Model Workplace Policies

Hollaback!’s Workplace Policies

We are committed to transparency and believe our workplace policies should be as transparent as our values. For that purpose only, below you will find our current workplace policy statements. These policies and the information provided on this website do not, and are not intended to, constitute legal advice, nor are they intended to be duplicated for use by other organizations; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.

In these policy statements you will find the following sections:

Equal Employment Opportunity

Hollaback! Nondiscrimination  and Anti‐Harassment  Policy


Equal  Employment  Opportunity 

Hollaback!  seeks  to  actively  and  affirmatively  build  a  qualified  pool  of  applicants  that  includes   representation  from  groups  who  have  traditionally  been  excluded,  underrepresented,  or   discriminated  against.  The  entire  Hollaback!  community  benefits  from  an  organizational  culture  that   respects  human  rights,  values  the  inclusion  of  a  broad  range  of  perspectives  and  supports  the  full   participation  of  people  with  diverse  life  experiences.  

It  has  been,  and  will  continue  to  be,  a  fundamental  policy  of  Hollaback!  to  base  employment  upon   personal  qualifications  without  discrimination  because  of  actual  or  perceived  race,  color,  national   origin,  religion, sex, pregnancy,  childbirth  or  related  medical  conditions,  age,  disability,  sexual   orientation,  gender, gender  identity  and  expression,  partnership  status,  size,  ancestry,  or  citizenship  status,   creed,  marital  status,  family  care  status,  domestic  violence  victim  status,  genetic  predisposition  or   carrier  status,  matriculation,  political  activities,  veteran  status,  observance of Sabbath, use of service dog, prior arrests, criminal accusation, or prior convictions (unless certain requirements have been met), reproductive decisionmaking,  or  any  other  protected   characteristic  as  established  by  federal,  state  or  local  law.    This  policy  of  equal  employment  opportunity  applies  to  all  policies  and  procedures  relating  to   recruitment  and  hiring,  training, promotion, compensation,  benefits,  leaves of absence, discipline, demotion, transfer, termination,  and  all  other  terms  and  conditions  of   employment.    This  policy  is  designed  to  affect  all  employment  practices.    The  Executive  Director  has   the  responsibility  for  administering  this  policy.      

All Hollaback! employees, other workers and representatives are prohibited from engaging in unlawful discrimination. Appropriate  disciplinary  action  may  be  taken  against anyone violating  this  policy   up  to  and  including  termination.  

Hollaback! Nondiscrimination  and Anti‐Harassment  Policy 

Hollaback!  (the Company”) is  committed  to  a  work  environment  for all employees, paid or unpaid interns contractors, and individuals who are in any way conducting business with it that is free of bias, prejudice, discrimination and harassment of any kind and in which  all  individuals  are  treated  with  respect  and   dignity.  Each  employee  has  the  right  to  work  in  a  professional  atmosphere  that  promotes  equal  employment  opportunities  and  prohibits  discriminatory  practices,  including  harassment. Therefore,  Hollaback!  expects  that  all  relationships  among  persons  in  the  workplace  will  be businesslike  and  free  of  bias,  prejudice,  and  harassment.  

Harassment is prohibited both at the workplace and at employer-sponsored events,  such  as  business  trips,  business  meetings,  and  business-related  social  events, and parties. Calls, texts, emails, and social media usage by employees can constitute unlawful workplace harassment, even if they occur away from the workplace premises, on personal devices, or during non-work hours. 

Any employee violating this policy will be subject to remedial and/or disciplinary action, up to and including separation of employment.  Likewise, any manager or supervisor who knowingly permits harassing behavior to continue or fails to report suspected harassment shall be subject to discipline, up to and including separation of employment.


