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The Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC) was formed by the CFM in response to members' requests to address challenges that may arise in workplaces due to workplace misconduct, and in an effort encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion. The FEPC facilitated the CFM's partnership with #notme, an anonymous reporting platform which is offered free to CFM members to utilize should they encounter a difficult situation at work. The #notme app can and should be used to engage in open communications with the CFM about what you see happening in your workplace. Please read the article below for more information and download the #NotMe app to your phone!
***INSTRUCTIONS IN YOUTUBE VIDEO BELOW FOR DOWNLOADING #NOTME APP***
The CFM Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC) encourages all members to know their rights in the workplace. CFM members have a right to work in a safe and healthy environment, free from discrimination, harassment, bullying, unsafe conditions, or other unfair or unlawful mistreatment. If you see or experience any form of inappropriate conduct have concerns for your safety in the workplace, please review the FAQ below, but also report it via the #notme app.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I report workplace safety concerns?
Any time you feel unsafe at work or you know a safety rule is being violated, you should report that to your union steward, committee member, personnel manager, contractor, or designated safety officer. In addition, you can use the #notme app to alert the Union to concerns you have about any safety related issue, such as failure to follow COVID safety protocols or other safety hazards you observe at the workplace.
What is "workplace misconduct"?
Workplace misconduct is a very broad term that intentionally encompasses any conduct in the workplace that may be unwelcome to others, interfere with the work environment, or violate a collective bargaining agreement, work rule, CFM bylaws, or the law. While there may not be a remedy for all workplace misconduct, knowing what is happening in our workplaces can help the Union to tailor its policies and procedures to address both actual and potential issues.
What is "workplace discrimination"?
Workplace discrimination is any adverse action taken against a member in a workplace or other location that is related to work that occurs on the basis of race, religion, age, political affiliation or persuasion, disability, ancestry, pregnancy, national origin or ethnic background, color, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation or preference, citizenship status, marital/partnership status and genetic predisposition, or against any other protected class under federal or state law.
For example, workplace discrimination occurs when musicians are passed over for a gig because they are a particular race or religion. Such behavior is also prohibited by Section VIII.D.2.a of the CFM bylaws. Retaliation against any member for reporting workplace discrimination or misconduct is also a violation of the CFM bylaws and may be unlawful.
What is "sexual harassment"?
Sexual Harassment is workplace discrimination that is unwelcome, severe, and pervasive, and is based on sex. There are two types of sexual harassment: hostile work environment and quid pro quo. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when work assignments are conditioned on sexual favors or on other conduct that is related to the person’s sex. For example, if a musician is not hired because he or she refuses to go on a date with the contractor, that would constitute sexual harassment. A hostile work environment is created when the sexual harassment is so severe and pervasive that it alters the work environment. For example, when a stand partner makes constant comments about a person’s appearance, such that the person finds it hard to concentrate and makes mistakes, that could be severe and pervasive enough to constitute hostile work environment sexual harassment. Certain conduct, such as sexual assault in the workplace, may be severe enough on its own to be considered hostile work environment sexual harassment.
What is the Union doing to protect members and provide safer workplaces?
The Union has established the Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC). The FEPC’s purpose is to provide resources and tools for encouraging a healthy, safe, and inclusive working environment in our union. The FEPC has recommended and the Board has implemented the #notme app to assist the Union in tracking incidents of workplace misconduct and helping members feel protected in the workplace. You can help the Union and the FEPC stay on top of what’s happening in our union by using the #notme app to report what you see and experience in the workplace.
What is the Union's role in workplace misconduct?
The Union and the FEPC are here to support all members in the workplace and provide resources and information to members when their health and safety is threatened. Typically, when a member feels unsafe or experiences unwelcome conduct in the workplace or as a result of a work relationship, it is the Employer who is legally responsible and liable to correct such behavior. The Union has a legal duty to represent all members fairly and equally, regardless of the member’s role in any workplace issue, and the Union can help facilitate the exchange of information so that the Employer can try to address issues before they have any adverse effects on the workplace.
What protections do I have if I feel like I have been discriminated against or harassed, or if I have witnessed discrimination or harassment?
If you see something, say something. You can only be protected if you tell someone what is going on. The CFM encourages all members to report any instances of actual or suspected discrimination and harassment in the workplace to their employer and to the CFM. Many employers have designated staff or hotlines to which such conduct can be reported. Members can also use the #notme app to report these incidents to the CFM. Alternatively, members may contact State, Federal, or Local authorities to receive guidance and assistance.
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws, which protect individuals who are discriminated against or harassed because of their race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity), national origin, age (40 or older), disability and genetic information (including family medical history).
Members should visit https://publicportal.eeoc.gov/Portal/Login.aspx for more information or to file a charge of discrimination.
