Policy Statement

The policy of the Indie Game Developer Network (IGDN) asserts that the personal worth and

value of every individual from all walks of life should be able to exist within our community free

from abuse or harassment. To achieve that objective, the IGDN will not tolerate abuse,

harassment, or discrimination within its association, community, or community spaces. Every

member of the IGDN has the right to file a complaint of discrimination/harassment.

1. Commitment

The IGDN is committed to the protection of its community and its members. This policy applies

to members and volunteers of the IGDN, its Leadership Team and Safety Board, and any

spaces or events the IGDN is host to. Harassment/discrimination that occur outside of these

parameters are beyond the scope of this policy. Any incidents that occur in convention space

run by the IGDN, at social events facilitated by the IGDN, or are perpetrated by members of the

IGDN are in the scope of this policy.

2. Effective

This policy comes into effect November 1st, 2018. The policy will be reviewed annually and

updated as necessary to ensure the policy remains relevant and is in-line with the most recent

ethics and morals around harassment, discrimination, and abuse.

3. Prevention

The IGDN is committed to preventing behavior which results in discrimination, harassment, and

abuse in its association.

The association is responsible for communication that harassment, abuse, and discrimination

are prohibited to all members, volunteers, associates, contractors, and attendees. This includes

ongoing policy advocacy by way of social media posts, reminders to the membership, and clear

communication to any volunteers and attendees at events. The IGDN Leadership Team and

Safety Board are also responsible for communicating, monitoring, implementing, and enforcing,

when necessary, all aspects of the policy and procedures.

The primary purpose of this policy and its attached procedures are to encourage the parties

involved to resolve their disputes, where possible, through informal resolution and/or mediation.

However, it is understood that where it is found that a violation of policy has occurred, the IGDN

and Safety Board may take appropriate action, including discipline, as defined in the section on

Procedures.

Where systemic bias is determined within any IGDN policy, procedure, and/or practice, as a

result of an IGDN and Safety Board investigation, remedial actions may include amendments,

revisions, or elimination of existing IGDN policies, procedures, or practices.

4. Responsibility

All members of the IGDN and its community are responsible for maintaining and promoting an

environment that is free of discrimination, harassment, abuse, and for promptly reporting to the

Safety Board any incidents they believe to be acts of discrimination, harassment, or abuse. The

IGDN recognizes its responsibility to deal quickly, fairly, and effectively with discrimination,

harassment, and abuse, should it arise.

Any member of the IGDN and its community is welcome to seek advice or assistance from, or

file a complaint with the Safety Board.

5. Confidentiality

While individuals are encouraged to seek advice and counsel regarding possible violations of

this policy, the confidential nature of the complaint must be maintained throughout the process

by any person(s) with knowledge of the complaint.

6. Prohibited Grounds

This policy includes coverage of:

a. Harassment

b. Sexual Harassment

c. Racial/Ethnic/Cultural Harassment

d. Discrimination

e. Intention to Discriminate/Hate Literature

f. Systemic Harassment/Discrimination

g. Doxxing, Swatting, and Internet Harassment

h. Reprisal

for all of the following grounds: race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin,

citizenship, creed (religion), sex, gender, gender presentation, sexual orientation, age, criminal

or juvenile record of offenses, marital status, family status, the receipt of public assistance in the

area of housing accommodation, mental or physical disability, political affiliation, and/or

professional affiliation.

These will be referred to from now on as the “Prohibited Grounds.”

a. Harassment - means engaging in a course of vexatious comments or conduct related to

one or more of the prohibited grounds that is known or may reasonably be known to be

unwelcome/unwanted, offensive, intimidating, hostile, or inappropriate, which adversely

affects the comfort and safety of the individual(s).

This includes but is not limited to: demeaning gestures, remarks, jokes, taunting,

innuendo, deliberate misgendering, deliberate deadnaming, display of offensive

materials, offensive graffiti, threats, verbal or physical assault, unwarranted penalties,

stalking, slurs, shunning, or exclusion related to the prohibited grounds.

b. Sexual Harassment - means engaging in a course of conduct of a gender-related or

sexual nature that is known or might reasonably be known to be unwelcome/unwanted,

offensive, intimidating, hostile, or inappropriate. Depending on its severity, one action

may constitute sexual harassment.

