Available staff - ideally whole Code of Conduct Response Team or as many members of the team as possible - should meet immediately after receiving a report.
Neither the complainant nor the alleged harasser should attend. People with a conflict of interest should exclude themselves or if necessary be excluded by others.
If the event was widely witnessed, make sure that you let people know that the Code of Conduct team is taking care of the issue.
Goals of the meeting:
- Discuss what happened and what is the current situation
Member who received the report should fill everyone in, and if the report has been written down, everyone should also read it. If the situation is time-sensitive or someone is in physical danger, you need to stop now and take immediate action: keep people safe first. If the issue is not time-sensitive, make sure the reporter already knows that you're working on resolving it. Only then carry on.
- Document and write an internal report We go over details of why this is important at this point in Write the initial report subchapter.
- Decide if the described issue violates Code of Conduct In most cases, the issue is black and white, and decision is straightforward. Refer to your Code of Conduct text if needed. If you've got trouble seeing it, it might be a good idea to meet with the reporter again and politely ask them to provide more context. Do not try to invalidate their feelings though: everyone has the right to feel offended. You should not express your judgment or opinions about the event during this talk.
- Decide if you need to speak with involved sides This is usually a good idea. If you haven't met with your reporter yet and you feel like more context is required, do this first. Speaking with people with the idea to achieve common understanding is the key to most Code of Conduct violations. If you're going to arrange meetings, never speak to both reporter and offender at the same time -- these should be two separate meetings. This decision should also include who is going to talk to them and when.
- Decide on possible outcome But make sure to not make them definite and base them depending on person reaction. Refer to our Decision & sanctions subchapter.