Mopco Anti-Harassment Policy

Mopco, LLC (The Mopco Improv Theatre and Koppett) strives to create and maintain not simply a respectful, but a welcoming and developmental environment in which people thrive.  Therefore, our environment must be characterized by mutual trust and the absence of intimidation, oppression or exploitation.

The Company is committed to maintaining a workplace free from harassment. This includes any kind of discrimination based on:

  • Age, Creed (religion), Sex, Sexual orientation, Gender identity, Gender expression, Family status, Marital status, Disability, Race, Ancestry, Place of origin. Ethnic origin, Citizenship, Color

  • Association or relationship with a person identified by one of the above

  • A perception that one of the above applies.

The right to freedom from discrimination and harassment, as well as the obligation to refrain from engaging in harassment or discriminatory behavior extends to all persons who are in the building or participate in Mopco programs.

  • all employees, including full-time, part-time, temporary, and probationary staff

  • contractors,

  • performers,

  • Instructors and guest instructors,

  • volunteers,

  • students,

  • interns and apprentices,

  • service providers,

  • rental companies

  • audience members

  • friends and family

All employees, staff and volunteers, regardless of their positions are expected to comply with this policy and to take appropriate measures to ensure that prohibited conduct does not occur.

Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against anyone who violates this policy. Based on the seriousness of the offense, disciplinary action may include verbal or written reprimand, suspension or termination of employment for employees, or severance of relationship for volunteers.

The company reserves the right to ask audience members or students to leave for cause.


WHO DO I REPORT INAPPROPRIATE CONDUCT TO?

An anonymous reporting form is available here.

Mopco, LLC will courteously treat any person who invokes this complaint procedure, and the company will handle all complaints swiftly and confidentially to the extent possible in light of the need to take appropriate corrective action. Lodging a complaint will in no way be used against the complainant or victim or have an adverse impact on the individual’s employment or participant status. Because of the damaging nature of harassment to the victims and to the entire community, aggrieved individuals are strongly urged to use this procedure. However, filing groundless or malicious complaints is an abuse of this policy and will be treated as a violation.

Employees are required to report any workplace harassment immediately to Management. Any employee who is aware of such verbally or physically abusive conditions should report such activity immediately, whether they are involved in the incident or not.

Other members of the community are encouraged to report incidents that they are aware of as soon as possible. It is our hope to make this process as comfortable and unbiased as possible as we navigate the delicate nature of our of our community/work environment and the uniqueness of each situation. Ideally, a conversation will be set up with one of the two co-directors of Mopco, Michael Burns or Kat Koppett. The conversation will help inform any future action and will take into account the complainant's wishes as well as the best practices for our company.


DEFINITION OF WORKPLACE HARASSMENT

Workplace harassment is defined as unsolicited, unwanted and unwarranted physical harassment, jest or innuendo, verbal harassment, visual harassment, and any requests for favors, sexual or otherwise.

Mopco, LLC prohibits harassment, including sexual harassment, of any kind, and will take appropriate and immediate action in response to complaints or knowledge of violations of this policy. For purposes of this policy, harassment is any verbal or physical conduct designed to threaten, intimidate or coerce an employee, co-worker or any person working for or on behalf of Mopco. Verbal taunting (including racial and ethnic slurs) that, in the person’s opinion, impairs their ability to perform their job is included in the definition of harassment.

The following examples of harassment are intended to be guidelines and are not exclusive when determining whether there has been a violation of this policy:

Verbal harassment includes comments that are offensive or unwelcome regarding a person’s age, nationality, origin, race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, body, disability, socio-economic or educational status, family or marital status, 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

Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and is prohibited under Mopco’s anti-harassment policy. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment is defined as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature . . . when . . . submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions . . . or such conduct has the purpose or effect of . . . creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

There are two types of sexual harassment:

  • “Quid pro quo” harassment, where submission to harassment is used as the basis for employment decisions. Employee benefits such as raises, promotions and better working hours are directly linked to compliance with sexual advances. Therefore, only someone in a supervisory capacity (with the authority to grant such benefits) can engage in quid pro quo harassment. Examples: A supervisor promising an employee a raise if they go on a date with them; a manager telling an employee they will fire them if they do not have sex with them.

  • “Hostile work environment,” where the harassment creates an offensive and unpleasant working environment. A hostile work environment can be created by anyone in the work environment, whether it be supervisors, other employees or customers. Hostile environment harassment consists of verbiage of a sexual nature, unwelcome sexual materials or even unwelcome physical contact as a regular part of the work environment. Texts, e-mails, cartoons or posters of a sexual nature; vulgar or lewd comments or jokes; or unwanted touching or fondling all fall into this category.

Sexual harassment occurs when unsolicited and unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature:

  • Is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment.

  • Is used as a basis for an employment decision.

  • Unreasonably interferes with someone’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or otherwise offensive environment.

  • Sexual harassment may take different forms. The following examples of sexual harassment are intended to be guidelines and are not exclusive when determining whether there has been a violation of this policy:

    • Verbal sexual harassment includes innuendoes, suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propositions, lewd remarks and threats; requests for any type of sexual favor (this includes repeated, unwelcome requests for dates); and verbal abuse or “kidding” that is oriented toward a prohibitive form of harassment, including that which is sexual in nature and unwelcome.*

    • Non-Verbal sexual harassment includes the distribution, display or discussion of any written or graphic material, including calendars, posters and cartoons that are sexually suggestive or show hostility toward an individual or group because of sex; suggestive or insulting sounds; leering; staring; whistling; obscene gestures; content in letters and notes, facsimiles, e-mail, photos, text messages, tweets and Internet postings; or other form of communication that is sexual in nature and offensive.