This includes but is not limited to: demeaning gestures, remarks, jokes, slurs, taunting,

or innuendo based on gender or sexual orientation; unwanted physical contact; leering;

inappropriate comments about clothing, physical characteristics or activities; unwanted

questions or comments about one’s private life, sexual orientation, marital or family

status; the display of sexually offensive material; solicitation; unwanted attention; implied

or expressed promise of reward or benefit in return for sexual favours; implied or

expressed threat or act of reprisal if sexual favours are not given; or sexual assault.

c. Racial/Ethnic/Cultural Harassment - means engaging in a course of conduct

negatively relating to race/ethnicity/culture that is known or might reasonably be known

to be unwelcome/unwanted, offensive, intimidating, hostile, derogatory, or inappropriate.

Depending on its severity, one action may constitute racial/ethnic/cultural harassment.

This includes but is not limited to: demeaning remarks or gestures based on race, ethnic

origin or cultural differences, jokes about race, ethnic origin or cultural differences,

inappropriate displays of racial stereotypes, racial/ethnic/cultural slurs, unwanted

questions or comments of a racial/ethnic nature about one’s private life, or physical

assault.

d. Discrimination - means engaging in one or a series of action(s) or any behavior based

on a prohibited ground that results in the unfavourable, adverse, or preferential

treatment, which negatively affects or could negatively affect the personal and/or

professional life of another.

This includes but is not limited to: the refusal to provide goods, services, or facilities

without just cause; the refusal to work with or mentor someone.

e. Intention to Discriminate/Hate Literature - means any notice, sign, symbol, emblem or

other representation that expresses or implies discrimination or an intention to

discriminate (incite hatred) against identifiable groups.

It is a violation of this policy to publish, display, transmit (by any medium), knowingly

retrieve or distribute before the public or direct to an individual, or cause to be published,

displayed, transmitted or distributed within the IGDN or through the use of IGDN

resources, with the intent of inciting others to discriminate (inciting hatred against any

identifiable group), any hate literature.

f. Systemic Harassment/Discrimination - means the existence of policies, practices,

procedures, actions, or inactions that may appear neutral, but have an adverse impact

associated with one of the prohibited grounds.

This includes but is not limited to: negative stereotypical portrayal of groups/individuals in

materials, discriminatory barriers in recruitment and hiring, discriminatory restricted

access to positions of power or leadership positions, discriminatory restricted access to

resources.

g. Internet Harassment - means engaging in a course of conduct on the internet to

harass, threaten, bully, or maliciously embarrass.

This includes but is not limited to: sending threatening and/or unsolicited email;

encouraging others to send unsolicited and/or threatening emails with or without the

intent of overwhelming; sending viruses by email; spreading rumors and/or defamatory

comments online; sending negative, threatening, or unsolicited messages directly;

impersonating another online by sending an inflammatory, controversial, or enticing

message which is designed to cause others to respond negatively; harassing and/or

threatening using live chat; leaving abusive, threatening, or harassing messages online

with the use of social media sites; sending pornographic and/or other offensive and/or

graphic material which is knowingly offensive; creating online content that depicts

another in negative ways; releasing the personal and/or private information of another

onto social media sites; enticing others through social media to contact another; using

private information acquired online to prank emergency services and/or bring a large

amount of armed police officers to a public and/or private address and/or participate in

“swatting.”

h. Reprisal - means engaging in a course of conduct hostile toward those whom file a

complaint of discrimination or harassment, participate or cooperate with an investigation,

provide information relevant to a complaint, or act in any role under the policy and/or

these procedures.

This includes but is not limited to: adverse actions by a person who has the authority to

confer, grant, or deny any benefit or advancement to the person filing a complaint.

7. Coverage

The policy and procedures, within the IGDN association, will apply to the IGDN community:

- All IGDN full members

- All probationary IGDN members

- Members of the Leadership Team

- Members of the Safety Board

- Volunteers of the IGDN

- Winners of the IGDN Metatopia Sponsorship and any other scholarships or sponsorships

- Contractors who are employed by the IGDN

- Visitors or guests who are involved in IGDN events

Visitors, contractors, and/or suppliers of services who attend an IGDN event or are hired by the

IGDN will be subject to complaints if they engage in prohibited conduct. All contractual

relationships entered into by the IGDN will be governed by a standard contract compliance

clause stating that contracts must comply with this Policy, including cooperating with

investigations.

