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California Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy
Speedster is committed to creating and maintaining a community that promotes a safe and respectful experience for all users of our platform. As drivers and delivery people, your experiences should feel safe, respected, and protected from sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and sexual assault while driving or delivering with the Speedster apps. This includes from passengers/customers, restaurant partners, Speedster employees, and anyone else.
For purposes of this policy and related training materials, “sexual harassment,” shall include sexual assault or sexual misconduct in line with Cal. Bus. & Prof. § 7457(a)(1).
Speedster does not tolerate sexual harassment (sexual assault or sexual misconduct) from anyone. We take all allegations of such behavior involving our users extremely seriously and work to take appropriate action on every report quickly and fairly. Through enforcement of this policy and our Community Guidelines, and by education of drivers and delivery people, Speedster will seek to prevent and respond appropriately to reported behavior that violates this policy. This may include permanently deactivating (banning) a user account from the Speedster platform.
All drivers, delivery people, and users of the apps in California are covered by and are expected to comply with this policy and to take appropriate measures to ensure that prohibited conduct does not occur.
Prohibited Conduct Under This Policy
Sexual harassment (sexual assault and sexual misconduct) of any kind, by drivers, delivery people, customers, or third parties is prohibited while using the Speedster apps, and in many cases are prohibited by law.
Speedster uses a behavior-based classification system, developed in partnership with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) and the Urban Institute. This means the categories and their corresponding definitions, are notably not necessarily based on any criminal statute or definition, but identified based on the specific behaviors reported in a user incident report. Indeed, the classification system includes behaviors that may not necessarily rise to the level of criminal conduct in California, but are never-the-less prohibited in the Speedster community.
Speedster defines sexual misconduct as non-physical conduct (e.g., verbal or staring) of a sexual or romantic nature that is without consent, or has the effect of threatening or intimidating a user against whom such conduct is directed. This includes explicit or non-explicit verbal comments or non-verbal, non-physical acts such as:
Speedster defines sexual assault as physical or attempted physical conduct that is reported to be sexual in nature and without the consent of the user. Speedster defines sexual body parts as the mouth, breasts/chest, buttocks, and genitalia. All other body parts are considered non-sexual body parts. Acts of sexual assault include:
Speedster has a no-sex rule. Sexual contact is prohibited while using the Speedster apps, including during a trip or delivery, regardless of whether you know the person or they give you their consent. This includes activities such as sexual intercourse, solicitation of sexual intercourse, masturbation, or touching and exposure of sexual body parts. Violation of Speedster’s no-sex rule, despite consent being properly obtained, may result in permanent deactivation of the participating parties’ accounts.
Inappropriate Post-Trip Contact
In addition to the above behaviors, contact must end when the trip or delivery is complete, unless it’s to return a lost item and with appropriate consent. For example, texting, calling, visiting, following/friending on social media, or trying to visit the user in person after a trip or delivery has been completed is not allowed. Inappropriate post-trip contact may also result in permanent account deactivation.
How to Report Unwanted Behavior to Speedster
If something happens while using Speedster, whether it’s good or bad, we want to hear about it so we can hold users accountable and continue to keep Speedster a safe and positive experience for all. With this in mind, Speedster uses technology to enable users to submit incident reports quickly, easily, and discreetly right in their app. While prompt reporting is encouraged, Speedster will receive and review reports of any sexual misconduct and/or sexual assault incidents reported to have occured on our platform, regardless of date, and until the case review is complete.
Users in California can submit reports to Speedster in any of the following ways:
Speedster also proactively reaches out to users after emergency safety products were used or triggered, such as:
Speedster also gathers safety incident reports from other sources such as social media mentions, news media mentions, law enforcement inbounds, regulator inquiries, insurance claims, and other third parties.
What Happens When You Make a Report of Sexual Assault or Sexual Misconduct to Speedster?
Speedster takes all allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct by our users extremely seriously and works to take appropriate action on every report quickly and fairly.
Speedster first sorts incident reports using key words and phrases to identify reports that may indicate safety concerns. The most serious and urgent reports, such as sexual assault, are escalated to a specialized team within Speedster’s Incident Response Team (IRT). IRT agents then conduct an internal case review which includes speaking with all incident parties and gathering necessary data in order to determine what account action to take.
During the case review process, IRT agents work to obtain the necessary information to make a determination as to whether the accused party’s account should be deactivated (banned) from the Speedster app. Speedster’s approach to responding to reports of sexual assault relies on learnings from partnerships with dozens of advocates and experts in the gender-based violence field. A main hallmark of this approach is to remove the requirements of conclusivity, corroboration, and survivor “credibility” in order to deactivate an accused party’s Speedster account.
When Speedster’s IRT Receives a Report of Sexual Assault?*
1. Identifying the accused party: First, a trained agent begins by identifying the accused party and their associated Speedster account.
