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Proposal amendment: Make WMDE receive a notification when targets of reports are WMDE employees

Summary by Ladsgroup

This proposal has been rejected.

Ladsgroup (talkcontribs)

In Code of Conduct/Committee#Confidentiality we report to WMF HR and their managers when target of the report is an employee of WMF and since WMDE is the only other organization that has software engineering department, it makes sense to have a similar policy.

Bluerasberry (talkcontribs)

I cannot say how to execute this but thanks for posting the note.

I cannot say how often it happens, but it seems like having an affiliation with a Wiki organization makes people more likely to be the targets of reports. I know that this process is for software engineering but I appreciate the precedent and foundation of discussion that this process is setting.

Legoktm (talkcontribs)

Previous discussion about the requirement about reporting to WMF HR: Talk:Code of Conduct/Archive 2#Confidentiality

If you re-read that section, I think you'll find nearly everyone in opposition to it, except that it was forced in by WMF Legal.

Krenair (talkcontribs)

I suggest we reject this proposal and instead propose an amendment that completely removes that sentence.

Neil Shah-Quinn (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I went back through the archive and I found a couple relevant points made by WMF Legal:

"The Wikimedia Foundation has an interest in being informed of potential misconduct by its employees and contractors in the workspace and faces legal risks if HR is not informed about matters related to employee/contractor harassment in its workspaces. These workspaces include not only physical but also virtual spaces. The Wikimedia Foundation has this interest uniquely as a host of the website whose employees are using these technical spaces as their workspace."

"This section isn't us trying to say that having a WMF reporting exception makes this CoC policy better in the ideal. Rather, it's that we looked at the policy, at how the technical spaces are used (in particular the combination of lots of WMF employees and WMF as the host of the space) and concluded that the legal risk under HR law is too high for the WMF to do this without having the reporting exception."

So, in my non-lawyer understanding: because of its unique position as the host of these technical spaces, the WMF has a unique legal obligation to its employees and contractors who participate in these sites. Even the WMF Legal department sees the downsides of this obligation, but that doesn't change the legal position.

To me, that explains why the provision applies to the WMF only and why it's not something that we the technical community can change. Obviously, you're free to disagree—but we should keep in mind that none of us are lawyers.

As far as I know, there's no legal obstacle to us adding a similar provision regarding WMDE. But I think that would have all the downsides of the WMF provision (the potential to break confidentiality against the reporter's wishes), but without the legal requirement to force its inclusion.

MarcoAurelio (talkcontribs)

It is in the interest of WM(F|DE) to know misconduct cases of their employees (hopefully none!). It's what we call in law culpa in eligendo (and, sometimes, in vigilando).