 001 Common Ground: Prevention of Harassment, Sexual Harassment, and
Abusive Conduct in the workplace (2
hrs) <>`__ This training will be
assigned to all managers using `Will Interactive's content and LMS
platform <>`__. Details on how to use the
platform can be found on the `learning and development
page. </handbook/people-operations/learning-and-development/index.html#common-ground-harassment-prevention-for-managers>`__
Once the course has been completed each manager will receive a
certificate of completion which will be kept on their employee record in

Country & US State Specific Requirements

GitLab BV (The Netherlands)

**Complaint Procedure**

If attempts to solve the problem in an informal manner prove
insufficient or if these attempts were refused or proved to be
ineffective, the victim may follow the procedure below.

1. Write a motivated complaint and send it to the Chief Culture Officer
   or the People Operations Generalist. In case the Chief Culture
   Officer or the People Operations Generalist receives the complaint,
   they must immediately handle the written complaint.
2. The Chief Culture Officer or the People Operations Generalist shall
   ensure that within a reasonable period of time the complaint is
   included in a dated document including the statements of the victim
   and any witnesses, as well as the outcome of any mediation.
3. The victim and the witnesses receive a copy of their statement.
4. A copy of the complaint will immediately be handed over to the
   responsible person within GitLab.
5. After submission of the complaint to the responsible person within
   GitLab, an investigation will be initiated. This investigation may be
   conducted by a third party (independent party) depending on the
   complaint itself.
6. After the investigation, the conclusion and a proposal for
   appropriate measures will be handed over to the responsible person
   within GitLab.
7. GitLab will take the appropriate measures.


Without prejudice to the provisions that may arise from a judicial
process instituted by the victim, the person guilty of undesirable
conduct shall impose one or more of the following sanctions:

• A written admonition.

• Transfer to another department.

• Termination of the agreement.

GitLab shall impose, by registered letter and within five working days,
the sanctions imposed upon the person who has been guilty of undesirable
behavior. In case an employee abuses this complaint procedure, the above
sanctions may also apply for the employee.

GitLab BV (Belgium)

**Psychosocial Intervention**

GitLab has engaged with an external health and safety service called
`Mensura <>`__ who are
responsible for handling any complaints received of harassment that can
not be resolved informally and internally. Team members in Belgium may
contact this service if they wish and make a request for an informal or
formal psychosocial intervention. A request for a formal intervention
should include the following:

-  a precise description of the constitutive facts of violence or
   psychological or sexual harassment at work, according to the
-  when and where each of the events took place;
-  the identity of the person(s) involved;
-  the request to the Employer to take appropriate measures to put an
   end to the events.

The psychosocial intervention advisor will investigate further and
provide a report to the employee and People Operations with a
recommended course of action.

GitLab LTD (The UK)

**Complaint Procedure**

1. If the employee does not wish to address the harasser directly or the
   behavior does not cease, then the employee (accompanied by a
   colleague/union representative if they wish) should report the
   misconduct to their line manager or a member of the People Operations
   team. Wherever appropriate the line manager and or the People
   Operations team may attempt to resolve the situation on an informal
2. If the informal approach does not resolve matters or the situation is
   too serious to be dealt with informally, the employee will need to
   make a formal complaint to the line manager and/or the People
   Operations Team.
3. Once reported, a formal investigation will be conducted impartially
   by People Operations or by an independent third party, depending on
   the severity and circumstances of the complaint. Individual(s)
   reporting an incident or pattern of behavior will be asked to provide
   a written account of any action(s) causing concern, dates and times
   such actions occurred, and names of anyone involved, including
   participants and witnesses. All complaints or concerns of alleged
   harassment or discrimination will be taken seriously and handled
   promptly, sensitively and confidentially.
4. Wherever possible the Company will try to ensure that the employee
   and the alleged harasser are not required to work together whilst the
   complaint is being investigated. This may involve the alleged
   harasser being suspended or transferred to another work area. In very
   serious cases, a criminal offence may have been committed and the
   employee may wish to report the matter to the Police/Authorities.
5. Employees will be kept informed of the general progress of the
   investigation and the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding.
6. If following investigation, the complaint is upheld, appropriate
   disciplinary proceedings will be brought against the alleged harasser
   up to and including dismissal for gross misconduct. GitLab will work
   to prevent recurrence of the behavior.
7. If following investigation, the complaint is not upheld then the
   company will support both the employee and the alleged harasser in
   rebuilding their working relationship and may consider making
   arrangements to avoid the employee and the alleged harasser working
8. Where the employee is unhappy with the outcome of the formal
   investigation, they have the right to appeal against the outcome if
   they can demonstrate why they believe a particular aspect of the
   investigation has materially affected the outcome. Appeals must be
   submitted within 10 working days of receiving the outcome of the
9. People Operations will arrange a meeting to take place with the
   appeal chair within a reasonable time period. The appeal chair’s
   decision will be final and there is no further right of appeal. The
   appeal chair will be independent of the investigation.

California Law Requirements

Every team member located in the state of California will be required to
sign an acknowledgement confirming they have read, reviewed and
understood the following three documents:

-  `State requirements
   policy <>`__
-  `California Law Prohibits Workplace Discrimination &
   Harassment <>`__
-  `Sexual Harassment & Civil
   Remedies <>`__

These will be sent via HelloSign for signature.


We are continuously gathering country specific references to review
regulation and obtain guidance on the management of harassment or
misconduct at work. Here are a few authorities we referred to in the
creation of this policy:

-  `Equal Employer Opportunity Commission
   (EEOC) <>`__
-  `Society of Human Resource Management
   (SHRM) <>`__

Further Guidance (Country Specific)

-  `UK: Acas (advisory service for employees and
   employers) <>`__
-  `The Netherlands: Inspectorate SZW <>`__
-  `India: Ministry of Labour &
   Employment <>`__
-  `Belgium: Unia: For equality, against
   discrimination <>`__