Everyone at GitLab has a responsibility to prevent and stop harassment. Working remotely means that the majority of our interactions are by video call or written communication, such as email or shared documents. The exceptions to this are team summits, attending conferences together, and local team meetups. No matter the method of communication, it is expected that everyone will contribute to an inclusive and collaborative working environment and respect each other at all times. Team member behavior is not limited to internal interactions with each other. Our Anti-harassment policy applies to GitLab team members interaction with customers, vendors and community members. Should you become aware of or witness any form of harassment or behavior that violates this policy or our company values, please report the incident directly to the Chief People Officer, the Senior Director, People Success or a People Business Partner immediately for thorough investigation.
GitLab is a San Francisco, California-based start-up that has grown into a global fully distributed team. We strive to ensure our team is fully aligned with GitLab’s no tolerance harassment policy despite their location. We want everyone to feel confident and comfortable communicating concerns. GitLab respects, appreciates, understands and supports every aspect of diversity. We aim to continuously foster a globally aware team.
This policy applies to all team members of GitLab, whether contractor or employee, in all locations. There are local labor laws in every country and in the case of the United States, state laws, that must be followed when handling, reporting and investigating incidents of harassment. The People Business Partner team and legal counsel, if required, in each of those countries will be called upon to ensure compliance and the appropriate legal processes and procedures are followed. Specific country requirements for employees (subject to changes in employment law) are listed in the Country & US State-Specific Requirements section and will be updated regularly. All individual contributors, managers, and leaders will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination, for any act of harassment they commit.
The following are considered forms of harassment and will not be tolerated by GitLab:
Sexual harassment is considered unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently persistent or offensive enough to interfere with the receiver’s job performance or create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
Sexual harassment encompasses a wide range of conduct. Examples of misconduct include, but may not be limited to, the following actions:
Sexual harassment is considered a form of team member misconduct and sanctions will be enforced against individuals engaging in sexual harassment and against supervisory and managerial personnel who knowingly allow such behavior to continue. Any retaliation against an individual who complains of sexual harassment or who testifies or assists in any proceeding under the law is unlawful.
Any form of discrimination towards an individual is strictly prohibited. Types of discrimination include:
If you believe you have been discriminated against or witnessed discriminatory practices, please contact the Chief People Officer, the Senior Director, People Success, or a People Business Partner to initiate an investigation into the behavior.
GitLab 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, vendor, contributor, or any other person. No individual employed by GitLab should commit or threaten to commit any violent act or discuss committing such offenses, even in a joking manner.
Retaliation of any sort for filing a claim of harassment will not be tolerated. If you believe you have been retaliated against, please contact the Chief People Officer, the Senior Director, People Success or a People Business Partner to initiate an investigation.
If someone messes up, people are encouraged to speak up publicly and within the moment, in order to let that person and others know that what happened was not inclusive behavior.
This makes for a situation from which all parties can learn, and is one which promotes understanding. Additionally it makes it possible for that person to de-escalate the situation by correcting themselves and apologizing.
This does not ensure there will be no consequences. However, it will greatly reduce the chance of escalation and has the potential to help a situation become comfortable and inclusive again.
If a threat is made against you or someone else that makes you or another team member question their safety due to an issue, merge request, email or other work related matters do not hesitate to initiate the following process:
If managers become aware of misconduct, they must deal with any allegations expeditiously, seriously, confidentially, and fairly, whether or not there has been a written or formal complaint made to People Business partner. Informed managers are expected to:
Managers who knowingly allow or tolerate any form of harassment or retaliation, including the failure to immediately report such misconduct to People Business Partner, are in violation of this policy and subject to disciplinary action, including termination.
All employees have the responsibility to help create and maintain a work environment free of bullying and harassment and can help by:
The Chief People Officer and People Business Partners are responsible for:
All individual team members, managers, and leaders will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination, for any act of harassment they commit. Although disciplinary action will be specific to each case, it can generally be classified into 4 levels:
First time occurrences of inappropriate behavior. An act out of character. After formal investigation, coworkers still feel comfortable working with the offender.