Documented and substantiated complaints may result in penalties against a member, up to and

including removal from the IGDN or its spaces or ending of a contract.

All members and associates of the IGDN community are required to participate in the

proceedings as outlined in the Procedures attached to this Policy as part of their association

with the IGDN. However, it does not preclude the right of the IGDN or an individual to seek other

legal options.

8. Review and Reporting Requirements

The Safety Board will annually prepare a summary for the IGDN Leadership Team with

complaint and resolution data, in accordance with privacy considerations. The report will include

a summary of any changes made to the IGDN Harassment Policy and Procedures over the past

year plus any significant amendments under consideration.

9. Protection of Records

All records of meetings, consultations, discussions or communications, including investigation,

mediation, resolution, and Safety Board (conversations, documents, identities of the parties) will

be kept in confidential files via Google Drive.

Procedures

1. Principles

Purpose

The goal of these procedures is to encourage the parties involved to resolve their disputes,

where possible, through informal resolution and/or mediation.

Procedural Fairness

No adverse action will be taken against a person or a group without their knowledge where

there is an alleged breach of the IGDN Harassment Policy (hereafter referred to as the "Policy"),

unless notification of the individual and/or group would cause the IGDN to violate specific legal

obligations with which regards to the dignity, safety, or security of its community.

Parties to a complaint will have a reasonable opportunity to dispute, correct, or contradict all

allegations, present arguments and evidence in support of their position throughout all stages

outlined in the procedures.

Each party to a complaint may be represented by an agent of their choice.

Reprisal

Every individual who files a complaint, participates, or cooperates in an investigation, provides

information relevant to a complaint, or acts in any role under the policy and/or these procedures

has the right to do so without reprisal or threat of reprisal.

Abuse of Policy/Procedures

Malicious complaints or inappropriate breaches of confidentiality will be considered violations of

the Policy. Any individual or group that makes a frivolous, vexatious, false, or bad faith

complaint pursuant to this Policy for the purpose of harming another individual or group,

breaches the Policy and may be disciplined.

Parallel Process

Nothing in this Policy or in these Procedures precludes a member of the IGDN community from

seeking alternative routes. However, it is understood that once the IGDN is aware that a

complaint may exist, it has an obligation to proceed to investigate the complaint in order to

ensure that any alleged discrimination, harassment, or abuse will not continue to take place.

Without Prejudice

Any confidential complaint made or filed to the IGDN or its Safety Board shall be deemed to

have been made or filed without prejudice. The complaint so made or filed shall not form subject

matter of a complaint made against the person making or filing the original complaint.

IGDN Responsibilities

Any action required in the enforcement of this policy will be enacted by the Safety Board of the

IGDN.

1. Confidentiality

Throughout all of these procedures, all information collected remains confidential in the Safety

Board’s data, except when disclosure is required to investigate and/or resolve a complaint; or

when disclosure of information or the giving of evidence is required, such as in legal

proceedings.

2. Redress

To the extent possible, where a complaint is substantiated, the IGDN’s objective is to restore the

complainants to the position they would have been in had the discrimination, harassment, or

abuse not happened, within an appropriate time frame and when appropriate. Options include

but are not restricted to: a written apology (a letter acknowledging responsibility for the policy

violation and regret for the harm that was caused); completion of training or education; or

recommended counselling or therapy.

3. Members' Responsibility

In compliance with the IGDN’s responsibility, any member of the IGDN is required to report any

actual situations of harassment, discrimination, and/or abuse arising within the IGDN or its

events.

Upon receiving information of perceived violations of this Policy, after informing the Safety

Board, members should, if comfortable, discuss with any alleged violators the requirement to

adhere to the IGDN’s standards regarding harassment, discrimination, and abuse. Members will

direct the persons involved to desist from actions which may violate this Policy.

