Ban Policy

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This page documents an adopted policy of Free Geek Vancouver
Approved by: Members on 19 April 2016.

Ban Policy

Free Geek has deep connections to the Vancouver community. Though its premises is private property, it is open to the public during normal business hours. Free Geek is committed to safeguarding the people who volunteer, shop, work, and spend time at its premises, to preventing disruption to its operations, and to protecting its property. Under unusual and extreme circumstances, Free Geek exercises its right to deny individuals' access to part or all of its premises after a reasoned determination has been made that a person has engaged in criminal activity, violation of Free Geek policy, or conduct that is or may reasonably be deemed to be threatening, disruptive, or violent. These determinations are called bans. They are considered a disciplinary last resort.


A ban is a temporary or permanent restriction from part or all of an individual's interaction with Free Geek's operations. A ban can range from a simple restriction from a specific area of the premises, to a full restriction from entering Free Geek premises, volunteering at Free Geek, attending Free Geek social events, or attending non-Society Free Geek meetings. Bans do not affect an individual's membership to the Free Geek Society or their involvement with its proceedings.
Immediate Ban
A ban issued for behaviour reasonably considered dangerous, threatening, harmful, illegal, or legally compromising.
Deliberated Ban
A ban issued for repeated disruptive behaviour or repeated behaviour that causes distress.
The collective Board of Directors of Free Geek.
The collective employees of Free Geek.
A staff
An individual employee.
Issuing staff
The staff responsible for delivering a ban to an individual.
Ban File
The file in the Free Geek office wherein all ban records are kept. Accessible to staff and directors.

Part 1 — Procedure

1 Immediate bans are delivered in extreme circumstances where people or property are at dire risk during Free Geek operations or at Free Geek premises.
(a) Immediate bans are issued for behaviours that are reasonably considered dangerous, threatening, harmful, illegal, or legally compromising, including, but not limited to:
(i) Physical assault
(ii) Sexual harassment
(iii) Threats
(iv) Theft
(v) Unauthorized destruction of Free Geek property, including data
(vi) Unauthorized access or copying of Free Geek’s private and proprietary data
(vii) Accessing or copying data from donated E-waste without permission from the donor
(viii) Accessing, copying or modifying customer or client data without permission
(b) A staff may immediately ban an individual who was witnessed behaving in a way that warrants an immediate ban, provided they reasonably believe the individual’s continued or immediate presence at Free Geek puts other individuals or Free Geek at risk.
(c) An immediate ban applies to all Free Geek premises, social activities, and operations, except Society-related proceedings.
(d) The duration of an immediate ban is permanent, pending appeal.
(e) The Staff member who issues the ban will first, if possible, seek another staff to assist as a deputy. If no other staff is available, they may deputize a volunteer.
(f) The issuing staff will inform the individual they are banned, provide the conditions and duration of the ban, and then ask them to leave the premises.
(g) If the individual does not leave the premises, the issuing Staff will request assistance from at least one other Staff member to non-physically escort the individual out of the building.
(h) If the individual is belligerent, violent, or otherwise refuses to exit the building, Staff will call the police.
(i) If the individual has left before an issuing staff can deliver the ban, the individual will be informed of the next time they are present at Free Geek operations.
(j) After the individual has left, as a precaution, the issuing Staff will provide other Staff and, if necessary, volunteers, a brief description of the banned individual, and describe the behaviour that resulted in the ban.
2 Deliberated bans are issued for repeated disruptive behaviour or repeated behaviour that causes distress, and will be preceded by warnings.
(a) Individuals who disrupt or cause distress are typically found to be in violation of Free Geek’s policies and procedures, including, but not limited to:
(b) Free Geek's Code of Conduct and Netiquette policy
(c) On-site operational rules
(d) Staff instructions
(e) If a staff comes to a reasonable determination that an individual shows disruptive beahaviour or behaviour causing distress that requires correction, they will first formally warn the individual of the behaviour, either in writing or verbally. The warning will contain in general terms:
(f) The behaviour the staff witnessed
(g) A recommended cooling-off period from Free Geek for the individual to consider the warning and correct their behaviour, the duration of which is at the discretion of the Staff (typically until their next shift).
(h) All formal warnings given to correct an individual's behaviour must be logged in a written report by the staff who gave the warning, and kept on file. The report must include:
(i) The individual's name
(ii) Time and date delivered
(iii) Behaviour that warranted the warning
(i) The warned individual will be given a chance to demonstrate they have corrected their behaviour after the cooling-off period.
(j) If disruptive behaviour or behaviour that causes distress continues despite 2 warnings, the Staff and, if requested by Staff, the Board, may determine by consensus that an individual’s repeated violations warrant a ban.
(k) If a decision to ban the individual is reached, an issuing Staff and a witness will inform the individual by a written letter that they are banned. The letter will provide the conditions and duration of the ban, and provide information on who to contact if they wish appeal the ban.
3 After an immediate or deliberated ban is issued, a report of the ban will be written and filed with the Free Geek office within 14 calendar days after the ban is issued.
(a) The issuing Staff will write the report, which will include:
(i) The banned individual's name, or, if not known, a physical description
(ii) Duration of the ban
(iii) Reason(s) for the ban
(iv) Time and place
(v) Names of witnesses
(vi) References to video records (if available)
(vii) References to prior warnings (if available)
(viii) Other Staff members involved
(ix) Other actions taken by the Staff
(b) The issuing Staff will file the report in the ban file in the Free Geek office and forward a copy of it to the Board.

