Harassment Policy

Compass Improv does not tolerate any form of harassment related to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, citizenship status, disability, or handicap. For these purposes, the term harassment includes, but is not limited to, slurs, jokes, other verbal, graphic, or any physical conduct relating to an individual’s race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, citizenship status, disability, or handicap.

This policy applies to all incidents of harassment, including those that occur off-premises or off-hours where the alleged offender is a supervisor, co-worker or non-employee who is involved, directly or indirectly, in a business or a potential business relationship with Compass Improv.

Sexual Harassment

For purposes of this policy, sexual harassment is any verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct designed to threaten, intimidate or coerce an employee, co-worker or any person working for or on behalf of Compass Improv.

Harassment includes sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, graphic, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Harassment also includes making submission to or rejection of such conduct the basis of any employment-related decision and includes creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment by such conduct.

The following examples are intended to be guidelines and are not exclusive when determining whether there has been a violation of this policy:

Verbal sexual harassment includes comments that are offensive or unwelcome regarding a person’s nationality, origin, race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, body, disability or appearance, including epithets, slurs and negative stereotyping. Verbal sexual harassment includes innuendoes, suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propositions, lewd remarks and threats; requests for any type of sexual favor (this includes repeated, unwelcome requests for dates); and verbal abuse or “kidding” that is oriented toward a prohibited form of harassment, including that which is sexual in nature and unwelcome.

Nonverbal sexual harassment includes the distribution, display or discussion of any written or graphic material, including calendars, posters and cartoons that are sexually suggestive or show hostility toward an individual or group because of sex; suggestive or insulting sounds; leering; staring; whistling; obscene gestures; content in letters and notes, photos and electronic communication, such as e-mail, text messages, tweets and Internet postings; or other form of communication that is sexual in nature and offensive.

Physical sexual harassment includes unwelcome, unwanted physical contact, including touching, tickling, pinching, patting, brushing up against, hugging, cornering, kissing or fondling.

Courteous, mutually respectful, pleasant, non-coercive interactions that are appropriate and acceptable to and welcomed by both parties are not considered to be harassment.


Violation of this policy will subject the offender to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including immediate discharge and banishment from all future Compass Improv events, performances or shows.

Complaint Procedure

Any person who feels that he or she has been subject to harassment or is aware of prohibited conduct is encouraged to bring the matter to the immediate attention of the President (President@CompassImprov.org). Compass Improv will handle all complaints courteously, swiftly and confidentially. The privacy of all parties involved will be maintained to the highest degree possible. However, the identity of the complainant is usually revealed to the respondent and witnesses. Compass Improv will conduct a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation and will take proportionate corrective action.

Compass Improv will designate the individual who will be responsible for conducting the investigation of the reported incident(s) of harassment. The timing, scope, and extent of the investigation will be determined by Compass Improv on a case-by-case basis, considering the circumstances of the alleged harassment. All investigations will be conducted to protect, as much as practical, the privacy of all persons concerned. Compass Improv expects Compass Improv Board Members, outreach performers, show performers, and volunteers who are contacted in connection with an investigation to cooperate fully.

Pending the outcome of an investigation, reasonably necessary and prudent interim measures, such as the separation of the complainant and the alleged offender, suspension from Compass Improv activities for the alleged offender, or temporary leave for the complainant, will be taken at Compass Improv’s discretion, taking into consideration the complainant’s wishes, the seriousness of the accusation(s), the background of the situation, and any other relevant information.


Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or discrimination or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment or discrimination itself, will be subject to disciplinary action.

Resolution And Outcome of Investigation

Following an investigation, Compass Improv will take such action that it deems necessary or appropriate under the circumstances –

No Violation:

 I​n the event that the investigation discloses insufficient grounds or basis to substantiate a violation of this Policy, all necessary parties will be so advised.


In the event that the investigation discloses a violation of this Policy, the Theater will communicate its findings to both the complainant and the alleged offender. Based upon the totality of the circumstances, appropriate disciplinary, educational, and/or other corrective action, up to and including termination, removal of an individual from a cast, removal of an individual from an officer position, removal of an individual from a workshop without refund or compensation, or revocation of a performer’s ability to perform at or attend performances at Compass Improv-related events, will then be taken. The action taken will be reasonably calculated to prevent any further unacceptable conduct. It is within Compass Improv’s discretion to determine the appropriate corrective action.

If the complainant or the alleged offender is not satisfied with the resolution, he or she is encouraged to contact the President or Membership Director of Compass Improv. In the event an investigation of a reported, or suspected occurrence, of forbidden harassment reveals that the person has lodged a knowingly false or frivolous complaint, fabricated facts, or failed to tell the truth, Compass Improv may take appropriate disciplinary and/or other corrective action.

Performance Harassment

To be clear, Compass Improv does not seek to censor its shows or performers. Compass Improv is dedicated to providing an open environment where St. Louis improvisers can use life experiences, as well as new ideas and concepts to create and explore new avenues of improv with new people in new places for new audiences. At times, topics explored or characters discovered may give voice to viewpoints that society finds undesirable, impolite or offensive. Sometimes this may offend some while being harmless to others. Compass Improv seeks to provide St. Louis’ improv community the artistic freedom to explore any topics or viewpoints, even if they may cause discomfort. This experience should be approached with integrity and an open mind, knowing that good improvisation benefits from a broad spectrum of perspectives and experiences.

However, it is the philosophy of Compass Improv that all performers approach improvisation with respect for the audience and their fellow community members, both on-stage and off, avoiding harassing or abusive conduct targeted towards an individual or individuals.