THE EMPTY SPACE THEATRE POLICES AND PROCEDURES

Updated: 07.08.18

ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY FOR HARASSMENT, DISCRIMINATION AND RETALIATION

The Empty Space is committed to creating a safe environment for all artists including actors, directors, designers, technicians, visual artists and anyone else who collaborates with The Empty Space to create art and help us fulfill our mission of providing theatre and visual art to the community of Bakersfield. We believe it is imperative that our environment remain free of any harassment or discrimination.

OBJECTIVE

To create and maintain an environment free of harassment and discrimination where every person is treated with respect. All members of The Empty Space community are expected to comply with this policy and will be held responsible for their actions should they violate it.

HARASSMENT

Harassment of any kind is strictly prohibited at The Empty Space and violations may result in disciplinary actions up to and including an individual being removed from a current production and banned from involvement in future productions.

Harassment may include a range of behaviors, including subtle and overt verbal and non-verbal behavior.

  • Verbal harassment includes comments that are offensive or unwelcome regarding a person’s nationality, origin, race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, body, disability or appearance, including epithets, slurs and negative stereotyping.

  • Nonverbal harassment includes distribution, display or discussion of any written or graphic material that ridicules, denigrates, insults, belittles or shows hostility, aversion or disrespect toward an individual or group because of national origin, race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, appearance, disability, sexual identity, marital or other protected status.

Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (i) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of participation or as a basis for artistic decisions or (ii) such request or conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s artistic performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or offensive environment.  

Sexual harassment can happen between same-sex individuals as well as opposite-sex individuals and does not require that the harassing conduct be motivated by sexual desire.

Violations of this policy may include, but are not limited to, any of the following:

  • epithets, derogatory jokes, comments, slurs, or verbal or physical innuendoes based on sex or another protected characteristic;

  • engaging in verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, including conduct that expressly or implicitly constitutes an unwanted sexual advance, invitation, or request for sexual acts or favors;

  • making verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, or the refusal to engage in such conduct, the basis of any artistic decision or a condition of an artist’s continued participation;

  • subjecting others to obscenity or offensive language including displaying offensive or sexually suggestive photographs, objects, pictures, cartoons, graffiti, etc., using offensive language or gestures, and similar conduct;

  • unwelcome and repeated flirtations, propositions or advances;

  • using stereotypes;

  • bullying or abusive conduct;

  • commentary about an individual’s body or sexual matters;

  • mimicking, mocking or ridiculing another’s culture, accent, appearance or customs;

  • displaying on walls, bulletin boards or elsewhere on theatre premises or circulating in the theatre, written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward a person or group because of any protected characteristic;

  • tricks, horseplay or pranks based on a protected characteristic;

  • leering, whistling, unwanted touching, pinching, or assault, or intentionally blocking normal movement or interfering with work because of any protected characteristic listed above; and

  • retaliation for reporting or threatening to report any violation of this policy.

The above examples are not meant to be all-inclusive.


DISCRIMINATION

It is a violation of The Empty Space’s policy to discriminate in the provision of artistic volunteer opportunities; to create discriminatory conditions; or to use discriminatory evaluative standards in volunteer selection if the basis of that discriminatory treatment is, in whole or in part, the person’s race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information or marital status.

Discrimination of this kind may also be strictly prohibited by a variety of federal, state and local laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This policy is intended to comply with the prohibitions stated in these anti-discrimination laws.

Discrimination in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary measures up to and including removal from a current production and a ban from all future productions.


RETALIATION

No hardship, loss, benefit or penalty may be imposed on an artist volunteer in response to:

Filing or responding to a bona fide complaint of discrimination or harassment.

Appearing as a witness in the investigation of a complaint.

Serving as an investigator of a complaint.

Retaliation or attempted retaliation in response to lodging a complaint or invoking the complaint process is a violation of this policy. Any person who is found to have violated this aspect of the policy will be subject to sanctions up to and including removal from a current production and ban from future productions.


COMPLAINT PROCESS

The Empty Space will receive any complaint of harassment, discrimination or retaliation and will diligently work to handle the issue with as much confidentiality as possible.

Any individual who feels this policy has been violated is encouraged to report the violation by filing a written complaint to any sitting member of The Empty Space board of directors. This can be done in person or by email. If the individual does not have the personal email of a board member, they are encouraged to email admin@esonline.org. All members of the board will be instructed to swiftly pass on the report to the Executive Director. Should the report involve the sitting Executive Director, the Communications Director will be delegated to deal with the violation. No formal action will be taken by The Empty Space unless a formal, written complaint has been provided with sufficient details to determine if the policy has been violated.

If it is determined that harassment or discrimination in violation of this policy has occurred, the Executive Director or other delegated party will recommend appropriate disciplinary action. The appropriate action will depend on the following factors: a) the severity, frequency and pervasiveness of the conduct; b) prior complaints made by the complainant; c) prior complaints made against the respondent; and d) the quality of the evidence (e.g., first-hand knowledge, credible corroboration).


ALTERNATE LEGAL REMEDIES

Nothing in this policy may prevent the complainant or the respondent from pursuing formal legal remedies or resolution through local, state or federal agencies or the courts.

RECIPROCITY WITH OTHER THEATERS

The Empty Space reserves the right to take action based upon an artist, or prospective volunteer being suspended or banned from any team / theater / festival for harassment, inappropriate conduct, or behavior which makes any individual feel unsafe.

Report incidents to Ellie Sivesind at egarber@gmail.com