Part 2 — Appeals

4 Banned individuals may appeal their ban in writing. The appeal is to be directed to the Board Secretary electronically or at the Free Geek Society's registered address (Free Geek premises).
(a) The written appeal must include a candid explanation for the conduct that precipitated the ban, and rationale as to why the ban should be overturned or ban period reduced.
(b) The Board will make a substantive determination on the appeal and communicate it in writing to the individual within 15 days after the next Board meeting.
(c) On written request of the banned individual, a substantive determination of an appeal will be followed up with an appeal meeting, as scheduled by the Board, at the earliest convenience of the parties involved.
(d) Appeal meetings will be attended by the following parties:
(i) The banned individual or their representative
(ii) The issuing Staff
(iii) A Board member who will facilitate and minute the meeting
(iv) A three-person panel to adjudicate
(e) The banned individual may represent themselves or have an advocate speak for them at the appeal meeting.
(f) The three-person panel cannot contain individuals who were directly involved in the incident(s) leading to the ban.
(g) The three-person panel will be composed of one Staff member and one Board member, and a third Board member or randomly selected Society member, as decided by the Board.
(h) The appeal meeting must allow time for the banned individual or their advocate to speak their case, and to provide reason(s) the ban should be overturned or ban period reduced, and for the panel members to cross-examine both parties and discuss the incident leading to the ban.
(i) If, during the meeting, the facilitator deems the banned individual to be behaving in a way that violates the Free Geek Code of Conduct or other Free Geek policies, they may reschedule the meeting. If, in the opinion of the facilitator, the conduct of the banned individual makes it impractical or impossible to conduct the appeal meeting, the facilitator may declare the appeal summarily dismissed.
(j) The three-person panel will be allowed time for private deliberation and to vote, by simple majority, on whether to uphold the ban, overturn the ban, lessen the severity of the ban, or to reduce the ban period. The banned individual, the issuing Staff, and the facilitator will be immediately informed of the decision.
(k) The facilitator will file the minutes and result of the appeal in the ban file in the Free Geek office and forward a copy to the Board.
5 Successful appeals that result in a reduction in severity or length of the ban will result in a modification of a ban’s conditions, as determined by the three-person panel.
6 Successful appeals that overturn the ban will restore the individual’s access to Free Geek’s premises, volunteering, and events.

Part 3 — Active Bans

7 A banned individual who violates the conditions of their ban will be immediately and politely instructed to leave the area they are banned from. If the individual does not leave immediately, Staff will call the police to remove the banned person.
8 Violating the conditions of a ban may result in an extension of the ban period.

Part 4 — Prior Bans

9 All bans on record prior to April 2016 are subject to the wording of the ban policy contemporary at the time the ban was issued.