anti-harassment policy

Adopted April 2022


As part of Orlando Fringe’s Code of Conduct and Acknowledgment of Safe Space, Orlando Fringe strives to create and maintain a work environment in which people are treated with dignity, decency and respect. 

Orlando Fringe will not tolerate unlawful discrimination or harassment of any kind. Through enforcement of this policy and by education of artists, volunteers and employees, Orlando Fringe will seek to prevent, correct and discipline behavior that violates this policy. 

All artists, volunteers, contractors and/or employees, regardless of their positions, are covered by and 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 from the festival or organization, or termination of employment. 

Managers and supervisors who knowingly allow or tolerate discrimination, harassment or retaliation, including the failure to immediately report such misconduct to Executive Director or board president, are in violation of this policy and subject to discipline. 

Prohibited Conduct Under This Policy 

Orlando Fringe, in compliance with all applicable federal, state and local anti-discrimination and harassment laws and regulations, enforces this policy in accordance with the following definitions and guidelines:


Orlando Fringe prohibits harassment of any kind, including sexual harassment, 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 artist, contractor, volunteer, employee, or any person working for or on behalf of Orlando Fringe or participating in Orlando Fringe events. The harassment would be considered a violation of this policy if it creates a work or festival environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive. 

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 national origin, race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, appearance, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status or other protected status, 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 status 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 Orlando Fringe’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.” 

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 an employee’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. 
  • Nonverbal 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, notes, facsimiles, e-mails, photos, text messages, tweets and Internet postings; or other forms of communication that are sexual in nature and offensive. 
  • Physical sexual harassment includes unwelcome, unwanted physical contact, including touching, tickling, pinching, patting, brushing up against, hugging, cornering, kissing, fondling, and forced sexual intercourse or assault. 

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

Complaint procedure 

Orlando Fringe has established the following procedure for lodging a complaint of harassment, discrimination or retaliation. The company will treat all aspects of the procedure confidentially to the extent reasonably possible. 

  1. Complaints should be submitted as soon as possible after an incident has occurred, preferably in writing to the Executive Director or to the board president. The Executive Director or board president may assist the complainant in completing a written statement or, in the event a complainant refuses to provide information in writing, the Executive Director or board president will document the verbal complaint. 
  2. Upon receiving a complaint or being advised by a supervisor or manager that a violation of this policy may be occurring, the Executive Director, or the board president will notify the Executive Board and review the complaint. 
  3. The Executive Director or a representative appointed by the board will initiate an investigation to determine whether there is a reasonable basis for believing that the alleged violation of this policy occurred. 
  4. During the investigation, the Executive Director or board representative, together with management employees, will interview the complainant, the respondent and any witnesses to determine whether the alleged conduct occurred. 
  5. Upon conclusion of an investigation, the Executive Director or other person conducting the investigation will submit a written report of his or her findings to the board of directors. If it is determined that a violation of this policy has occurred, the Executive Director or board representative will recommend appropriate disciplinary action. The appropriate action will depend on the following factors: 
  6. a) the severity, frequency and pervasiveness of the conduct; 
  7. b) prior complaints made by the complainant; 
  8. c) prior complaints made against the respondent; and 
  9. d) the quality of the evidence (e.g., firsthand knowledge, credible 


If the investigation is inconclusive or if it is determined that there has been no violation of policy but potentially problematic conduct may have occurred, the Executive Director may recommend appropriate preventive action. 

  1. The Orlando Fringe executive board will review the investigative report and any statements submitted by the complainant or respondent, discuss the results of the investigation with the Executive Director and other management staff as appropriate, and decide what action, if any, will be taken. 
  2. Once a final decision is made by the executive board, the Executive Director or board representative will meet with the complainant and the respondent separately and notify them of the findings of the investigation. If disciplinary action is to be taken, the respondent will be informed of the nature of the discipline and how it will be executed. 

Both complainant and respondent should be aware that any allegations made during a two-week festival are may not be fully investigated and resolved in time for the appropriate action to be taken during the festival and therefore disciplinary action may not happen until the following festival or future events.

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.