Part of what makes the FCC so wonderfully vibrant is the diversity of its membership, and it is important that every member be able to fully enjoy everything the Club has to offer. To that end, below please find a new anti-harassment policy outlining what kind of behaviour is considered harassment and the procedure for filing complaints. The Board of Governors will investigate all harassment complaints and take disciplinary action if warranted.
We appreciate your cooperation in treating all members, guests and staff with dignity and respect, including calling out unacceptable behaviour when you see it. It is up to all of us to ensure that the FCC is a place where everyone feels comfortable and safe.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, we welcome your feedback at email@example.com.
Florence de Changy,
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong is committed to providing an environment in which employees, members and their guests are free from harassment and are treated with dignity and respect.
As stated in the By-Laws, 21(b), “Members are required at all times to conduct themselves with decorum and to consider the comfort and quiet enjoyment of other users of the premises.”
The Board takes complaints of harassment seriously, and any member found to be in breach of this policy is subject to disciplinary measures, up to and including termination of membership. Sexual harassment may also entail civil and criminal liabilities.
All complaints shall be investigated fairly and promptly in accordance with the Articles of Association and with respect for the confidentiality of those involved. Disciplinary action will be taken against anyone who interferes with the conduct of an investigation or retaliates against a complainant.
This policy aims to explain and prevent the types of unacceptable behaviour that could amount to harassment. It applies to all members of the Club and their guests, and all members are responsible for complying with this policy and discouraging behaviour that goes against it regardless of whether a complaint is made.
This policy does not impose any contractual obligations on the Club. It is subject to periodic review and updates.
Definition and Examples of Harassment
Harassment is defined as any unwelcome conduct, comment or display that is known or ought
reasonably be known to offend, intimidate or humiliate the recipient on the basis of
appearance, gender, race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, physical size
or weight, age, marital/family status, nationality, language, ancestry or place of origin.
Harassment does not have to be intentional. It may occur between persons of the same sex or opposite sex, and a single incident may be sufficient to constitute harassment. It may include, but is not limited to:
• Sexual or physical assault, stalking and indecent exposure
• Inappropriate touching or brushing
• Sexually suggestive remarks
• Persistent unwelcome invitations or requests
• Sexual propositions; promises or threats in return for sexual favors
• Inappropriate comments about a person’s body, appearance or clothing
• Unwelcome questions or sharing of information regarding a person’s sexual activity or sexual
• Displaying or distributing sexually explicit material
• Staring or leering or making suggestive or insulting sounds
• Jokes, taunts, gestures or innuendo concerning gender, race, ethnicity, sexual
• The use of racial and ethnic slurs or derogatory sexual terms
• Bullying; verbal abuse/profanity
Procedures for Harassment Complaints
Any person who feels he or she is experiencing harassment can approach the alleged harasser about it directly and/or report it to a Board Member, the General Manager or the floor manager on duty. Formal written complaints can be filed using forms available from the Front Desk or Main Bar staff. All information related to a harassment complaint will be kept confidential. Information will only be disclosed to relevant persons on a need-to-know basis.
Complaints may be filed only by members on behalf of themselves or a guest. The respondent will be informed that a complaint has been made and by whom and will receive a copy of it. The Board will then determine whether to proceed with the disciplinary process as outlined in the Articles of Association.
Depending on the severity of the case, disciplinary action may include:
• A warning or letter of reprimand
• Verbal or written apology to the complainant
• Temporary suspension of membership
• Expulsion from the Club
If the allegations are criminal in nature, it is up to the complainant to file a police report.
The complaint handling procedure of the Club does not affect the complainant’s lodging complaints with the Equal Opportunities Commission, reporting to the police or filing a lawsuit in court.
The Human Rights Press Awards are run by the FCC, Amnesty International Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Journalists Association. The 22nd annual awards were held on May 12, 2018, in a ceremony at the FCC. Click here to find out who won.