The EEOC Chicago Office is located at:
JCK Federal Building
230 S Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone (312) 872-9744
ASL Video Phone 844-234-5122
The Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) enforces anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws at workplaces with at least one employee, and covers more protected classes than the EEOC.
Members should visit https://www2.illinois.gov/dhr/Pages/default.aspx for more information or to file a charge.
The IDHR is located at:
555 West Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60661
(866) 740-3953 (TTY)
(FAX - Administration)
(FAX - Charge Processing)
The IDHR also staffs a sexual harassment hotline. Members can call the State of Illinois Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Helpline at 877-236-7703 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The City of Chicago, Cook County, and other counties in the region also have human rights divisions or departments that can help. Members are encouraged to utilize those resources.
I joined 10-208 almost 25 years ago, and I am a 3rd generation Union member. I feel the future of organized labor is bright; I am hopeful from recent organizing successes, and I am excited by the energy and activism in our locals and player conferences. I am proud to be a part of our Local and the FEPC. Any period of change presents the opportunity to not only do things differently, but better. One of the ways we can remake our industry in the COVID-endemic era is by putting action and strength behind the principles that our workplaces must be safe and equitable, and every voice must count. Please download the #NotMe app, and take a few minutes to understand the basics of how it works. Think of it like a smoke detector or burglar alarm — hopefully you’ll never need it, but if you do, you’ll be very glad you have it.
I’ve been a proud CFM member since my student days at DePaul University... over 20 years ago! I have always appreciated the opportunity to belong to an organization that advocates for me and my fellow musicians to ensure a fair wage and a safe work environment. Our world is changing, mostly for the better, and the CFM is changing along with it. There is more awareness that bullying, sexual harassment and discrimination are not acceptable in the workplace. When I was asked to be a part of the FEPC, I immediately said yes to the opportunity to help further expand the safety of musicians’ work environments. I am excited to be on a committee which is seeking to empower our fellow musicians and protect them from bad behavior in the workplace. I would encourage my fellow musicians to download the #NotMe app. It is one of the tools we have to keep our work environment safe. You can document issues and either share them with the union or keep it as a record for yourself only. It is easy to use!
Karen Suarez Flint
I joined the CFM in 2000 while a member of the Civic Orchestra. As a freelancer with 20+ years of performing, I am honored to serve on the FEPC. As a union, we have negotiated for fair wages, lobbied successfully for legislative action, supported each other on the picket line and experienced the profound togetherness of music making. We’ve shared a stand, a few beers and stories that are inexplicably always funny. We’ve celebrated our happiest milestones together, held hands through illness and collectively grieved the loss of dear friends. We are family. We look out for each other. I am grateful for the hours of thoughtful and compassionate discussion amongst the FEPC regarding equality in the workplace. The #NotMe app is a tool that can help all of us to look out for each other and prevent a toxic work environment. So, remember… KN95 masks protect us from COVID. A pencil protects you from mistakes. Wind clips protect you from embarrassment. And the #NotMe app protects our workplace from harassment and bullying. Download it today and make it part of your PPE.
Building a sense of community and creating a forum for discussion is an important part of creating equity and security in our profession. My role in the Fair Employment Practices Committee gives me an opportunity to help create that reality for the members of Local 10- 208. We have to be united in order to create security for our future. A great goal would be to connect our membership in a manner consistent with the technology of our current era, creating an online community giving ease of access and a voice to everyone in order to interact and support one another.
I joined the FEPC because, as a freelancer, it can be challenging to know where to go when issues in the workplace arise. The #NotMe app will enable our members to feel safe reporting breaches of safety protocols and workplace misconduct as we all head back to work. Join us in striving to make our new professional environment even better than the one we left. Please download this app before your next gig. If you have any questions, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am honored to serve you as a member of the Fair Employment Practices Committee of the CFM Local 10-208. During my 44 years as a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and of the Chicago Federation of Musicians, I have been privileged to make music at a high level. To do what we do as musicians requires intricate teamwork and often happens under high pressure to produce the very best results. There simply is no room for bad vibes of any kind. Good vibes must be maximized. From time to time, as we perform our music, one may witness or be the victim of workplace misconduct. Whether it be harassment or bullying, dangerous or unethical behavior, these unfortunate situations degrade our work environment and must be eliminated. Your FEPC is here to help deal with any bad vibes. The #NotMe app is a valuable tool to report any and all instances of workplace misconduct. I urge you to become familiar with this app, and make use of it when appropriate. I am hopeful that we can all continue to make music in an atmosphere of goodwill and collaboration!
I was appointed to the Fair Employment Practices Committee by the CFM Board of Directors to be their representative on the committee. In my time on the board and on different orchestra committees I have always had a goal of trying to make our gigs better. I am hopeful that the FEPC will have a positive and lasting impact on our working conditions. Being a musician has enough challenges on its own without adding harassment and other misconduct to our job. Please use the #notme app if you experience or witness harassment to help improve our industry for everyone.