Members will also inform the alleged victim(s) of this Policy and Procedure and of their right to

use other alternative routes, such as legal counsel. Members will report all incidents of

perceived harassment, discrimination, or abuse to the Safety Board.

4. Threat of Personal Safety and Security

A personal safety or security threat is defined as a situation which may be in the form of an

assault, sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm, threat of assault, uttering threats of

death/damage, harassment of an individual, or any other act that constitutes as a violent act

defined by the legal code of the country the act is happening in. A threatened individual or any

person who becomes aware of the safety/security threat to any other person is responsible to

immediately obtain help from local law enforcement or on-site security. All situations must be

reported to the Safety Board.

Where it is deemed to exist that a threat to personal safety/security of any member of the IGDN

or its community, the IGDN may suspend the alleged violator from the community and its events

or spaces.

Where an alleged violator is a member of the IGDN, part of its Leadership Team, or part of its

Safety Board, the IGDN may suspend the alleged violator from membership and/or any role of

authority until such time as an investigation can be completed.

When an alleged violator is not a member of the IGDN, they shall be denied access to the

IGDN, it’s community, and its convention spaces until such time as an investigation can be

completed.

5. Complaints

When a person believes that a violation of the Policy has occurred, they may seek confidential

advice from the Safety Board and/or file a formal complaint with the Safety Board. However, it is

understood that these procedures do not preclude an individual from exercising other legal

rights.

Reports of alleged violations should be submitted to the Safety Board.

A Safety Board complaint may be initiated where allegations or violations of the Policy are

reported and there are no individual complainant(s).

A complaint must be filed within six months of the circumstances giving rise to the complaint,

unless the delay was incurred in good faith and no substantial prejudice will result to any person

affected by the delay.

Formal complaints of alleged violations shall be recorded digitally via email and stored in the

Safety Board’s Google Drive.

Two or more complaints alleging a violation engaged in by the same person, or having facts in

common, may be dealt with in the same proceeding.

While parties involved are encouraged to seek advice and counsel, it is requested that the

confidential nature of the complaint shall be maintained throughout the process by any

person(s) with knowledge of the complaint.

A person who is the subject of a complaint made under this procedure and who has reason to

believe the complaint is vexatious, in bad faith, or itself a form of harassment, has the right to

file a complaint.

A complainant may, at their discretion, decide to withdraw a complaint at any point in the

procedure. However, it is understood that the Safety Board may pursue a complaint in order to

comply with its Policy obligations.

6. Determination of Complaint Process

Complainants will receive a letter of recognition in writing via email from the Safety Board within

48 hours upon receipt of a complaint.

Upon receipt of a complaint, the Safety Board will review the complaint to ensure:

- The complaint is within the scope of the IGDN’s Policy

- The subject matter of the complaint has not been found to be trivial, frivolous, vexatious,

or made in bad faith

- The complaint does not require the recusal of a member of the Safety Board

Where the Safety Board advises a complainant to withdraw a complaint or to seek alternative

routes, the complainant shall be advised in writing of the reasons and alternative procedures

available.

Where the Safety Board determines that no Prohibitive Grounds have been broken, it may

recommend mediation or informal conflict resolution to the complainant.

7. Informal Resolution and Mediation

Where there is a breach of the Prohibited Grounds, but where conflict could be remedied by

informal resolution, the Safety Board shall select a member to be a Safety Board Ambassador

(hereafter referred to as the “Ambassador”) or designate who shall meet with each party

involved and attempt to affect a settlement of the complaint informally.

The Ambassador will provide impartial counselling to all parties in the dispute, including advice

on external means of redress available (e.g. legal recourse, counselling). A peace circle or

meeting may also be held or recommended to all parties involved.

Where the parties to a particular complaint agree to a resolution, it shall remain confidential, be

documented, filed with the Safety Board and the complaint considered resolved.

In the absence of an agreed-upon settlement reached informally by the Safety Board

Ambassador, the complainant(s) may withdraw the complaint or file a formal complaint.

8. Formal Complaint

If the complaint is not resolved through informal resolution, a formal complaint may be filed or if

the complaint is one that the IGDN has determined is not appropriate for informal resolution, the

formal complaint process shall be initiated.

