Section 1: DSA Resolution 33 The Bozeman Democratic Socialists of America (Bozeman DSA) affirms that its harassment and grievance process and the actions of its HGOs will be in full accordance with national DSA policy as expressed in Resolution 33.
Section 2: Actions justifying the initiation of a formal harassment and grievance procedure against organizing committee members. These actions include but are not limited to:
- Harassment as defined in DSA Resolution 33 adopted 8.4.2017
- Theft or misuse of organizing committee funds, equipment or property
- A pattern of behavior and/or speech clearly intended to undermine, discredit or subvert the Bozeman DSA’s purpose and mission, and/or similarly and knowingly interfere with initiatives and actions approved by the organizing committee membership through customary democratic processes.
- A pattern of behavior and/or speech, not rising to the level of unconstitutionality, that clearly intends, through divisive and undemocratic means, to empower a clique, faction or tendency within Bozeman DSA and advance its special interests at the expense of the solidarity and effectiveness of the organizing committee as a whole.
- In organizing committee officers, ongoing and significant dereliction or negligence of their duties as specified by Officer Roles and Responsibilities.
Section 3: Standing for filing grievances.
Any Bozeman DSA member in good standing regardless of position or status may file a grievance with the organizing committee HGO at any time in accordance with the process outlined in Section 4. Pursuant to the adoption of this policy, Bozeman DSA will establish a confidential grievance email hotline for the organizing committee HGO to facilitate quick and confidential delivery of grievances.
Section 4: Grievance reporting, evaluation and resolution process.
Reporting: After a written report has been submitted–whether through the Bozeman DSA grievance email hotline or otherwise :
- The organizing committee HGO will contact the accused member within seven days to notify them that a report has been filed against them and request a written response to the report either affirming or denying its substance;
- The accused will submit their written response within seven days of being notified. If the accused does not respond to the HGO or notifies the HGO that they do not intend to cooperate with the grievance process, the HGO will recommend the Steering Committee move to take appropriate disciplinary action;
iii. If the accused denies the substance of the report, the HGO will have the option to investigate the report by:
- interviewing other members with direct knowledge of the substance of the report;
- requesting documentation from either the accuser or accused or any other parties directly involved; or
- employing any and all other means deemed necessary, with the utmost respect for the confidentiality of the parties, within a time period not to exceed ten days.
The HGO will determine whether the report is credible and, if necessary, make a recommendation to the Steering Committee of appropriate disciplinary action as soon as practicable, but ultimately within thirty days of the report being filed. This is to ensure the timely, efficient, accurate, and discreet adjudication of all reports. The HGO may notify the Steering Committee of the accuser’s report and its substance at any time after the report is filed, but must give written notice to both the accuser and the accused member before doing so. If the accused is a chapter officer, they must recuse themselves from any role in the evaluation, resolution and remedies and penalties phases of this process.
- The ultimate disposition of each grievance report will be made by the Steering Committee. To find a grievance credible and therefore requiring application of a remedy or penalty, the Steering Committee must agree by majority vote that the preponderance of evidence presented in the HGO’s report confirms and validates the grievance.
- Remedies and Penalties If the Steering Committee finds the report to be credible they are authorized to carry out the following remedies and penalties:
- A formal discussion between the accused and the Steering Committee to develop a plan to change the harassing behavior(s);
- Suspension from committee meetings and other organizational events;
- Removal from organizational committee(s);
- Removal from Bozeman DSA
- If a chapter officer, a recall vote
- Any and all other relief deemed necessary and just by the organizing committee or national leadership.
In assigning remedies and penalties, the Steering Committee may use these criteria among others:
- The wishes of the reporting party ;
- The severity of the offense;
- The response of the accused
- The accused’s relevant behavioral history.
Section 5: Appeals process.
- Internal Appeal: Either party may appeal the form of relief determined by the Steering Committee by filing a written appeal to the Steering Committee. Appeals must be filed within thirty days of receiving written notice of the Steering Committee’s decision. The limited grounds for appeal are:
- Either party believes the behavior in question did not meet the criteria specified in Section 2
- Procedural errors, misconduct, or conflicts of interest affected the fairness of the outcome
- The remedy or penalty determined by the Steering Committee was grossly disproportionate to the violation committed.
- Appeal to national DSA: If the grievance involves violation of DSA Resolution 33 or the DSA Statement on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Rights appeal can be made to the DSA National Harassment Grievance Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Grievances in which the accused is the organizing committee HGO or Steering Committee members, or for which another significant conflict of interest may affect evaluation, may be directed confidentially to the DSA National Harassment Grievance Officer: email@example.com
If the outcome of the grievance involves expulsion from chapter membership with a recommendation of expulsion from National DSA membership, but does not involve conduct that violates DSA Resolution 33 or the DSA Statement on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Rights, the member may appeal expulsion using the National Expulsion and Appeals Procedure, which may be initiated by contacting the DSA National Harassment Grievance Officer.
Section 6: Retaliation.
This policy prohibits retaliation against any member for bringing a complaint of harassment pursuant to this policy. This policy also prohibits retaliation against a person who assists someone with a complaint of harassment, or participates in any manner in an investigation or resolution of a complaint of discrimination or harassment. Retaliatory behaviors includes threats, intimidation, reprisals, and/or adverse actions related to organizing. If any party to the complaint believes there has been retaliation, they may inform the HGO who will determine whether to factor the retaliation into the original complaint, or treat it as an individual incident.