Safe Space

Everyone at Axelerant has a responsibility to ensure a safe space to engage with each other. Working remotely means that most of our interactions are by video call and written communication, such as email or shared documents, except for team summits, attending conferences together, and local team meetups. No matter the communication method, it is expected that everyone will contribute to an inclusive, collaborative working environment while respecting each other at all times.

When you become aware of or witness any prevention of a safe space, general harassment, or violation of https://axelerant.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/OA/pages/1447493744, please report the incident to the People Operations representative immediately per Reporting Violations below.

Perspective

Axelerant wants team members to feel confident, comfortable, and safe in communicating their concerns. Axelerant respects, appreciates and supports every aspect of diversity as we continuously foster a globally aware team.

Scope

This policy applies to all team members employed by any entity of Axelerant, whether contractor or employee, in all locations. There are local labor laws in every country, and for some states, that must be followed when handling, reporting and investigating incidents of harassment. The People Operations team and relevant legal counsel, when required, will ensure compliance that appropriate local legal processes and procedures are followed. All Axelerant team members will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination, for any act of harassment they commit.

Unacceptable Types of Safe Space Violations

Sexual Harassment

See https://axelerant.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/OA/pages/1751974104.

Discrimination

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

  • Age

  • Disability

  • Gender

  • Life expectancy

  • Race; including color, nationality, ethnic or national origin

  • Religious belief or lack thereof

  • Sexual orientation

  • Slander

Bullying & Workplace Violence

Axelerant 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 Axelerant team member should commit or threaten to commit any violent act or discuss committing such offenses, even in a joking manner.

Retaliation

Retaliation of any sort for filing a claim of harassment will not be tolerated.

Speaking Up

When people believe they have been the target or witness safe space violations of any kind, they're encouraged to immediately and directly address the harasser, letting them know that their behavior is unwelcome or offensive and must stop immediately. Speaking up creates an opportunity in which all parties can learn from and promote understanding. Further, the harming source person can de-escalate the situation by apologizing and resolving the problem without escalation.

While speaking up may not remove all consequences, it does significantly reduce the chance of escalation and has the potential to return team members to a comfortable and inclusive environment.

Reporting Violations

When speaking up fails or isn't feasible in a harassment situation, please contact a People Operations representative within three months (3) of the incident to investigate the behavior.

  • All complaints or concerns about safe space violations or discrimination will be taken seriously and handled confidentially.

  • An impartial investigation committee will do its best to validate the violations before involving consequences for the reported people.

The Role of People Operations

  1. Exploring informal means of resolving potential safe space violations when verbal complaints than formal, written objections are made.

  2. Ensuring that people filing a complaint and any accused persons are made aware of the misconduct's seriousness.

  3. Explaining Axelerant's safe space policy and investigation procedures to all complaint stakeholders.

  4. Arrange for an immediate investigation of misconduct.

  5. Prepare a written report summarizing the results of the investigation.

  6. Make recommendations for remediation to designated company officials.

  7. Notifying appropriate authorities (police, country-specific bureaus) when criminal activities are reported.

The Role of Leadership

When managers become aware of a safe space violation, they must act quickly, confidentially, and somewhat with any allegations, whether a written or formal complaint made to People Operations. Managers are expected to:

  1. Take all complaints or concerns of safe space violations seriously.

  2. Report violations immediately to People Operations.

  3. Take appropriate action to prevent retaliation or misconduct from recurring.

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

The Role of Team Members

All employees have a responsibility to create and maintain a safe space work environment by:

  1. Being aware of how their 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, when possible, to stop safe space violations or bullying from occurring.

  6. Reporting promptly to their manager or the People Operations department any witnessed bullying or safe space violations.

Disciplinary Actions

All team members will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination, for any act of safe space violations they are confirmed to have committed. Although disciplinary action will be specific to each case, it can generally be classified into four levels mentioned below. Actual disciplinary actions are suggested by leadership and peer-based committee and finalized by the executive team in line with https://axelerant.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/AH/pages/1751974104/Prevention+of+Sexual+Harassment+POSH+Policy#4.0-Procedures-%26-Guidelines.

Level 1

E.g., First-time low-impact occurrences of inappropriate behavior or an act out of character moment. After a formal investigation, team members still feel comfortable working with the instigator.

  • 3-days unpaid suspension

  • Formal apology towards inflicted parties

Level 2

E.g., First-time high-impact or recurring, within 1-year, socially inappropriate behavior.

Level 3

E.g., Major infractions, including retaliation, or recurring, within 1-year, socially inappropriate behavior after a warning letter.

  • Termination of contract

Level 4

E.g., Serious cases, including criminal offenses.

  • Termination of contract

  • Reported to the police or other relevant authorities

Training & Guidance

Training and guidance by Learning & Development team and others for understanding, preventing, and overcoming safe space violations will be provided to team members as part of situational resolutions.

References