Upon receipt of the formal complaint, the Safety Board shall assign an Ambassador from the

Board and notify all parties in writing via email that the formal complaint and investigation

process has commenced (See Section 9. Investigation).

The Safety Board will provide the respondent with the written official complaint via email

outlining the details of the complaint within 7 days from the date an official complaint was

received.

If the respondent(s) maintains a position of power within the IGDN, such as being part of the

Leadership Team or Safety Board, they are to recuse themselves within 24 hours of notification

of the investigation opened against them.

In cases of recusal by the Leadership Team, a temporary replacement shall be selected by the

Leadership Team and the Safety Board within 72 hours of recusal. The Leadership Team shall

be responsible for ensuring this process takes place and that the responsibilities of the recused

are managed.

Upon nomination, the Leadership Team and the Safety Board must agree that the new

nominee(s) are not respondents within the current complaint and are not currently under

investigation for any other complaints.

9. Investigation of Formal Complaints

The Safety Board Ambassador will conduct an investigation of the allegations giving rise to the

complaint. The Safety Board Ambassador will meet with the respondent(s), complainant(s),

persons that may have information relevant to the complaint, community stakeholders, and any

other person(s) requested by either the complainant or respondent that may have additional

information for the purpose of determining the facts and providing all reasonable opportunity for

any information to be included in the investigation report.

Within 14 days of receipt, the Safety Board Ambassador will compile an Investigation Document

to be shared privately with all members of the Safety Board. Any new information gathered after

this date will be added to the document, including any decisions, penalties, or redresses made.

The Safety Board will ensure the conclusion of the complaint within 30 days of receipt.

Both the complainant and respondent will have the right and responsibility to provide all

information as accurately as possible, including dates, times, locations of the allegations, and

any other information that would assist in the investigation.

The Safety Board and its Ambassadors may request:

- The production, for inspection and examination, of documents or things that are or may

be relevant to the investigation

- Copies of said documents

- Interviews with any person(s) on matters that are or may be relevant to the complaint

In the event of a complaint alleging personal safety or security threat, the Safety Board will have

the authority to contact and consult with any law enforcement or other appropriate agency, for

the purpose of completing their report.

Any information gathered, documents received, or testimony provided should be noted within

the Investigation Document.

The Safety Board Ambassador shall provide a copy of the draft report to each of the

complainant(s) and respondent(s), who shall have 5 days in which to notify the Safety Board

Ambassador, in writing via email, of any errors or omissions in the report in the description of

the facts or allegations provided by each to the Safety Board Ambassador.

The Safety Board Ambassador will make further enquiries or amendments, if required, in order

to prepare a final Investigation Report and will submit a copy to both the complainant(s) and

respondent(s). This document shall be reviewed by the Safety Board and discussed at length

until resolution is decided.

The Safety Board Ambassador, within 10 days of the final Investigation Report, shall prepare a

Conduct Report which will describe what actions, if any, are required that would achieve

compliance with the Policy, in respect of the complaint (e.g. education, sanction, and/or redress)

and future behaviour and/or practices. These actions must be agreed upon by the majority (3/5

members) of the Safety Board.

Where the Final Investigation Report finds no facts to substantiate the allegations, and/or finds

that the complaint was frivolous, vexatious, false, or bad faith complaint pursuant to this Policy,

the Conduct Report will address what actions, if any, are required to exonerate a respondent

and/or initiate other actions as deemed appropriate by the Safety Board.

It is understood that where the Conduct Report identifies disciplinary action against a member

or an individual of the community of the IGDN, the decision and disciplinary action shall be

conveyed, discussed, and confirmed at a final discussion involving the affected parties, via

online means such as Skype or Google Hangouts. This meeting may be done with the

respondent(s) and complainant(s) individually or together, per their wishes.

The disciplinary directive shall be issued, in writing via email, by the Safety Board.

A final Conduct Report, outlining all details of the resolution, shall then be provided to all parties

involved in the disposition of the complaint and to the Leadership Team of the IGDN. In all

circumstances, copies of all documents, reports, memoranda shall be confidential and

maintained by the Safety Board for reporting and/or operational purposes.

