Remote Year Code of Conduct
EFFECTIVE DATE: DECEMBER, 2017
The Code of Conduct (referred to as “The Code”) addresses the commitment of Remote Year, Inc. (“Remote Year”) to the honesty, integrity and ethical behavior of the people, including you, associated with Remote Year. It’s about treating one another with respect and tolerance. Typically, we at Remote Year try to keep things entertaining and fun, but don’t be surprised to notice a more serious tone when you read over The Code below. This is because The Code is the core agreement we need to align on so we can create a safe, welcoming, and ethical environment where we can all come together to enjoy this unique experience.
Remote Year is committed to ensuring the respect and tolerance of diverse groups of individuals. In fact, our values include community, empathy, and global perspective. As such, and to help ensure a safe and productive environment, participants (referred to herein as “Remotes”), staff, and staff of partnering organizations are expected to behave in accordance with this Code of Conduct. (For clarity, when The Code mentions “Remotes,” it is meant to include all participants using Remote Year’s services, including active Citizens.) We expect Remotes and staff to act with the values of respect and tolerance in mind when interacting with each other and the world at large. As you travel with us and/or work with us, you are representing yourself, you’re representing your home country, and you’re representing the Remote Year community. Please act in accordance with this Code of Conduct and represent Remote Year in a way that the entire Remote Nation will be proud of.
What does this mean, exactly? It means that your actions must be free from discrimination, libel, slander, or harassment. It also means, you are responsible for your own actions. Misconduct is not excusable because it was directed or requested by another. You are expected to alert Remote Year whenever an illegal or unethical act is discovered or suspected. No one will be subject to retaliation for a good faith report of a suspected violation.
Remotes who violate The Code will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including removal from the Remote Year program. (Note for Remotes: any guests or visitors brought to Remote Year accommodations, workspaces, or events are expected to behave in accordance with The Code and may be banned from Remote Year Remote Year accommodations, workspaces, or events if they fail to do so.) Staff who violate The Code will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Periodically, you may also be required to review The Code and acknowledge your understanding of and compliance with The Code.
The Code is not a contract and as such does not create any contractual rights of any kind between Remote Year and any participant or staff. The Code and its contents may be modified and changed by Remote Year at any time. Changes and updates to The Code will be communicated to you by Remote Year.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
Yes, we realize that the word “employment” in the title of this section may not strictly apply to all readers, since Remotes are not employees of Remote Year (and in fact, only some staff are employees). Even so, it’s important to us to say that we believe in what EEO laws represent for Remotes and staff. For example, we prohibit unlawful discrimination against people on the basis of their age (40 and older), race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, marital status, disability (including pregnancy), military status, genetic information, or any other statuses protected by applicable laws.
Remote Year also recognizes that some individuals may have physical and/or mental disabilities. As such, Remote Year will endeavor to provide reasonable accommodations unless doing so causes a direct threat to these individuals or others, violates local laws, and/or if the accommodation creates an undue hardship to Remote Year. For more information about this section or to discuss or request an accommodation, please reach out to your Program Leader (for Remotes) or your People Operations representative (for staff).
Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination
Remote Year is dedicated to providing a harassment-free environment and therefore prohibits harassment or discrimination of any kind, especially involving race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, veteran status, marital status, gender identity and expression, physical appearance, body size, and/or technology choices. Prohibited harassment also includes: inappropriate use of sexual images, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. Any such activities could result in disciplinary action, up to and including removal from the Remote Year program (Remotes) or dismissal (staff).
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which is prohibited by law and violates The Code. Prohibited conduct may be verbal, visual, or physical in nature. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, or the granting or withholding of something of value in response to sexual conduct. More subtle forms of behavior, such as foul or obscene language of a sexual nature, posting or viewing social media language or pictures, gossiping, asking questions about another’s sex life, displaying offensive posters, cartoons, caricatures, comments, jokes of a sexual nature, and repeated unwanted requests for a date are prohibited as they may constitute sexual harassment or contribute to a hostile or offensive environment. All questionable behavior should be avoided because conduct that appears to be welcome or tolerated by one person may be very offensive to another. Do not ignore harassment. Remotes and/or staff who feel they have been harassed or who witness any type of harassment should make it known that the behavior should be stopped immediately. Inappropriate behavior should be reported according to the guidelines listed below. If you believe you are being harassed or discriminated against for any reason, please, immediately contact your Program Leader (Remotes) or People Operations representative (staff) or use the resources under the Reporting Procedures section in this Code.
Remote Year is committed to maintaining a violence-free environment and will not tolerate any type of violence or threats of violence. Violence includes, but is not limited to, harassment, coercion, physical altercations, use of weapons of any kind, intimidation, stalking, and threats of violence. Please, do not joke or make off-hand remarks about violence. Any potentially dangerous situation must be reported immediately to a Program Leader (Remotes) or your manager (staff). Law enforcement, security, and/or emergency services should be contacted first if you believe there is an imminent threat.
Social media offers various methods of communication and self-expression and it can foster community—both with friends and family in other countries, as well as with the Remote Nation. However, use of social media that violates The Code (including discrimination and harassment), discloses confidential or proprietary information, makes maliciously false comments about Remote Year or its staff or participants, or contains abusive comments, may result in disciplinary action up to and including removal from the Remote Year program (Remotes) or dismissal (staff).
