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<h1>Free Software Foundation Europe statement on a public post from 20 December 2020</h1>
<p>22 December 2020 (Update 20 January 2021)</p>
<p>On 20 December 2020, a public post was circulated
about a lawsuit in which the author claims that the Free Software
Foundation Europe ended an employment relationship with a former
staffer. Although it is our usual policy not to comment publicly on
internal personnel matters for privacy reasons (our ex-employee has
not agreed on more detail), we felt it necessary to state
unequivocally that this post does not reflect the reality of the
facts and contradicts the verdict by the Berlin Labour Court.</p>
<p>The court judgement of 19 November 2020 (reference number 42 Ca
5723/20) did not acknowledge any factual basis to the assertions.
Furthermore the judges concluded that our former employee's own
statements prove that she “neither experienced hostility, nor was
she offended, nor in another form intimidated or demeaned”.
Additionally they found, she received equal treatment, and that
“the boundaries of socially acceptable conduct” were “not
exceeded”.</p>
<p>Until the end of the proceedings, we do not wish to comment any
further. In the meantime we discourage speculation, the former
employee confirmed to us through her lawyer on 22 December 2020
that she does not support speculation about names and we respect
that wish.</p>
<p>Free Software is meant to serve everyone regardless of their
age, ability or disability, gender identity, sex, race, nationality, religion,
or sexual orientation. True to this principle, we pay our staff
based on their qualifications and performance, without reference to
any of the characteristics listed. To promote inclusivity and
equality in the Free Software community, our recruitment process <a
href="/news/2018/news-20180716-01.en.html#howtoapply">gives
preference to applicants</a> who identify as part of
underrepresented groups in technology for applications of equal
strength.</p>
<p>Furthermore, together with our <a
href="/about/codeofconduct.en.html#CARE">CARE team</a>, we aim to
offer a friendly and safe environment for every participant in our
activities, both online and offline. Misbehaving can lead to
exclusion from our organisation, our activities and/or our
technical infrastructure, no matter the perpetrator's position
and/or reputation within the organisation or the Free Software
community. These commitments are not just words: in the past,
breaches of the <a href="/about/codeofconduct.en.html">FSFE’s Code
of Conduct</a> have led to such exclusions.</p>
<p>In the interest of protecting the privacy and moral integrity of
all involved, including our current or former employees, we wish to
refrain from commenting further at this stage. Finally, we urge
members of our community to refrain from personal attacks or
pressure on any of the parties involved, especially on social
media.</p>
<p><strong>Update 20 January 2021</strong>: the verdict about the
legal case in front of the Berlin Labour Court was not appealed and
is now legally binding.</p>
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