Employers are legally obligated to create a safe and inclusive environment for all employees, and everyone – employees, freelancers, self-employed individuals, volunteers, and others – are protected against harassment and discrimination.
Under Chapter 4 of the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act, all employers in Norway are required to promote equality and prevent discrimination, harassment, and gender-based violence. Paragraph § 13, Prohibition of Harassment, mandates employers and organizational leaders to prevent and counteract harassment and sexual harassment.
Numerous characteristics of the cultural industry involve an increased risk of sexual harassment, discrimination, and abuse of power. Recruitment often happens through social networks, and many jobs are freelance-based. The significance of maintaining good relationships can create power dynamics that make it challenging to communicate boundaries and uncomfortable experiences. Additionally, competition for prestige and opportunities can make it costly for individuals to report unwanted behavior.
Various factors can lead to uneven power dynamics. Every individual possesses different degrees and forms of power: through job titles, job security, experience, success, social networks, the power of definition (definisjonsmakt), and the power of being part of the majority. In social settings, there can be blurred lines between work and private life, and with alcohol, the risk of crossing boundaries increases.
In art and cultural environments, it’s essential to be aware of personal and others’ artistic and private boundaries.
To reduce the risk of transgressions and unwanted behavior, Pstereo has established guidelines that employees, contractors, and volunteers are expected to follow.
The purpose of these rules is to protect everyone in the organization from harassment. The rules are not intended to regulate the actions of good colleagues, as long as they are desired by both parties and do not affect others in the work environment.
At Pstereo, we expect everyone to:
- Be aware of power dynamics and risk factors for abuse of power. We understand what constitutes sexual harassment and discrimination and avoid crossing others’ boundaries.
- Be conscious of role understanding, power, and boundaries when working with others. Each employee must exercise great caution not to misuse the power they possess.
- Be mindful of how jokes, humor, and compliments can be perceived differently. Refrain from using nicknames for others and commenting on others’ appearances.
- Avoid using group-based derogatory terms.
- Refrain from attributing characteristics to individuals based on gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, ability, skin color, age, cultural and religious affiliation.
- Have a conscious approach to alcohol consumption in work-related settings.
Discrimination: Unjustified differentiation based on gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, ability, religion and belief, age, caregiving responsibilities, or other significant aspects of a person. Discrimination takes many forms and includes actions, expressions, or omissions.
Sexual Harassment: Unwanted sexual attention that is intended to be offensive, intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or bothersome. The experience of the victim is emphasized, and it’s not necessary for the harasser to have intended it. Sexual harassment can occur physically, non-physically, verbally, and digitally. It can range from sexually suggestive staring, comments, and questions about the body, gender, sexuality, and orientation, to gross jokes. It can also involve unwanted touching and, in the most severe cases, criminal offenses.
Harassment: Actions, omissions, or expressions intended or resulting in being offensive, frightening, hostile, degrading, or humiliating. To be considered harassment, it must be perceived as unreasonable and unwanted by the recipient.
Anyone who experiences objectionable conditions or uncomfortable experiences while working for Pstereo should report it. The term «report» can feel overwhelming. We aim for a culture of constructive feedback, and there should be a low threshold for reporting anything that feels inappropriate, uncomfortable, or objectionable.
- We want everyone to report anything unwelcome, big or small. Reports can also involve matters concerning others.
- All reports will be treated confidentially.
- The person formally responsible for processing incoming reports is the CEO. In cases of particularly serious incidents, the case should be reported to the police, and the employer should not initiate a separate process.
- Cases should be handled promptly, and all parties involved should receive proper information about the process.
- The reported-on individual has the right to respond, and the employer must consider both/all sides.
- As an employer, Pstereo is obligated to investigate all feedback or reports.
- The employer should talk to both/all parties separately. A joint meeting should only occur if requested by the person reporting.
- A written record should be kept.
- The supervisor will assess the case and provide an appropriate response, informing both or all parties involved.
How to Report:
There are no formal requirements for reporting; it can be done orally, in writing, via email, SMS, or digital solutions. A leader who learns of harassment is obligated to take action.
For an organized process, it’s useful if you note the time and place, what happened, and how you reacted. It’s beneficial to save/keep any evidence of unwanted sexual attention, unjustified differentiation, or other unwelcome circumstances.
It’s advantageous if the recipient has made it clear to the harasser that their behavior is unwelcome, bothersome, or offensive. However, it’s not always easy to stand up for oneself, especially when in an uneven power relationship, as is often the case in a work context. According to the law, if the behavior is serious enough, it’s not a requirement for the recipient to report it because it can be argued that the person should have understood that the behavior was unwelcome.
Those experiencing harassment or discrimination can also seek advice from their trade union, the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud, and the Balansekunst advisory hotline at +47 400 38 800.
You can submit a written or verbal report to one of the following contact points:
HSE Manager: Dag Audun Kårtvedt, firstname.lastname@example.org, +47 916 01 206
CEO: Merete Moum Lo, email@example.com, +47 99024048
Safety Representative: Kim Aasli, firstname.lastname@example.org, +47 926 30 274
Festival Director: Bård Flikke, email@example.com, +47 926 81 889
Reports can also be submitted through the deviation form. You can report anonymously, but please note that anonymous reports limit Pstereo’s ability to follow up and investigate cases.
Handling of Reports
If the harassment is serious enough to potentially fall under criminal law, the employer, in consultation with the affected person, should consider reporting the case to the police. If the affected person wishes to involve the police, an internal investigation should not take place, as this could potentially lead to loss of evidence.
In cases involving sexual harassment and discrimination, in violation of the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act and/or breaches of guidelines, the case should be handled by the leader or another responsible person within the organization.
The person handling the case must speak to the parties separately. Both the person reporting and the person reported on have the right to bring a support person to the meetings. If witnesses have been identified, they should be called in for discussions to clarify if they witnessed the alleged incidents. If the parties are to engage in dialogue, it should be because the person reporting desires it. The person handling the case must write minutes of all meetings and ensure a swift process, with the parties well-informed about the plan for proceeding. The person handling the report is bound by confidentiality but has an obligation to act if they become aware of harassment that could threaten a safe work environment.
The person handling the report and investigating the case must assess and conclude on the matter, and then consider what sanctions to apply if the person reported on has violated the guidelines.
Normally, sanctions cannot be applied to individuals who have a more peripheral relationship to the employer/client than those mentioned above. The person handling the report must consider whether the reported-on individual can be investigated or sanctioned.
Possible sanctions include:
- A conversation
- A stern conversation
- A clear/written warning
- Removal of responsibilities
- Termination of cooperation
- Termination of employment (must comply with the Working Environment Act § 15)
Both/all parties involved in the case should receive information about the conclusion, and the goal is reconciliation and the restoration of a safe work environment.