Growing Octopus Part VI: Anti-harassment policy

Published on: 18 Mar 2015 by: Paul Stovell

This is part six in a series of posts about how we're growing as a company. In this post I'll talk about our anti-harassment policy.

  1. Developer career paths
  2. How we work
  3. Compensation and career progression
  4. Interview process
  5. Laptop program
  6. Anti-harassment policy
  7. Local or remote?

Anti-harassment policy

One of the nice things about a small company is that there aren't a lot of HR policies to follow. In fact, we really only have a leave policy (like Balsamiq's: take some), and this anti-harassment policy.

Our desire for an anti-harassment policy was driven by the excellent work by Ashe Dryden on why conferences need a code of conduct. She makes a great argument about why conferences need a code of conduct, even if there have been no problems in the past:

A Code of Conduct is a public statement that sets the ground rules for participating in an event. Our conferences boast attendees from all over the world, coming from many different backgrounds and experiences; our expectations of what is appropriate are not always in line with one another. A policy like this ensures that everyone is on the same page without any gray areas and even better, that there will be less rules-lawyering. The people most affected by harassing or assaulting behavior tend to be in the minority and are less likely to be visible. As high-profile members of our communities, setting the tone for the event up front is important. Having visible people of authority advocate for a safe space for them goes a long way.

If this applies at conferences, it should certainly apply in the workplace too. With that in mind, here's our anti-harassment policy:

Octopus Deploy is dedicated to providing a safe, harassment-free working environment for everyone.

We do not tolerate harassment in any form. To be clear, harassment includes but isn't limited to:

  • Physical violence, threats of physical harm, or verbal abuse
  • Offensive verbal comments about a person's gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion
  • Stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention
  • Any other actions or words designed to intimidate, denigrate or insult specific people or a group of people
  • Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any workplace or work-related activity, including in the office, via chat, email, in training events, or at parties.

This policy applies to all employees, office holders, contractors, consultants, guests, partners, vendors and volunteers.

If a person engages in harassing behaviour, managers or directors may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or termination.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact Paul (my number), Sonia (her number), or your manager. We will be happy to help contact the police, record any complaint, arrange alternative work routines, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe.


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