Harassment  is  verbal  or  physical  conduct  that  denigrates  or  shows  hostility  or   aversion  toward  an  individual  because  of  that  individual’s protected characteristics including, but not limited to, race,  color,  national  origin,  religion,   sex, pregnancy,  childbirth  or  related  medical  conditions,  age,  disability,  sexual   orientation,  gender, gender  identity  and  expression,  partnership  status,  size,  ancestry,  or  citizenship  status,   creed,  marital  status,  family  care  status,  domestic  violence  victim  status,  genetic  predisposition  or   carrier  status,  matriculation,  political  activities,  veteran  status,  observance of Sabbath, use of service dog, prior arrests, criminal accusation, or prior convictions (unless certain requirements have been met), reproductive decisionmaking, or any other classification protected by federal, state or local law, because he/she is associated with a person in a protected category, or is perceived as being in any of these protected categories.  Harassment is prohibited against employees, paid or unpaid interns, contractors, and individuals who are in any way conducting business with the Company.

Unlawful harassment is conduct that may include, but is not limited to, the following: verbal, visual or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of a legally protected category, and that: (i) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment; (ii) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance; or (iii) otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities.    

Examples of harassing  conduct  includes,  but  is  not  limited  to:  epithets,  slurs,  or  negative   stereotyping;  threatening,  intimidating  or  hostile  acts;  denigrating  jokes  and  display  or  circulation  in   the  workplace  of  written  or  graphic  material  that  denigrates  or  shows  hostility  or  aversion  toward   an  individual  or  group  (including  through  e-‐mail,  social  media  and  other  forms  of  communication).  

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of workplace discrimination and harassment and is unlawful under federal, state, and (where applicable) local law. Sexual harassment includes harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and the status of being transgender.  Sexual harassment is prohibited against employees, paid or unpaid interns, contractors, and individuals who are in any way conducting business with the Company.

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct which is either of a sexual nature or which is directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex when:  (i)  submission  to  such   conduct  is  made  either  explicitly  or  implicitly  a  term  or  condition  of  an  individual’s  employment;  (ii)   submission  to  or  rejection  of  such  conduct  by  an  individual  is  used  as  the  basis  for  employment   decisions  affecting  such  individual;  or  (iii)  such  conduct  has  the  purpose  or  effect  of  unreasonably   interfering  with  an  individual’s  work  performance  or  creating  an  intimidating,  hostile,  or  offensive   working  environment even if the complaining individual is not the intended target of the sexual harassment.  

A sexually harassing hostile work environment includes, but is not limited to, words, signs, jokes, pranks, intimidation, or physical violence which are of a sexual nature or which are directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex. Sexual harassment may also consist of unwanted verbal or physical advances, sexually explicit derogatory statements, or sexually discriminatory remarks. Sexual harassment also occurs when a person in authority tries to trade job benefits for sexual favors. This can include hiring, promotion, continued employment, or any other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.

Sexual  harassment  may  include  a  range  of  subtle  and  not  so  subtle  behaviors  and  may  involve   individuals  of  the  same  or  different  gender  identity.    The following describes some of the types of acts that may be unlawful sexual harassment and that are strictly prohibited:

  • Physical assaults of a sexual nature, such as: 
    • Unwanted touching, pinching, patting, kissing, hugging, grabbing, or brushing against another employee’s body or poking another employees’ body; and
    • Rape, sexual battery, molestation, or attempts to commit these assaults. 
  • Unwanted sexual advances or propositions, such as: 
    • Requests for sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning the target’s job performance evaluation, a promotion, or other job benefits or detriments; and
    • Subtle or obvious pressure for unwelcome sexual activities. 
  • Sexually oriented gestures, noises, remarks, jokes, or comments about a person’s sexuality or sexual experience, which create a hostile work environment. 
  • Sex stereotyping, which occurs when an individual singles out a person or group of people on the basis of not conforming to that individual’s ideas or perceptions as to how that person or group should act, look, talk, dress, etc. based on their sex.  
  • Sexual or discriminatory displays or publications anywhere in the workplace, such as: 
    • Displaying pictures, posters, calendars, graffiti, objects, promotional material, reading materials, or other materials that are sexually demeaning or pornographic. This includes such sexual displays on workplace computers or cell phones and sharing such displays while in the workplace. 
  • Hostile actions taken against an individual because of that individual’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or the status of being transgender, such as: 
    • Interfering with, destroying, or damaging a person’s workstation, tools, or equipment, or otherwise interfering with the individual’s ability to perform the job; 
    • Sabotaging an individual’s work; and
    • Bullying, yelling, or name-calling. 

