Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre Harassment and Misconduct Policy

Adopted 2/21/2018

Updated 3/20/2021

General Policy Overview

 

Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre (MET) is an institution and each of its instructors, creative and administrative managers, staff members and interns are seriously committed to maintaining a safe and supportive environment where creativity can flourish.  MET believes that with a combination of respect, communication, common sense, and empathy, we can create an environment that prioritizes safety while also creating work of the highest quality.

 

  • The following policy is in support of this objective and is in keeping with the values necessary to sustain a supportive educational and creative environment.

 

  • It is the policy of MET to maintain an educational, performing and working environment free from sexual, racial, ethnic, religious, age-based, disability, sexual orientation, and gender expression harassment. Such harassment is expressly prohibited.

 

  • No individual should be subjected to any unwelcome conduct that is or should be known to be offensive because of his or her gender, race, age, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity and/or expression.

  • MET is a private institution and performing, taking classes, or participating in any other MET activity is always at the sole discretion of MET.

  • MET is within its rights to revoke, suspend, and/or permanently ban anyone from participating in some or all MET related activities, with or without cause.

  • Current or prior permission to take classes, perform, or enter any MET location is not a promise or guarantee of future permission.

  • The reinstatement of any permission to participate in any theater-related activity will be at the sole discretion of MET leadership.

  • Where forbidden harassment has occurred by an employee, MET may take disciplinary, educational, or other corrective action. This may include but is not limited to termination of employment.

 

Reports of forbidden harassment by non-employees of MET, for example, students, occasional or regular performers, may result in disciplinary, educational, or other corrective action. Just as with other forms of misconduct, forbidden harassment may result in expulsion from classes without refund and prohibition from future enrollment, revocation of team membership at MET, the loss of ability to perform at MET or MET-related events, loss of internship without compensation for time spent or refund of tuition paid, revocation of ability to participate in any and/or all MET activities, and prohibition of entry to MET or its training facilities.

 

When alleged harassment is reported, MET may conduct an investigation, the extent, timing and scope of such investigation being at the sole discretion of management.

 

There will be no retaliation against an individual who has complained about or reported alleged forbidden harassment or who has cooperated with any investigation of alleged forbidden harassment, regardless of the outcome of the investigation.

 

MET may, from time to time, revise this policy at its discretion without notice.

 

 

I. PROHIBITED CONDUCT

For purposes of this Policy, forbidden harassment includes the following:

 

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment-

Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment may occur when there are unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (i) submission to such conduct is an explicit or implicit condition of employment, performance opportunity or student advancement, or (ii) submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment, performance opportunity, or educational advancement decisions.

All MET instructors, employees, creative and administrative managers, interns, and agents are prohibited from making any offer or promise to any student, performer, employee, intern, or any other person, any employment, performance opportunity, or educational decision in exchange or anticipation of sexual or other favors. Further, they must refuse any offer or promise of sexual or other favors by any employee, intern, performer or student in anticipation of or in exchange for some employment, performance opportunity, or educational decision.

 

Hostile Environment Harassment

Hostile environment sexual harassment may occur when there are unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Also, non-sexual conduct that is unwelcome and offensive and which is directed at an individual because of the individual’s gender may create a hostile environment. Racial, age-based, religious, ethnic, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, and other forbidden forms of harassment may occur when there is conduct which is motivated by or relates to an individual’s race, age, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, or other characteristics protected by law. Hostile environment harassment occurs when such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to and does: (i) unreasonably interfere with an individual’s work, performance or ability to learn, or (ii) create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work, performance or learning environment.

 

Performance and Student Harassment

As a theater, MET recognizes the environment is an atypical workplace. The creative work generated will sometimes include “blue” or “R-rated” material or topics. MET does not desire to police the theatrical sensibilities or tastes of its performers or students.

Given the nature of performances at MET and in classes of material that, in some cases, could be considered offensive to some, it is not the policy of the theater to punish individuals or to stifle the creative abilities of performers whose artistic expression may be considered offensive to others. However, if it is determined that the offensive content of the performance was done in an effort to harass a particular individual from the stage or to express the performers hatred and/or intolerance to a protected individual or group, then, at the discretion of MET, appropriate disciplinary action will occur.