2. Remove access: Next, Speedster immediately removes the accused party’s access to the Speedster app so that they cannot take trips while we complete a case review.
a. If the accused party is a guest shipper or rider, we attempt to identify whether they have their own Speedster account and, if they do, we restrict that account. If the guest shipper or rider cannot be identified, or if they do not have a Speedster account, the account holder may be restricted from the Speedster platform since our Community Guidelines state that account holders are responsible for their shippers’ or riders’ actions while using Speedster.
3. Block future pairing: Regardless of the outcome of our case review, we take steps to make sure the involved parties are not paired again in the future on the Speedster platform. It is important to note that this is not necessarily the only action Speedster will take on a report, and that further action will depend on what the agent’s subsequent review finds.
4. Attempt to speak with the reporting party/victim: Next, the IRT agent attempts to contact the reporting party/survivor over the phone to learn more about the reported incident.
a. We respect and rely heavily on the reporting party or survivor’s statement of experience, as we know their voice is defining and important in this process. While we understand that trauma can prevent survivors from providing these sometimes painful accounts, the statement of experience is an integral piece of the case review process and has great impact on reaching the most fair and swift decision possible.
5. Attempt to speak with the accused party: Next, the IRT agent will also reach out to other involved parties to the incident, including the accused party and any relevant witnesses. When speaking with the accused or other parties, IRT agents go to great lengths to protect the confidentiality of the reporting party and/or survivor (see Confidentiality section below).
6. Review relevant facts: Where possible, IRT agents will also review any relevant facts gathered during the case review process—such as GPS data, trip timestamps, and any additional information provided to them (e.g., dashcam or audio recordings, screenshots of texts, etc.).
a. Although these relevant facts are useful in the ultimate resolution of a report, they are not necessary for an accused party’s account to be removed from the platform. In cases where a survivor is not able or willing to provide a statement of experience over the phone, we will consider all other relevant facts obtained during the case review.
For all reported sexual assault incidents, Speedster agents offer survivors external support resources such as the National Sexual Assault Hotline. For some of the most critical cases reported in connection with the Speedster app, Speedster will offer victims a referral to the Speedster Survivor Resources Hotline & Support Fund, adminstered by the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. The Hotline will be administered by trained RAINN support specialists who will provide free, confidential crisis support and specialized services to survivors. RAINN will also facilitate Speedster-funded resources to support survivors including trauma-informed counseling. Use of the Resources Hotline and Support Fund is completely confidential. Speedster will not know the identities of users who use the referral.
Unwanted sexual experiences occur on a spectrum, as outlined in this policy. Speedster’s response to these types of incidents focuses on education regarding appropriate boundaries and the precepts of our Community Guidelines. When we receive a report of potential sexual misconduct, each incident is routed to the appropriate safety support team and acted on according to factors including the level of severity and user history. Educational modules, developed by RAINN, share information about appropriate behavior while on the app and are sent to users whenever they receive an initial report of unwanted behavior.
Our systems are constantly evaluating a variety of factors, including user feedback, local driving patterns, fraud signals, and data science to identify patterns of potentially risky behavior. This approach makes Speedster accountable and fair to drivers, delivery people, and customers. It accounts for the fact that a tenured driver with thousands of trips may have received a proportionately small number of infrequent, minor complaints. If a pattern of behavior is flagged by the system, this will trigger a review of the user’s history by a specialized agent and may result in the accused party’s loss of access to the Speedster platform. It’s important to note that no Speedster user is deactivated from Speedster for a safety reason without a human review.
All reports of sexual harassment, misconduct and sexual assault are treated confidentially to the extent possible. During Speedster’s case review process, an IRT agent may speak to involved incident parties, including the accused party. When speaking with accused parties, IRT agents go to great lengths to preserve the confidentiality of the reporting party or survivor and will not proactively disclose or confirm their identity to the accused party. Despite these efforts, Speedster cannot fully guarantee the accused party will not infer the identity of the reporting party.
However, to further protect user confidentiality, Speedster has built technology to anonymize user information from one another where possible. For example, once a trip is complete, Speedster removes or conceals a user’s access to information about the trip or the other user that is no longer necessary, including the exact pickup and dropoff addresses in the driver’s trip history and shipper or rider access to the driver’s photo, profile, and car information. Please refer to this blog post on how else Speedster works to protect user privacy and confidentiality in the app.
Reporting a good faith complaint of sexual misconduct or sexual assault will in no way be used against the driver or delivery person or have an adverse impact on the individual’s Speedster account. No penalty may be imposed on a Speedster user in response to them:
Support Hotlines & Other Victim Resources
You are entitled to seek any external support services for sexual misconduct and sexual assault. If you’d like to speak to someone outside of Speedster about your experience, including learning about the resource options available to you in your community, please contact any of the following national confidential support hotlines.
Additional California victim resources
*Similar protocols are followed for the following urgent categories of sexual misconduct: Indecent Photography/Video Without Consent, Masturbation/Indecent Exposure, and Verbal Threat of Sexual Assault.
**Speedster may share users’ personal data if we believe it’s required by applicable law, regulation, operating license or agreement, legal process or governmental request, or where the disclosure is otherwise appropriate due to safety or similar concerns.