Everyone on a Remote Year program (and everyone working for Remote Year) is an adult and is expected to make responsible decisions. It's not Remote Year's place to tell consenting adults who they can and can't date or be friends with; with these exceptions: First, Remote Year prohibits managers from dating subordinate staff. Second, Remote Year prohibits staff dating Remotes or having romantic relationships with Remotes during the course of their program. Remote Year's stance on Remotes entering into a physical or romantic relationship with other Remotes, (or staff entering into same with other staff), emphasizes Remote Year’s commitment to and belief in the importance of Affirmative Consent. Affirmative Consent is defined as “informed, freely and affirmatively communicated willingness to participate in sexual activity that is expressed by clear and unambiguous words or actions.” Clear and unambiguous words or actions are those that are freely and actively given by informed individuals that a reasonable person in the circumstances would believe communicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. As specified in the “Anti-Harassment” section in this Code, unwelcome sexual attention is not permitted, if you are not sure if you have Affirmative Consent, immediately stop.
Alcohol and Drug Use
Remote Year has a longstanding commitment to provide you with safe experiences. Remote Year has safeguards and resources in place to reduce risks, and in turn you are also expected to avoid behavior that is likely to cause danger to yourself or to others. Specifically, the use of alcohol and drugs are examples of this type of behavior. Alcohol Use. Excessive alcohol use has many potentially negative and/or risky effects. We will not tell you what your drink limit should be, but we do ask that you make smart decisions about your personal alcohol use. Additionally, staff is expected to act responsibly and ensure their intake of alcohol does not impede their judgment or job performance. For both Remotes and staff, if your actions cause a threat to you or others, or if you participate in behaviors that violate The Code you may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including removal from the Remote Year program (Remotes) or dismissal (staff). Drug Use. The use of illegal drugs violates the law. Drug abuse can also pose a threat to the health and safety of Remotes and staff. The term “drug” as used in this Code includes the improper use of prescription drugs, marijuana, illegal inhalants, illegal drugs and/or other controlled substances. Remote Year reserves the right to inspect all premises for drugs or other contraband, and any person refusing to cooperate in such inspections may be subject to appropriate discipline up to and including removal from the Remote Year Program (Remotes) or dismissal (staff). If you use, possess, buy, sell, manufacture or dispense an illegal drug you may be disciplined, up to and including removal from the Remote Year program (Remotes) or dismissal (staff).
Assumption of Liability
Remote Year assumes no liability for any behavior that breaches this Code of Conduct, including, but not limited to, violence, harassment, sexual assault, and/or the use or abuse of alcohol and/or drugs. If you participate in or instigate behaviors in breach of The Code of Conduct, Remote Year reserves the right to contact local authorities, contact your emergency contact, and/or take any other steps that Remote Year deems necessary to maximize your safety and the safety of those around you. In addition, you may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including removal from the Remote Year Program (Remotes) or dismissal (staff).
Obligation to Report Policy
It is each person’s responsibility to abide by any/all applicable laws and regulations, as well as by The Code of Conduct. If you believe that there has been a violation of any expectations defined in The Code of Conduct, including harassment or discrimination, you are obligated to make a timely report to enable Remote Year to investigate and correct not only the behavior, but also any effects behavior may have had on the program and/or those involved. If you observe an incident of violence or threatened violence that is immediate and serious, take steps to maximize safety first, including contacting local authorities and/or security if needed. Once the immediate threat has passed, please also notify Remote Year by following the procedures outlined below. To report a situation or incident, your first line of support is to report the incident to your Program Leader (Remotes) or your People Operations representative (staff) who will support and assist you in lodging a report with Cura, our third-party HR consultants. For Remotes who are not comfortable reporting to their first line of support, your second option is to reach out to your Programs Team Manager. For staff, your second option is to reach out to Casey Carr-Jones, Remote Year’s Director of People Operations. These people have been trained on The Code of Conduct, as well as the appropriate escalation procedures. Finally, if you are not comfortable with the options above, Remotes and staff may submit a report through the Helpline at any time via this link. All Helpline reports will be reviewed and managed by Cura HR, our third-party HR consultants. Cura consultants are a diverse team of professional experts with a wide range of human resources experience. Each consultant has over fifteen years as an HR practitioner with extended experience supporting escalated incident reports. The Cura Consultant assigned to your case will ensure that the case is handled appropriately and in accordance with The Code, applicable laws, and Cura HR’s best practice investigation procedures. During an investigation, each incidence will be evaluated on an individual basis. If the result of an investigation indicates that corrective action is called for, such action may include disciplinary measures up to and including immediate expulsion from the Remote Year program without a refund at the discretion of Remote Year (Remotes), or dismissal (staff). When a Remote’s employer has a direct relationship with Remote Year, information about any situation related to The Code may be shared with them, at Remote Year’s discretion, including information regarding reports, investigations, and resulting actions. When submitting a Helpline report, you may include your name and information, or you may submit the report anonymously. The Helpline software is provided by Convercent, a compliance system separate from Remote Year and Cura HR, so your privacy is ensured. Remote Year does not tolerate retaliation for filing a report. For more information, see the No Retaliation section of this Code.
Retaliation against any person who in good faith has reported a violation of The Code (or the law), has raised questions or concerns, has reported an incident, or has otherwise participated in an investigation of such matters, will not be tolerated. If, for any reason, you perceive retaliation, please follow the report procedure outlined above to notify us. The situation will be investigated, and if Remote Year determines an individual’s behavior is in violation of The Code, disciplinary action will be taken, up to and including removal from the Remote Year program (Remotes), or dismissal (staff).
This Code of Conduct is not intended to describe every possible instance that may happen, or provide answers to all of the questions that may arise. Remote Year encourages you to talk to your Program Leaders (Remotes) or your People Operations representative (staff) for guidance, and for support with any questions.The Code is an agreement to faithfully comply with all laws, rules, policies and regulations of the regulatory agencies and countries that apply to us during our journey/time together. It also acts as a guide for inclusion and acceptance of all Remote Nation members, reminding us to act responsibly, in good faith, and to treat one another well.