 

Student Misconduct Policy

Students are required to be on-time to class and stay for the entire class period. Disturbances, such as tardiness, cell phone use, inappropriate comments, creating an unsafe or hostile environment, and other disrespectful or discourteous behavior will not be tolerated. Disruptive students may be subject to corrective action based on the discretion of the instructor and/or MET, including verbal admonishment, prohibition from certain behavior(s), or expulsion without refund.

 

 

 

 

II. RESPONSIBILITIES

MET’s Policy prohibits harassment by MET personnel, performers, instructors and interns, against any person, as well as harassment directed towards MET patrons, contractors, consultants, suppliers, vendors, visitors, and other non-employees or non-theatre-affiliated individuals, when such conduct occurs at the theatre premises in conjunction with MET- related performances, rehearsals, classes or at theatre-sponsored events at other locations in connection with performances or classes conducted by MET at such other locations.

MET will make reasonable efforts to ensure that the actions of its instructors, employees, staff and interns are free from forbidden harassment. When it is notified of such forbidden harassment, MET will, at its sole discretion, take appropriate corrective action.

 

Employees will report to MET management any forbidden harassment that they observe.

 

Employees will assure MET personnel, interns, performers and students as necessary that all forms of forbidden harassment are expressly prohibited.

 

Consensual Relationships and Dating

The nature of the work we do encourages connection, collaboration and community. Relationships, and even marriage and families, have grown from the social connections made at MET. This policy is not intended to prevent the development of mature adult relationships.

However, it is within MET’s jurisdiction to prohibit certain specific relationships through this policy. MET has a strong commitment to creating an educational environment that serves students by providing a safe place to study and grow. In support of this, it is the policy of MET that all instructors are prohibited from having any sexual relationship with his or her current student. Engaging in such activity is grounds for termination.

With regard to any sexual relationship between any MET instructor and any student who is not currently enrolled in that instructor’s class, instructors are strongly discouraged from engaging in any such relationship. Any instructor who engages in a physical relationship with a current student not enrolled in his or her class, must disclose the relationship to the School Director at the earliest practicable time or may be subject to disciplinary action including termination. MET also reserves the right, even if the instructor properly and promptly makes all required disclosures, to take disciplinary action at its discretion. This organization expects its instructors to demonstrate mature judgment, ethical and honest behavior, and to represent MET as a role model both in the classroom, on stage, and in social situations throughout the larger community.

 

III. PROCEDURES

Making Complaints of Harassment

Students: Any student who feels that he or she is being or has been subjected to forbidden harassment, may report or otherwise notify their instructor. If a reporting student does not feel comfortable notifying their instructor, he or she may notify any MET supervisory employee he or she chooses. All MET supervisory employees will accept complaints of harassment.

 

Performers: Any performer who feels that he or she is being or has been subjected to forbidden harassment, may report to or otherwise notify MET Artistic Director. If a reporting student does not feel comfortable notifying the Artistic Director, he or she may notify any MET supervisory employee he or she chooses. All MET supervisory employees will accept complaints of harassment.

 

If a person does not feel comfortable informing any of these individuals, or is not able to do so, that person is also invited to report their complaint to current MET board designee.

 

Employees: Any MET employee or intern who feels that he or she is being or has been subjected to forbidden harassment, may report or otherwise notify their supervisor. If an employee or intern does not feel comfortable notifying their supervisor, he or she may notify any MET supervisory employee at his or her discretion. All MET supervisory employees will accept a complaint of forbidden harassment.

 

Investigation

MET is not a criminal justice or law enforcement agency; however, MET takes allegations of misconduct very seriously. MET may, at the discretion of the Theatre, investigate complaints of misconduct. The timing, scope, and extent of any investigation MET chooses to conduct, will be determined at the sole discretion of MET on a case-by-case basis, and may be informed by certain criteria, including but not limited to: the severity of the allegation, the urgency of the situation, and the resources available.

