Physical Spaces Code of Conduct

Summary

Chef is dedicated to providing an inclusive and harassment-free experience for anyone who participates in events that are organized or hosted by Chef – whether that is ChefConf, Community Summits, MeetUps, training, or other events – and we do not tolerate
harassment of participants in any form.

We value the participation of each member of the Chef community and want all attendees to have an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. Accordingly, all attendees are expected to show respect and courtesy to other attendees throughout the event and at
all related events, whether officially sponsored by Chef or not.

To make clear what is expected, all delegates/attendees, speakers, exhibitors, organizers, and volunteers at any Chef event are required to conform to the following Code of Conduct. Organizers will enforce this code throughout the event.

Code of Conduct

Chef is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, veteran status, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of event participants
in any form.

All communication should be appropriate for a professional audience including people of many different backgrounds. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any event venue, including talks.

Be kind to others. Do not insult or put down other attendees. Behave professionally. Remember that harassment and sexist, racist, ageist, or exclusionary jokes are not appropriate for any event.

Anti-Harassment Policy

Harassment comes in many forms, including but not limited to:

  • Offensive comments related to gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, veteran status, or religion
  • Posting/Exposing sexually explicit or violent images
  • Deliberate (or implied) intimidation
  • Stalking or persistent following
  • Intrusive or otherwise unwanted photography or recording
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events
  • Inappropriate physical contact or unwelcome sexual attention
  • Posting (or threatening to post) other people’s personally identifying information (“doxing”)
  • Advocation for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. Further unacceptable behavior will result in escalating sanctions.

Exhibitors in the expo hall, sponsor or vendor booths, or similar activities are also subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, exhibitors should not use sexualized images, activities, or other material. Booth staff (including volunteers)
should not use sexualized clothing/uniforms/costumes, or otherwise create an unprofessional environment.

Be careful in the words that you choose. Remember that sexist, racist, ageist, and other exclusionary jokes can be offensive to those around you. If you think your conversation is making another community member uncomfortable, try to make amends and move
forward.

Event staff will be happy to help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event. We value your attendance.

Attendee Procedure for Incident Handling

This procedure has been adopted from the Ada Initiative’s guide titled “Conference anti-harassment/Responding to Reports”.

All of our staff are informed of the Code of Conduct policy and guide for handling harassment at the event. Report the harassment incident (preferably in writing) to an event staff member. All reports are confidential. Please do not disclose public information
about the incident until the staff have had sufficient time in which to address the situation. This is as much for your safety and protection as it is the other attendees. When reporting the event to staff, try to gather as much information as available,
but do not interview people about the incident. Staff will assist you in writing the report/collecting information.

The important information consists of:

  • Identifying information (name/badge number) of the participant doing the harassing
  • The behavior that was in violation
  • The approximate time and date of the behavior
  • The circumstances surrounding the incident
  • Other people involved in the incident

The staff is well informed on how to deal with the incident and how to further proceed with the situation.

If everyone is presently physically safe, involve law enforcement or security only at a victim’s request. If you do feel your safety in jeopardy, please do not hesitate to contact local law enforcement by dialing 911. If you do not have a cell phone,
you can use any hotel phone or simply ask a staff member.

Event staff requests that they be your first resource when reporting an incident, so that they may enforce the Code of Conduct and take quick action toward a resolution.

If at all possible, all reports should be made directly to the individuals listed under Contact Information.

Staff Procedure for Incident Handling

This procedure has been adopted from the Ada Initiative’s guide titled “Conference anti-harassment/Responding to Reports”.

Gather Details

In addition to understanding our Code of Conduct policy, also have a good understanding of what is expected from an attendee that wants to report a harassment incident. These guidelines can be found in the Attendee Procedure for Incident Handling.

Try to get as much detail of the incident in written form from the reporter. If you cannot, transcribe it yourself as it was told to you. The important information to gather includes the following:

  • Identifying information (name/badge number) of the participant doing the harassing
  • The behavior that was in violation
  • The approximate time and date of the behavior
  • The approximate time the report was made
  • The circumstances surrounding the incident
  • Other people involved in the incident

Prepare an Initial Response

Prepare an initial response to the incident. The initial response is very important and will set the tone for the event.