Sexual harassment can occur between any individuals, regardless of their sex or gender.  A harasser can be a superior, a subordinate, a coworker, or anyone in the workplace, including an independent contractor, contract worker, vendor, client, customer, or visitor.

All Company employees and fellows will be required to participate in an annual sexual harassment prevention training.

Complaints of Discrimination or Harassment

The Company strongly encourages the prompt reporting of all incidents of discrimination or harassment. The Company cannot prevent or remedy discrimination or harassment unless it knows about it.  Any employee who has been subjected to behavior that may constitute discrimination or harassment, or becomes aware of discrimination or harassment, is encouraged to report such behavior to a supervisor, manager, or Executive Director.  Supervisors or managers who receive a report of harassment, or believe they observed harassment are required to report such suspected harassment to the Executive Director. 

There is no requirement for the form or content of a harassment complaint.  However, to allow us to take steps to prevent harassment in our workplace, please provide as much information as possible regarding the offending incident(s) or conduct, such as what happened or is continuing to happen, the person(s) causing the harassment, the time(s) and place(s) that the incident(s) occurred and the names of any others who witnessed the event. For your convenience, a form for submission of a written harassment complaint is attached to this policy, and all employees are encouraged to use this complaint form for harassment complaints.  Employees who are reporting harassment on behalf of other employees may use the complaint form and note that it is on another employee’s behalf.  

All complaints of discrimination and/or harassment will be promptly and thoroughly investigated and will be afforded the greatest confidentiality possible, consistent with the need to investigate and/or unless otherwise required by law, but confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.  All decisions regarding the scope and duration of the investigation, who is interviewed, what materials are reviewed, etc., are in the sole discretion of the Company.  All persons involved, including complainants, witnesses, and alleged perpetrators will be accorded due process to protect their rights to a fair and impartial investigation. Generally speaking the investigation will include: an immediate review of the allegations made and any interim actions, as appropriate; additionally, the Company may review any relevant documents and may interview all parties involved, including any relevant witnesses. The Company will promptly notify the individual who complained and the individual(s) about whom the complaint was made of the final determination and will implement corrective action, if any.

Harassment is also prohibited by state, federal, and, where applicable, local law, including the New York State Human Rights Law (which applies to employers in New York State), Title VII of the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act, and the New York City Human Rights Law (which applies to employers in New York City). Aside from the internal complaint process at the Company, individuals may also choose to pursue legal remedies by contacting the New York State Division of Human Rights, One Fordham Plaza, Fourth Floor, Bronx, New York 10458, (718) 741-8400,; the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 1-800-669-4000 (TTY: 1-800-669-6820), or [email protected]; the NYC Commission on Human Rights, 40 Rector Street, 10th Floor, New York, New York; call 311 or (212) 306-7450; or visit; the county, city, or town in which an individual  lives to find out if local laws protecting individuals from sexual harassment and discrimination exist; the local police department if the harassment involves unwanted physical touching, coerced physical confinement, or coerced sex acts; or the New York state or federal courts. Should an individual prove his/her case, he or she may be entitled to certain remedies (which vary and could, but not do not necessarily include, requiring the Company to take action to stop the alleged harassment and/or monetary damages as provided for under applicable law).

Retaliation  Is  Prohibited  

Hollaback!  prohibits  retaliation  against  any  employee  who, in good faith, makes a complaint of, reports, or opposes discrimination  or  harassment, testifies or assists in an investigation,  proceeding, or hearing involving discrimination or harassment, or encourages a fellow employee to report discrimination or harassment. Retaliation against individuals engaging in the foregoing activities is unlawful, a  serious  violation  of  this  policy  and,  like  harassment  or  discrimination  itself,  may result in  disciplinary  action. This prohibition against retaliation is not intended to protect persons making intentionally false charges of harassment.  

Any person who feels that he or she has experienced such prohibited retaliation, or who is aware of any prohibited retaliation by any person, should immediately report the matter by following the complaint procedure outlined above.  As with complaints of discrimination or harassment, the Company will promptly investigate any complaint and will take appropriate action to prevent or rectify any retaliation.