At Facebook, we believe it’s essential to provide all employees with a respectful and safe working environment. As a result, we don’t tolerate harassment or any mistreatment of employees in the workplace or work-related situations, including unlawful harassment on the basis of the following protected categories:
Harassment under this Harassment Policy (Policy) may include conduct that creates a disrespectful, intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment for an employee. Engaging in such conduct is a violation of this Policy.
If Facebook determines that an employee’s conduct has violated this Policy, we will take steps to ensure the conduct is effectively addressed, and any employee found to have engaged in harassing conduct may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination.
Because the intent of this Policy is to deter conduct that is unwanted, unreasonable, and demeaning, Facebook may consider an employee’s conduct to be in violation of this Policy even if it falls short of unlawful harassment under applicable law. When determining whether conduct violates this Policy, we consider whether a reasonable person could conclude that the conduct created an intimidating, hostile, degrading, or demeaning environment.
This Policy applies to everyone who works for Facebook and any of its subsidiaries. Everyone—including individual contributors, managers, and contingent workers—is responsible for following and upholding this Policy. Additionally, we don’t tolerate harassment of employees by non-employees (e.g., contingent workers, guests, vendors, clients, and agency partners), nor do we tolerate harassment of non-employees by employees.
All Facebook managers globally are required to attend our mandatory sexual harassment training, which includes a comprehensive review of our Policy and applicable law.
Harassment can range from extreme forms such as violence, threats, or physical touching to less obvious actions like ridiculing, teasing, or repeatedly bothering colleagues or subordinates or refusing to talk to them.
For example, harassment may include the following types of conduct:
This list of examples is not exhaustive, and there may be other behaviors that constitute unacceptable harassment under the Policy.
“I was joking” or “I didn’t mean it that way” are not defenses to allegations of harassment. Nor is being under the influence of alcohol or other substances. This Policy applies to conduct at work and at work-related social events, office parties, off-sites, and client entertainment events. Employees are expected to be particularly careful about what they say and do in these circumstances.
Sexual harassment, which is harassment specifically based on sex, can take two forms:
Sexual harassment can happen regardless of the individuals’ gender, gender identity, or gender expression and can, for example, occur between same-sex individuals as well as between opposite-sex individuals, and does not require that the harassing conduct be motivated by sexual desire.
For California-based employees: To learn more about sexual harassment, see the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s information sheet.
Facebook does not tolerate abusive conduct, bullying or other intimidating or aggressive behavior among employees or others covered by this Policy, whether or not it is based on a protected category. If an employee is found to be mistreating his or her colleagues, we will take appropriate action to stop the behavior. If you would like to report behavior that you believe is bullying, you may use the same reporting procedures outlined below.
Managers at Facebook are required to promptly (ideally, within 24 hours) report any violation or suspected violation of this Policy. Any employee who believes he or she has been harassed, or has witnessed or heard about a potential violation of this Policy, should report the conduct so that the Company can take steps to remedy any violations of the Policy.
If you suspect harassment, discrimination, or retaliation (see our Policy Prohibiting Retaliation below) has occurred, you are encouraged (and managers are required) to promptly provide a written or oral complaint to any of the following:
When possible, a complaint should include details of the incident or incidents, names of individuals involved, and names of any witnesses.
The Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) investigate and prosecute complaints of prohibited harassment, discrimination and retaliation in employment. If you think you have been harassed or discriminated against, or that you have been retaliated against for resisting, complaining or participating in an investigation, you may file a complaint with the appropriate agency. The nearest office can be found by visiting the agency websites at www.dfeh.ca.gov and www.eeoc.gov.
Supervisors and managers who receive a complaint of, or learn of, information that suggests this Policy may have been violated are required to promptly (ideally within 24 hours) forward that complaint to Human Resources, and will be subject to discipline for failing to timely report. As soon as reasonably possible, the Company will investigate any allegations and take appropriate remedial action.
We will keep all complaints confidential to the extent possible while still fulfilling our obligation to investigate and end any harassing conduct.
Facebook has a legal obligation to promptly investigate and respond to all complaints regarding potential violations of this Policy. Upon learning of conduct requiring further review, qualified investigators will complete thorough investigations in a timely and impartial manner. You can learn more about our investigations process below.
All persons to whom a complaint is made or who learn of a complaint as part of a Company investigation must do everything reasonably possible to keep the complaint confidential in order to preserve the integrity of the investigation while it is ongoing, to ensure fairness to all involved, and to protect the privacy of employees who have brought complaints or are accused of misconduct.
Employees must cooperate and provide truthful information in an investigation.
