Standards of Conduct

Download the PIT’s Standards of Conduct as a PDF

THE PIT DOES NOT TOLERATE DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, OR SEXUAL HARASSMENT.
The Peoples Improv Theater (The PIT) is committed to providing theatrical, educational, and social environments that ensure the equality, dignity, and respect of every PIT performer, artist, student, and instructor . In keeping with this commitment, the PIT strictly prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, national origin, disability, veteran or military status, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local laws. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.

This policy will be given to all students, instructors, work studies, and performers at the PIT. It is also posted on our website under “Policies.”

WHAT ARE HARASSMENT & SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
Harassment means persistent unwelcome written, verbal, or physical conduct that has the purpose or effect of interfering with a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from programs at the PIT or makes the PIT an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. Sexual Harassment means persistent and unwelcome written, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature (including but not limited to unwelcome sexual advances and requests for sexual favors) that has the purpose or effect of interfering with a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from programs at the PIT or makes the PIT an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

Sexual Harassment can be verbal (using language of an overtly sexual nature, making sexual comments about a person’s body, making sexual innuendos to a fellow student, artist, or employee, talking or asking about sexual preferences or history, making unwanted advances), non-verbal (looking a person up and down in a suggestive fashion, giving unwanted personal gifts, displaying sexually suggestive visual materials, offensive jokes, gestures, comments, or emails), or physical (unwanted touching of a person’s clothing, hair, or body, standing close or brushing against a person, giving unwanted massages.)

Sexual Harassment also includes sexual assault. No one at the PIT (management, employee, instructor, performer, coach, etc.) may request or require an employee, student, instructor, applicant, performer, or anyone else to submit to sexual harassment as a condition of receiving any benefit such as a raise, promotion, or selection for a performance.

Harassment & Sexual Harassment may be subtle, manipulative, and is not always evident. All forms of gender harassment are included – men can harass men, women can harass women, men and women can be sexually harassed by either gender. Sexual Harassment also includes sexual assault which will be reported to authorities.

WHO AND WHERE DOES THIS APPLY TO?
This policy covers conduct that takes place at the Peoples Improv Theater, The PIT Loft, in classes at Simple Studios. This policy applies to the entire PIT community. This policy also pertains to electronic communication that occurs on PIT-related social media accounts.

WHO DO I REPORT INAPPROPRIATE CONDUCT TO?
If you become aware of discrimination or harassment in violation of the policies stated above, you are responsible for immediately reporting the matter to your manager, supervisor, instructor, or coach. You may also report the matter to PIT management – management@thepit-nyc.com

Managers, supervisors, instructors, coaches, and all PIT staff have a responsibility to report any inappropriate conduct brought to their attention by filing a report with the PIT General Managers.

The PIT will conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of all complaints of harassment or discrimination. The scope of the investigation will depend upon the specific circumstances, but may include interviews with the person making the complaint, the person against whom the complaint is made, any potential witnesses identified by either person, and any others whom the PIT believes may have relevant information. The person making the complaint will be requested to put his or her complaint in writing.

You are expected to cooperate in this process, if asked to do so, and to provide truthful information. The PIT will make every effort to respect the privacy of those involved in an investigation under this procedure. However, it should be understood that the PIT may need to disclose certain information to complete our investigation or otherwise address the matters raised in the complaint. A request not to investigate a reported violation of this policy cannot be honored.

The results of the investigation will be discussed with those individuals involved and the PIT will determine whether any action is warranted in response. Individuals who are found to have violated this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including warnings, probation, and termination of employment or affiliation with the PIT. The specific action taken will be consistent, reasonable, fair, and match the severity of the incident.

The PIT will not retaliate against any person for making a good faith complaint under this policy, regardless of the outcome of the investigation. Similarly, The PIT will not retaliate against any person for providing truthful information in connection with an investigation under this policy. Making a good faith complaint or providing truthful information in connection with an investigation will in no way affect decisions made in regards to casting for any PIT house teams/productions or hiring for any potential jobs including instructors at the PIT. Any employee, instructor or performer of the PIT who retaliates against another for utilizing in good faith the procedures in this policy will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination or termination of their affiliation with The PIT, as the circumstances warrant.

Please note that if in the course of an investigation the PIT learns that a crime has been committed, the PIT may be obligated to report that crime to the relevant authorities. Similarly, the PIT will comply with any requests for records or information made in connection with any Police investigation as required by law, or with any subpoena issued lawfully in any legal proceeding.

WHAT ABOUT STANDARDS FOR PERFORMERS ON STAGE OR STUDENTS DURING CLASS?
The PIT school and theater are both dedicated to providing an open environment where performers can create original comedy, using life experience as well as new ideas and concepts that are continually being explored. In such an environment, performers may from time to time explore a concept or idea that others may find to be inappropriate or uncomfortable. The PIT does not seek to censor its shows or performers, and the PIT asks that any person who enrolls in classes or performs on one of the PIT’s stages approach the situation with an open mind.

However, The PIT mandates that all performers and students approach improvisation and writing with respect for their fellow performers and students, both on-stage and off, avoiding abusive conduct towards an individual performer/student or any group of people (i.e. race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, etc). If any performer feels that such behavior has become abusive or harassing, they may excuse themselves from the performance or exercise and should report the conduct to the parties listed above. If any student feels such behavior has become abusive or harassing, or if they are uncomfortable with the content of a particular scene, they may excuse themselves from the performance or exercise and may report the conduct to the parties listed above. The PIT will not permit retaliation against a performer or student who makes such a report in good faith and/or participates in an investigation under this policy.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE IS A FALSE REPORT?
Any person who knowingly provides false information in connection with an investigation under this policy will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment or affiliation with The PIT.