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statement on discrimination and harassment

I, we, the-freelance-editor welcome, value, and appreciate clients, teammates, customers, and other supporters—of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate; we do not support discrimination or harrassment or outright ignorance. We never have and never will. Instead, we want to be and strive to be an organization where any individual, every individual can feel they belong and have a place, a voice, a role. We know we are nothing, none of us are anything—without your involvement.

the-freelance-editor welcomes associations with people of every race and color and age; persons of any nation, culture, ancestry, ethnicity or ethnic origin, national origin, or citizenship; individuals of all creeds, religions, faiths, spiritualities, beliefs, and other guiding principles; persons of any sex or gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression—all irregardless of education level or ability, health status or disability, marital or parental status, socio-economic background, or military or veteran status.

Whether working together across the internet, in your space as an onsite contractor, or in our office as a hired associate, the-freelance-editor is committed to helping create and perpetuate an environment—for work, play, education, or personal enlightenment—in which all persons are treated with dignity and respect. In addition to the list above, we will not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any person protected under existing federal, state, or local law.

All that said, no statement on discrimination or harassment should be intended or applied to infringe upon the free speech or other civil rights of any individual or group. However, harassing speech and discriminating conduct can effectively prevent such freedoms and equal access of others.

Examples

Examples of conduct associated with discrimination and harassment in general include, but are not limited to

  • offensive or degrading remarks, verbal abuse, or other hostile behavior such as insulting, teasing, mocking, degrading, or ridiculing another person or group;
  • racial slurs, derogatory remarks about a person’s accent, or display of racially offensive symbols;
  • deliberate intimidation and open bullying, yelling, name-calling, or stereotyping;
  • unwelcome or inappropriate physical contact, physical assault, or behaviors such as stalking;
  • unwelcome, inappropriate, aggressive, threatening, or denigrating comments, questions, advances, jokes, epithets, or demands; and
  • physical displays or electronic transmission of derogatory, demeaning, or hostile materials, including activity by cell phone, email, text message, and social media.

Sexual or gender harassment has become a focus of its own in recent years and includes harassment on the basis of a person’s sex, sexual orientation, self-identified or perceived sex, gender expression, gender identity, or status of being transgender and typically results in creating a hostile environment, though it can end in violent acts such as rape, sexual battery, molestation, or attempts to commit these assaults. Examples of gender or sexual harassment include, but are not limited to

  • unwanted touching or other physical contact such as pinching, poking, patting, grabbing, or brushing against another’s body;
  • verbal advances, sexually explicit derogatory statements, or sexually discriminatory remarks that are offensive or objectionable to the recipient;
  • offensive and suggestive gestures or comments;
  • sexualized remarks about a person’s appearance;
  • asking about a person’s sex life or telling sexual jokes;
  • conveying words or signs or enacting jokes or pranks that are of a sexual nature or that is directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex or gender;
  • the creation of any environment that causes a recipient to be uncomfortable or feel humiliated or that interferes with a recipient’s ongoing sense of safety or pride; and
  • making sexual demands or requests for sexual favors, especially by a person in authority, in exchange for benefits, evaluations, or compensation.

Note that in any and all cases of discrimination and harassment, we will also assist to identify and refute false and malicious complaints of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation (as opposed to complaints that, even if erroneous, were initially made in good faith);

Alternatives

To ensure the best possible experiences for all individuals, we will follow the basic guidelines for providing a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment:

  • encourage actions and discussions that are respectful and inclusive, that further conversation, that add to the body of contemplation, that are issue-focused, not person-focused;
  • do not avoid active discussion or debate, but be conscientious and respectful in discussing thoughts and debating ideas;
  • avoid actions and discussions that attack a single person’s credibility, lived experiences, or identity or that violate or infringe in any way upon an individual’s rights or safety, including any statements that defame, harass, or threaten;
  • avoid language that could be considered offensive, including, without limitation, expressions of obscenity, bigotry, racism, abusiveness, vulgarity, or profanity;
  • strive to protect another’s right to privacy and respect; and
  • work with others to correct situations and rectify inconsiderations.

In employing alternatives, we should all remember not to make the mistake of engaging in discrimination, separation, or exclusion in an effort to avoid allegations of discrimination and harassment.

Definitions

“Discrimination” means treating a person or group of persons less advantageously than another person or group of persons because of one or more of the characteristics listed above. Discrimination can manifest itself in many forms, including denying or excluding a person or a group of persons from participation in or receiving the benefits of any program or activity because of one or more of the protected characteristics specified above.

“Harassment” refers to any unwelcome verbal or physical conduct that is directed toward a person or group of persons or that is understood to have been directed toward a person or group of persons. Such conduct—based on factors including frequency, location, severity, context, nature of the speech or conduct, and intent of the offender, as well as whether the speech or conduct is offensive, physically threatening, or humiliating—becomes harassing when it is so severe or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with an individual’s performance or participation or when it creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. Examples may include, but are not limited to, epithets, slurs, gestures, mannerisms, insinuations, and jokes.

Legal statutes

Discrimination in the United States is prohibited, at a minimum, by parts of

  • the Equal Pay Act of 1963,
  • the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
  • the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967,
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972,
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,
  • Sections 501, 503, and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,
  • the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978,
  • the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990,
  • the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994,
  • the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.

This statement on discrimination and harassment provides our intent to comply in our course of business with these and other federal, state, and local laws that prohibit discrimination and harassment in employment and in educational institutions because of specified traits, characteristics, and conduct.

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