Nothing in this Policy is to be construed as a guarantee of absolute confidentiality or intended to curtail employee rights under the law to discuss work-related matters. Disclosure of information learned through the complaint process and the investigation will be limited to disclosures that are necessary for the Company to fulfill its legal obligations to investigate and take prompt action to end harassment.
We recognize that employees may find it difficult to raise complaints about harassment, so we have a policy meant to encourage employees to come forward with their concerns without fear of retaliation. It is against Company policy (and may be unlawful) for any employee to retaliate against another for his or her participation in the complaint process.
Retaliation is when someone penalizes another person for any of the following:
Retaliating against a co-worker who made a complaint or otherwise participates in the investigation process is grounds for discipline, up to and including termination.
If you have questions about this Policy, please contact your HRBP, ERP, or the Employment Law Team.
Below we are sharing our internal FAQ for employees on Facebook’s investigations process
This outline applies to Facebook’s US offices. Outside the US, the investigations process varies depending on local law. Contact the Employment Law Team if you have region-specific questions.
When we learn about a potential violation of Facebook policy or law, it’s our job and obligation to investigate, and when a violation of Facebook policy or law is found, to stop the misconduct. Our goal is to create a safe and respectful environment where everyone can come and do their best work.
A few examples of the types of matters we investigate include complaints about harassment and discrimination, disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, improper conflicts of interest, and abuse of company resources.
Some of these topics are sensitive, and we want people to feel as comfortable as possible coming to us with concerns. To that end, we try to keep matters as confidential as possible.
If you see or hear of something that might be a violation of Facebook policy or law, we encourage you to speak up. If you are a manager, you are required to report any potential violations to HR. Facebook provides a variety of channels for people to report concerns:
No. The law protects employees from retaliation for reporting or participating in an investigation, as does Facebook policy. We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to unlawful retaliation. Specifically, Facebook’s Harassment Policy encourages employees to come forward with their concerns and participate in the investigations process, all without fear of retaliation.
Once a concern has been raised, our Investigations Team, an independent and impartial function within the People Team, conducts a prompt and thorough investigation to determine facts. Each investigation is tailored to the specific issues being investigated and is also documented and tracked to ensure reasonable progress and timely closure of the investigation. Findings are then shared with a very small group of people, generally folks in HR and Legal, on a need-to-know basis. The Investigations Team is not the decision maker, but simply a fact finder tasked with reaching reasonable conclusions.
If you’re asked to participate in an investigation, here’s what you can expect:
Yes. Our people have an obligation to participate in an investigation.
We ask everyone who works for Facebook to report a potential violation of policy or law, but if you are a manager, you are required to report anything that comes to your attention. If you have questions about what that might look like, refer to our Corporate Policies, which includes our Code of Conduct and Harassment Policy. You can also ask your HR Business Partner or ER Partner.
Not necessarily. Information regarding the investigation is shared on a need to know basis. There are many instances where a manager doesn’t need to know that you are participating in an investigation.
No, but notes may be taken.
Contact the lead investigator who reached out to you initially or your HR Business Partner or ER Partner. To protect the confidentiality of the investigation, you should not speak to anyone else, including your manager, about this investigation. As a result we may not be able to answer specific questions about an investigation, but are happy to talk to you about the process.
Outcomes range from no action to education, coaching or counseling, warnings, and other disciplinary actions up to and including termination. Outcomes are usually determined by business leaders with input from HR and Legal.
In order to preserve the integrity of the investigation while it is ongoing, to ensure fairness to all involved, and to protect the privacy of employees who have brought complaints or are accused of misconduct. Additionally, keeping things confidential helps minimize retaliation against participants and minimizes disruption in the workplace. Our request for confidentiality is not meant or intended to curtail your rights under the law to discuss work-related matters.
Below are tips and guidelines from Facebook’s Employment Law Team on how to run successful anti-harassment training.
Training managers and supervisors on the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation is key to making sure supervisors understand your company’s policies, the law, and what’s expected and required of them to root out bad behavior. For all but the smallest employers in California, training supervisors is required by law.
The required training is intended to accomplish the following goals:
And the training is required to address the following topics:
Below is an outline of what’s required to be included in the training and who can lead the training. For additional detail and before you launch your training, it’s recommend that you review the legal requirements (here and here) and the resources provided by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (here). This overview is not intended to constitute legal advice and should not replace your review of the legal requirements.
Harassment training for supervisors needs to include the following:
The trainer, usually a lawyer or Human Resources professional with expertise in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, must be able to address the following:
Facebook’s trainers have trained thousands of people at Facebook and at other companies. Below are some practical tips they’ve gathered aimed at maximizing the impact of your training.
Be prepared to answer these types of common questions. Your answers may vary depending on your company’s policies.