 

Special Note On Reported Criminal Activity

If any MET-affiliated person is accused by anyone of criminal activity that, in the judgment of MET rises to a level beyond harassment as described above, and, in the judgment of MET, places in doubt the safety of MET’s students, performers, faculty, staff, team members, directors, vendors or patrons, then the accused will be immediately and without investigation removed from all MET-related activities until such time as the Theatre is satisfied that the accusations are and were unfounded. Such a determination will be at the sole discretion of MET. Should the violator appear at any MET-related activities or venues following this removal, they will be considered to be a trespasser on private property and MET will utilize law enforcement authorities to remove the person from Theatre property. This revocation of MET privileges will not be influenced by the failure of the complainant to involve law enforcement, or the failure of law enforcement authorities to investigate, charge, or convict the violator with a crime. Any reinstatement of any permission to participate in any MET-related activity will be at the sole discretion of MET.

 

Notification

It is within MET’s right to revoke privileges or permission to participate in any or all MET-related activities with or without cause. MET, at its sole discretion, may make notifications to the complainant and/or violator, the scope and detail of which will be determined by at the sole discretion of MET.

If a person makes a knowingly false or frivolous complaint, fabricates facts, or fails to tell the truth, MET may take appropriate disciplinary and/or other corrective action.

 

IV. NO RETALIATION

No individual who reports or complains about forbidden harassment, or who assists MET in its investigation, will be subjected to retaliation by the theater or any of its employees or agents. Anyone who feels that he or she has been the victim of or threatened with retaliation should immediately inform one of the individuals identified above for the purposes of receiving reports of complaints. Any employee, agent, instructor, student or performer who retaliates against a person who reports or complains, or who assists MET with an investigation, shall be deemed to have violated this misconduct policy and to have engaged in forbidden harassment.

 

V. DEFINITIONS AND EXAMPLES

This policy prohibits discrimination or harassment based on any combination of the following grounds:

  • Age

  • Creed (religion)

  • Sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding)

  • Sexual orientation

  • Gender identity

  • Gender expression

  • Family status (such as being in a parent-child relationship)

  • Marital status (including married, single, widowed, divorced, separated or living in a conjugal relationship outside of marriage, whether in a same-sex or opposite-sex relationship)

  • Disability (including mental, physical, developmental or learning disabilities)

  • Race

  • Ancestry

  • Place of origin

  • Ethnic origin

  • Citizenship

  • Color

  • Record of offenses (criminal conviction for a provincial offense, or for an offense for which a pardon has been received)

  • Association or relationship with a person identified by one of the above grounds

  • Perception that one of the above grounds applies.

 

Definition of Harassment and Sexual Harassment

  • Harassment means unwelcome written, verbal, or physical conduct that has the purpose or effect of interfering with a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from programs at MET or makes MET an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

  • Sexual Harassment means unwelcome written, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature (including but not limited to unwelcome sexual advances and requests for sexual favors) that has the purpose or effect of interfering with a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from programs at MET or makes MET an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

  • Sexual Harassment can be verbal (using language of an overtly sexual nature, making sexual comments about a person’s body, making sexual innuendos to a fellow student, artist, or employee, talking or asking about sexual preferences or history, making unwanted advances), non-verbal (looking a person up and down in a suggestive fashion, giving unwanted personal gifts, displaying sexually suggestive visual materials, offensive jokes, gestures, comments, emails, or any social media messaging), or physical (unwanted touching of a person’s clothing, hair, or body, standing close or brushing against a person, giving unwanted massages.)

  • Sexual Harassment also includes sexual assault. No one at MET (management, employee, instructor, performer, coach, etc.) may request or require an employee, student, instructor, applicant, performer, or anyone else to submit to sexual harassment as a condition of receiving any benefit such as a raise, promotion, or selection for a performance.

  • Harassment & Sexual Harassment may be subtle, manipulative, and is not always evident. All forms of gender harassment are included. Sexual Harassment also includes sexual assault which will be reported to authorities.