Over the past few years, Plug and Play has grown tremendously across the U.S. and in other continents around the globe. In tandem, the scale of people we interact with in an investment, enterprise partnership, event, accelerator program, or broader ecosystem capacity has proliferated.
To ensure that we protect one another and the various people who interact with us in this global ecosystem, we find it important to crystallize and share our perspective on harassment and discrimination beyond the employee-to-employee context that our internal policies cover. The policy we set forth below is our attempt to do so. While we believe that formal statements and policies are not on their own enough to guarantee equity and safety, we hope that our policy here will reflect some of our seriousness in protecting the ecosystem that we are so fortunate to help cultivate each day.
Plug and Play is firmly committed to preventing, addressing, and resolving any harassment and discrimination in our ecosystem, whether it be between:
• An employee of Plug and Play and another employee of Plug and Play.
• An employee of Plug and Play and entrepreneur that we have interacted with as investors, or in an accelerator or broader ecosystem capacity;
• An employee of Plug and Play and employee of one of the corporations that Plug and Play has a formal or prospective partnership with;
• An employee of Plug and Play or Plug and Play ecosystem member and contractors/vendors employed by Plug and Play.
• Entrepreneurs, corporate employees, and our network of VCs in their interactions within Plug and Play’s ecosystem (including but not limited to events and tours).
We define harassment and discrimination in respect to protected legal and social categories, in particular race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, sexuality, physical disability, mental disability, class, citizenship status, age, military or veteran status, genetic information or any other characteristic at the time of writing or reading this policy protected by law. We also prohibit discrimination based on the perception that anyone has any of those characteristics, or is associated with a person who has or is perceived as having any of those characteristics.
By harassment and discrimination, we mean to cover at least the following scenarios:
• Inappropriate comments directly referring to either of the above categories of people;
• Innuendos, slurs, or jokes that belittle someone or the extent of their struggles on the above bases;
• Bullying such as abusive, threatening, or insulting words or behavior;
• Invitations or requests for sexual activity or romantic meetings, for instance on offsite locations such as one’s hotel room, when the involved individuals are not within a consensual or romantic relationship;
• Coercion for silence toward how one has been treated in respect to the above categories in exchange for certain rewards, e.g. investment funding, future employment, invitation to events, and referrals;
• Unconsented physical contact of a sexual nature, including but not limited to: touching, groping, kissing, and rape.
A direct allegation from the victim or indirect deduction that such an incident might have happened through other channels (e.g. an employee witnessing or hearing about the harassment or discrimination though it was not reported by the victim) will result in an immediate investigation with the goal of prompt resolution. If the allegation or indirect deduction is found to be valid and in violation of the above policy and/or the law, Plug and Play will immediately exclude that party from its ecosystem, and involve further authorities (e.g. the police) where required or otherwise necessary. Plug and Play will pursue corrective action against those found at fault, up to and including termination of the nature of their relationship with Plug and Play.
We believe that such behavior is intolerable in the world generally, but also certainly at our events, meetings, and both online and offline personal communications.
Reporting Harassment or Discrimination
As a non-employee, the points of contact for reporting any incident of harassment or discrimination experienced should be sent to Nicole Cole (email@example.com), Director of HR at Plug and Play, as well as the broader HR team (firstname.lastname@example.org). As an employee reporting something witnessed, experienced, seen or heard about, your point of contact should be your manager, leader, and / or Nicole Cole and the HR team as well.
We will do our best to review and treat these reports with urgency and respect, and escalate them for corrective action when justified. Moreover, it is our goal to do our utmost to protect those who come forth with concerns related to harassment and discrimination. Finally, we will do our best to maintain confidentiality in all investigations, and Plug and Play will not tolerate retaliation – itself a form of discrimination – of any kind against those who make known their legitimate concerns.
Find out more about the MovingForward movement here.