It is understood that all documents, correspondence, and discussions regarding the disposition

of a complaint will be treated in confidence and all parties to a complaint are requested to

maintain confidentiality to the greatest extent possible.

10. Consequences of Policy Violation

The primary purpose of any actions taken in consequence of a violation of the IGDN

Harassment Policy is to create an environment free of harassment, discrimination, and abuse.

Where it is found that a violation of the Policy has occurred, the Safety Board may take

appropriate action, including but not restricted to the following:

- Mandatory Training

- Warning (verbal and/or written)

- Apology Letter

- Required Reading

- Required Education

- Temporary Removal

- Permanent Removal

- Temporary Ban on Positions of Power

Consequences are determined by Safety Board with respect to the severity of the breach.

The Safety Board shall inform the IGDN and its membership of their final decision in writing via

email by stating the respondent(s) name(s), the part of the Policy they have breached, and what

redress and reparations there will be.

Members of the Safety Board or Leadership Team who were respondent(s), may resume their

leadership if no breech is found. If breech is found, they may not hold a position of power until

their redress is complete.

11. Appeals

Within 10 days of receiving the Conduct Report, a written appeal may be submitted to the

Safety Board requesting a review on the grounds of:

- Prejudice by procedural unfairness

- Determination that the complaint could not proceed as it is not based on a Prohibited

Ground

- Determination that a breach was unsupported by the facts

- Determination that a sanction was excessive or insufficient

It is understood that resolutions reached at the Informal Resolution stage cannot be appealed

but must be made into a Formal Complaint.

The Safety Board will hold a hearing within 10 days of receipt of the request. The Safety Board

shall review any written submissions, investigate reports, final resolution report, and any other

written documentation with regards to the complaint. Depending on the nature of the complaint,

the Safety Board may hear further submissions. The Safety Board will also review any new

information brought forward by the complainant(s) and/or respondent(s).

Appeal investigations will be conducted and concluded within 14 days of receipt. The Safety

Board shall make its decision and communicate the Board’s findings and recommendations to

all parties involved, as well as to the IGDN Leadership Team.

The decision of the Safety Board on appeals shall be final and binding to all parties involved.

12. Limitations

Complaints that are issued beyond the member’s time as an IGDN member, or beyond 5 years,

shall not be processed by the Safety Board unless deemed necessary to do so by the Safety

Board for reasons of safety and security.

13. Conflicts of Interest

A conflict of interest may be defined as a person close to the respondent(s) and/or the

complainant(s) in regards, but not limited to: being family, business partner(s), romantic

partner(s), close friend, or stakeholder in the outcome (e.g. someone with emotional or financial

stakes in the outcome of the complaint).

Anyone in the Safety Board found to have a conflict of interest with the complainant(s) or the

respondent(s) must recuse themselves. A new Safety Board member will be nominated from the

membership to take their place. They may return to the Safety Board once the conflict of interest

complaint is resolved.

14. Victim Care

The IGDN and its community values the needs of victims of discrimination, harassment, and

abuse. As such, 5% percentage of each membership due shall be set aside for Victim Care. It

will be the duty of the Safety Board Ambassador to speak with the complainant(s) to seek what

support they require. If the support is beyond the scope of the Safety Board or the

complainant(s)’s support network, funding may be used to offset the cost of acute care needs of

the complainant(s).

The Safety Board Ambassador, in cases of trauma incurred by the complainant(s), will dedicate

time to research local resources for the complainant(s) to access, for their support and needs

within 72 hours from the received complaint.

15. The Safety Board

The Safety Board will consist of three permanent members who are nominated from the

membership yearly, approximately 6 months after the Leadership Team is elected. The Safety

Board cannot be members of the Leadership Team. Nominees for the Safety Board must

consent to nomination. From the nominations, the Leadership Team will select three members

with diversity as a priority in selection.

When a complaint is received, the Safety Board will elect two more Safety Ambassadors from

the IGDN membership depending upon the individual needs of the case. These two members

will remain part of the Safety Board until the end of the complaint investigation and resolution.

It will be understood that the Safety Board will investigate its Ambassadors for conflicts of

interests before any investigation starts.

The Safety Board shall be responsible for the examination and updating of the Policy and

Procedures.