    • Physical sexual harassment includes unwelcome, unwanted physical contact, including touching, tickling, pinching, patting, brushing up against, hugging, cornering, kissing and fondling and forced sexual intercourse or assault.

Courteous, mutually respectful, pleasant, non-coercive interactions between employees and volunteers, of all genders and identities, that are appropriate in the workplace and acceptable to and welcomed by both parties are not considered to be harassment, including sexual harassment.*

*Mopco is aware that the nature of our work is unique, and that both content and process of our onstage work requires additional thought and guidelines to navigation potential misunderstandings and discomfort. We have therefore created specific Consent Guidelines for Performers and Students. We have a policy of pre and post-session check-ins designed to allow participants to share any boundaries, physical limitations, or concerns. The Red, Yellow, Green Check-In is meant to ensure a safe and respectful environment for collaboration while enabling open and clear communication.

Retaliation

No hardship, loss, benefit or penalty may be imposed on a Mopco community member 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 termination of employment.

Consensual Romantic or Sexual Relationships

Mopco is aware that our community is a place that fosters social as well as professional connection. Therefore, personal and professional lines sometimes intersect. That said:

Mopco strongly discourages romantic or sexual relationships between:

  • a manager or other supervisory employee and their staff (an employee or intern who reports directly or indirectly to that person) and

  • Instructors and students

Such relationships tend to create compromising conflicts of interest or the appearance of such conflicts. In addition, such a relationship may give rise to the perception by others that there is favoritism or bias.

Moreover, given the uneven balance of power within such relationships, they may be viewed by others or, at a later date by the staff member or student themselves, as involving some kind of coercion or intimidation. The atmosphere created by such appearances of bias, favoritism, intimidation, coercion or exploitation undermines the spirit of trust and mutual respect that is essential to a healthy work environment. If any employee or instructor of Mopco enters into a consensual relationship that is romantic or sexual in nature with a member of their staff or a student, the parties must notify the co-directors. Because of potential issues regarding quid pro quo harassment, Mopco has made reporting mandatory. If any cause for concern is identified, cases will be handled on an individual basis in accordance with the general policy.

Violence

The safety and security of employees is of the utmost importance to the Company. The Company has adopted a Zero Tolerance Policy for workplace violence. Acts or threats of physical violence, including intimidation, coercion, and/or harassment, which involve or affect employees, visitors, guests or other individuals will not be tolerated. Violations of this policy will lead to disciplinary action including dismissal, arrest, and prosecution.

The Company will continually strive to prevent and minimize the potential of violence in the workplace. The prohibition against threats and acts of violence applies to all persons involved in the Company’s operation, including but not limited to regular personnel, contract and temporary workers, and anyone else on the property, attending Company-sponsored events, and conducting Company business.

Investigation of Workplace Harassment

Reports will be handled on a case by case basis, beginning with a conversation between the complainant and a co-director of the complainants choosing or the company ombudsman. [The current ombudsman can be reached here]. The conversation will help inform any future action and will take into account the complainant's wishes as well as the best practices for our company. Interviews with the alleged perpetrator will also be engaged in.

If an anonymous report is filed without contact information the matter will be investigated to the extent possible. It is our hope to make this process as comfortable and unbiased as possible as we navigate the delicate nature of our of our community/work environment and the uniqueness of each situation.

We will maintain the anonymity of those making reports and share pertinent information with our staff and community as each situation dictates.

Allegations of workplace harassment are a serious matter and will be investigated fully. Any frivolous or false accusations made willfully will not be tolerated and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken immediately, up to and including termination. If and when appropriate, outside investigators will be engaged.

Should a claim of workplace harassment be reported, an interview will take place between Management and the complainant and the alleged perpetrator as soon as practicable. Said interviews may be transcribed with the employees directed to sign transcribed copies. An investigation will then take place, comparing the two accounts of the situation, written statements, if any, and any supporting documentation submitted or collected.

Confidentiality

During the complaint process, the confidentiality of the information received, the privacy of the individuals involved and the wishes of the complaining person will be protected to as great a degree as is legally possible. The expressed wishes of the complaining person for confidentiality will be considered in the context of the company’s legal obligation to act on the charge and the right of the charged party to obtain information. In most cases, however, confidentiality will be strictly maintained by the company and those involved in the investigation. In addition, any notes or documents written by or received by the person(s) conducting the investigation will be kept confidential to the extent possible and according to any existing state or federal law.

Disciplinary Action

Management will communicate the disciplinary action to be taken, up to and including immediate termination, to the perpetrator according to the disciplinary policies contained within these personnel policies. At the discretion of Management, a copy of the investigation and its conclusion may be maintained in the personnel file of the complainant and the alleged perpetrator. If no disciplinary action is taken, a copy of the investigation and its conclusions may still be retained in the personnel file of both the complainant and the alleged perpetrator.

Alternative 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.

We thank you for your commitment to keeping our community safe and welcoming. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with your thoughts and questions.