Recurring socially inappropriate behavior.
Major infraction, including retaliation, or recurring socially inappropriate behavior after a written admonition.
Serious cases, including any criminal offence.
Training and guidance on understanding, preventing, and dealing with discrimination and sexual harassment will be provided to both managers and individual team members. This training will be given annually or when new legal requirements are introduced.
COM 001 Common Ground: Prevention of Harassment, Sexual Harassment, and Abusive Conduct in the workplace (2 hrs for managers, 1 hr for non-managers). This training will be assigned to all team members and managers using Will Interactive's content and LMS platform by email invitation. Details on how to use the platform can be found on the learning and development page. Once the course has been completed, each team member and manager will receive a certificate of completion which will be kept in their employee record in BambooHR.
If attempts to resolve the problem in an informal manner prove insufficient or if these attempts were refused or proved to be ineffective, the victim may follow the procedure below:
Without prejudice to the provisions that may arise from a judicial process instituted by the victim, one or more of the following sanctions shall be imposed on the person guilty of undesirable conduct:
• A written admonition.
• Transfer to another department.
• Termination of the agreement.
GitLab shall impose, by registered letter and within five working days, the sanctions imposed upon the person who has been guilty of undesirable behavior. In case an employee abuses this complaint procedure, the above sanctions may also apply for the employee.
GitLab has engaged with an external health and safety service called Mensura who are responsible for handling any complaints of harassment that are received but can not be resolved informally and internally. Team members in Belgium may contact this service if they wish and make a request for an informal or formal psychosocial intervention. A request for a formal intervention should include the following:
The psychosocial intervention advisor will investigate further and provide a report to the employee and People Business Partner with a recommended course of action.
Protection from Power Harassment
"Power harassment" is defined as any act by a person using his/her authority in the workplace, such as job position or human relationship with a team member, beyond the appropriate scope of business conduct, which causes such team member mental distress or physical pain or degradation of the working environment. The law defines power harassment as "remarks or behaviour by people taking advantage of their superior position that go beyond business necessity, thereby harming the workplace environment. GitLab expressly prohibits any behaviour toward team members that falls within the definition of power harassment.
Depending on the individual, a person may feel dissatisfaction when given the instructions, advice, or guidance necessary in the ordinary course of business. In such cases where the actions are conducted within the scope of appropriate business practice, they should not fall under the category of power harassment. Examples of power harassment include, but may not be limited to:
Team members who feel that they may have been subjected to power harassment may bring their complaint to their People Business Partner, who will engage the appropriate internal consultation services and respond to claims. GitLab is prohibited from dismissing or treating unfairly any team members who report harassment cases or cooperate in an investigation or consultation process.
Prohibition of Sexual Harassment
Team members are prohibited from any activities that cause disadvantage or discomfort to other employees or that are damaging to the work environment by way of speech or behaviour of a sexual nature. GitLab shall take all necessary measures in managing employment to prevent sexual harassment at the workplace.
Prohibition of Harassment Due to Pregnancy, Childbirth, Child Care Leave, or Family Care Leave
Team members are prohibited from any activities that are damaging to the work environment of other employees by way of speech or behavoiur related to pregnancy, childbirth, etc., or use of systems or measures related to pregnancy, childbirth, child care, family care, etc. GitLab shall take necessary measures in managing employment to prevent harassment due to pregnancy, childbith, child care leave, family care leave, etc. at the workplace.
Prohibition of Any Other Forms of Harassment
In addition to the prohibitions listed above, team members are prohibited from any other forms of harassment at the workplace that are damaging to the work environment of other team members such as by way of speech or behavious related to sexual orientation or gender identification.
Every team member located in the state of California will be required to sign an acknowledgement confirming they have read, reviewed and understood the following three documents:
These will be sent via HelloSign for signature.
Every team member located in the state of Connecticut is required to take the 2 hour Anti Harassment Training for Supervisors in California. This training is to be completed by all individual contributors as well as managers.
We are continuously gathering country specific references to review regulation and obtain guidance on the management of harassment or misconduct at work. Here are a few authorities we referred to in the creation of this policy: