Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is dedicated to providing a safe and harassment-free environment for all of its Associates. This anti-harassment policy applies to all situations of harassment at Tales of the Cocktail Foundation programs and activities and is applicable to all Tales of the Cocktail Foundation events.
Definitions of harassment and sexual harassment
Harassment is considered any unwelcome verbal or physical behavior that is based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, national origin, or genetic information.
Examples of harassment can include:
- Making unwelcome remarks, jokes, or taunting a person’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, national origin, or genetic information
- Refusing to converse or work with a person based on any of the above-noted grounds
- Making insulting gestures or jokes based on any of the above-noted grounds
- Displaying offensive pictures or materials that are intended to demean, humiliate or offend a person based on any of the above-noted grounds
Sexual harassment is a specific type of harassment, which includes unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature.
Examples of sexual harassment can include:
- Making sexually suggestive remarks or gestures
- Displaying sexually offensive materials
- Whistling and catcalling
- Making sexual jokes which cause awkwardness or embarrassment
- Asking unwelcome questions or making comments about an individual’s sex life
- Making unwelcome remarks about a person’s physical attributes or appearance
- Touching, patting, pinching or other unwelcome physical contact
- Demanding sexual favors
- Exposing oneself to another person without their consent
It is important to note that there are behaviors that go beyond harassment and are considered assault. Sexual assault occurs when someone touches any part of another person’s body in a sexual way without that person’s consent. Sexual assault also includes rape and attempted rape. If you experience sexual assault, know that there is help available. Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response®, or STAR®, a New Orleans based sexual assault center with international resources, can be reached 24/7 by calling 1-855-435-STAR.
What to do if you experience harassment
It is important to verbalize your concerns. It is natural to feel embarrassed, intimidated, or to blame yourself when you experience harassment. You may think that if you just ignore the harassment, or give non-verbal cues that you don’t welcome it, it will stop. However, harassment rarely goes away on its own.
If you experience harassment:
- Speak up. Immediately inform the harasser that their behavior is unwelcome and unwanted. If you’ve tried to resolve the situation on your own with no success, it is best to get someone else involved.
- Report it. Document the harassment and make a complaint. Make a written record of the dates, times and nature of the behavior, and the names of any witnesses.
How to report harassment
Reports of harassment can be made in a number of ways to ensure that your best interests and safety come first.
Types of reports include:
- Formal report: A formal report can be submitted directly to Tales of the Cocktail Foundation via an online form. This form goes directly to a staff person at Tales of the Cocktail Foundation who will take action on the complaint, in partnership with Shift Change, a sexual violence prevention organization with focus on the service industry. Reports can be submitted anonymously, though in order to engage in a full investigation and hold harassers accountable, it is encouraged that those making a report provide their contact information.
- Third-party report: Tales of the Cocktail Foundation has a partnership with Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response®, or STAR®, a local sexual assault center, who have made their 24/7 hotline (1-855-435-STAR) available to receive reports of harassment for the week during and after Tales of the Cocktail Foundation events. This hotline is also available to those in need of support services.
What happens when I report harassment?
Tales of the Cocktail Foundation takes allegations of harassment seriously. In partnership with Shift Change, every report will be reviewed and investigated fully by the Board, who will determine the appropriate sanction.
Sanctions may include any of the following:
- Warning the party involved that the particular behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased
- Immediate removal from an event
- Denial of access to Tales of the Cocktail Foundation spaces and venues on a temporary or permanent basis
This Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits retaliation against any Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Associate for reporting harassment, or for participating in an investigation relating to any complaint made.
Tales of the Cocktail Foundation will make every reasonable effort to conduct all investigations into allegations of harassment in a manner that will protect the confidentiality of all parties. Notwithstanding the above, confidentiality is not absolute, and those with a legitimate business reason to know about the allegations will be informed. Parties to the complaint should treat the matter under investigation with discretion and respect the reputation of all parties involved.
What do I do if someone accuses me of harassment?
If someone accuses you of harassment, apologize and stop the behavior immediately. Be sure to understand what you are doing to cause someone harm and reflect on your behavior. Each person reacts differently to certain situations, and something you may believe is said or done in jest can be offensive to another person causing them to experience feelings ranging from discomfort to fear for their safety and wellbeing. It is important to remember that the impact of the behavior, rather than the intentions behind them, is what matters. If your behavior is unwelcome, and causes someone to feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, degraded or unsafe, then it is harassment. If someone accuses you of harassment, apologize and stop the behavior immediately.