Depending on the severity/details of the incident, please follow these guidelines:

  • If there is any general threat to attendees or the safety of anyone including event staff is in doubt, summon security or police
  • Offer the victim a private place to sit
  • Ask “Is there a friend or trusted person who you would like to be with you?” (if so, arrange for someone to fetch this person)
  • Ask them “how can I help?”
  • Provide them with your list of emergency contacts if they need help later
  • If everyone is presently physically safe, involve law enforcement or security only at a victim’s request

There are also some guidelines as to what not to do as an initial response:

  • Do not overtly invite them to withdraw the complaint or mention that withdrawal is OK. This suggests that you want them to do so, and is therefore coercive. “If you’re OK with it [pursuing the complaint]” suggests that you are by default pursuing
    it and is not coercive
  • Do not ask for their advice on how to deal with the complaint. This is a staff responsibility
  • Do not offer them input into penalties. This is the staff’s responsibility

After Reporting

Once something is reported to a staff member, immediately meet with the event chair and/or the event manager. The main objectives of this meeting is to find out the following:

  • What happened?
  • Are we doing anything about it?
  • Who is doing those things?
  • When are they doing them?

After the staff meeting and discussion, have a staff member — preferably the event chair or event manager if available — communicate with the alleged harasser. Make sure to inform the alleged harasser of what has been reported about them.

Allow the alleged harasser to give their side of the story to the staff. After this point, if the report stands, let the alleged harasser know what actions will be taken against them.

Things to Consider

Some things for the staff to consider when dealing with Code of Conduct offenders:

  • Warning the harasser to cease their behavior and that any further reports will result in sanctions
  • Requiring that the harasser avoid any interaction with, and physical proximity to, their victim for the remainder of the event
  • Ending a talk that violates the policy early
  • Not publishing the video or slides of a talk that violated the policy
  • Not allowing a speaker who violated the policy to give (further) talks at the event now or in the future
  • Immediately ending any event volunteer responsibilities and privileges the harasser holds
  • Requiring that the harasser not volunteer for future events your organization runs (either indefinitely or for a certain time period)
  • Requiring that the harasser immediately leave the event and not return
  • Banning the harasser from future events (either indefinitely or for a certain time period)
  • Publishing an account of the harassment and calling for the resignation of the harasser from their responsibilities (usually pursued by people without formal authority: this may be called for if the harasser is the event leader, or refuses to stand
    aside from the conflict of interest, or similar, typically event staff have sufficient governing rights over their space that this is not as useful)

Give accused attendees a place to appeal if there is one, but in the meantime, the report stands. Keep in mind that it is not a good idea to encourage an apology from the harasser.

Public Announcements

It is very important how we deal with the incident publicly. Our policy is to make sure that everyone aware of the initial incident is also made aware that it is not according to policy and that official action has been taken – while still respecting
the privacy of individual attendees. When speaking to individuals (those who are aware of the incident, but were not involved with the incident) about the incident it is a good idea to keep the details out.

Depending on the incident, the event chair, or designate, may decide to make one or more public announcements. If necessary, this will be done with a short announcement either during the plenary and/or through other channels. No one other than the event
chair or someone delegated authority from the event chair should make any announcements. No personal information about either party will be disclosed as part of this process.

If some attendees were angered by the incident, it is best to apologize to them that the incident occurred to begin with. If there are residual hard feelings, suggest to them to write an email to the event chair or to the event coordinator. It will be
dealt with accordingly.

If at all possible, all reports should be made directly to the individuals listed under Contact Information.

Enforcement

Crafting a list of punitive actions would be inadequate and incomplete. Each incident will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Our first response should always be to ensure the immediate safety and well being of all parties involved. In the ideal case, an attempt to stop and prevent the violation behavior would be made before any punitive action is decided.

When punitive action is warranted, one or more of the following remedies may be used:

  • Expulsion from the space where the incident occurred with no refund
  • Removal from the space where the incident occurred for a period of time
  • Banned from the space where the incident occurred indefinitely
  • Banned from one or more upcoming in-person events

Contact Information

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the event staff. Event staff should be clearly visible. Venue staff should also be able to put you in touch with event staff
if you are uncertain who is part of the event staff.

If the matter is especially urgent, please call/contact any of these individuals:

  • Suzanna Litwin at +1 (425) 765-6209
  • Mandi Walls at +1 (703) 582-7396

Influences

This Code of Conduct was forked from the example policy from the Geek Feminism wiki, created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers, which is under a
Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. It is also based on the Django Code of Conduct, and the PyCon Code of Conduct.

Copyright

This Code of Conduct is in the public domain. In jurisdictions that do not allow for this, this work is available under CC0. To the extent possible under law, the person who associated CC0 with this work has waived all copyright and related or neighboring
rights to this work.