The WGA West has issued a Statement of Principles on Sexual Harassment that will “form the basis of our policies and actions going forward.” In an email to its members today, the guild said the principles will serve “as our starting point toward meaningful change in our industry’s treatment of sexual harassment and discrimination.”

The guild noted, however, that it “is a union, not judge or jury, and cases of harassment and discrimination should be adjudicated in a court of law or through legal policies of employment.” That means that it won’t be expelling members – as the DGA did with Harvey Weinstein – who have been accused of sexual harassment or assault. Nor will it expel members even after they’ve been convicted of sex crimes.

“WGAW membership standards are defined by our constitution, labor law, and requisite employment by signatory employers,” the guild said. “A writer achieves or retains membership despite any personal criminal history.”

In November, the guild said that it was developing a “mission statement” and initiatives to address sexual harassment in the industry.

“The WGA West believes the current social outcry against sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace is not just warranted, it is long overdue,” the statement continued  (read it in full below). “Sexual harassment is a form of employment discrimination, which is illegal under federal and state law. It is the legal and moral responsibility of our employers to adhere to both the letter and the spirit of these laws. Unfortunately, their policies have historically failed to do so. Since it is the right and obligation of the WGAW to support the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws, we must take action on behalf of our members to address these issues. To that end, the WGAW supports the creation of a meaningful industrywide policy agenda that is fair, legal, and effective.”

Several Hollywood guilds are quietly working behind the scenes to address the industry’s sexual abuse and harassment epidemic, both via the Anita Hill-led Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace and by working independently on the issues.

On Saturday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences approved the next phase in its Standards of Conduct initiative. Academy CEO Dawn Hudson forwarded instructions on how individuals may report claims of workplace misconduct in violation of AMPAS standards. “The Academy’s goal is not to be an investigative body, but rather ensure that when a grievance is made, it will go through a fair and methodical process,” she wrote in an email to members.

The Academy also expelled Weinstein after bombshell exposés detailing decades of alleged sexual harassment and sexual assault claims. The reports set off a wave of women coming forward with similar stories in the entertainment and other industries in what has become a watershed moment in Hollywood and beyond.

Here’s the full WGA West email to members sent today:

Dear WGAW Member,

The Board and Officers have identified the following principles as our starting point toward meaningful change in our industry’s treatment of sexual harassment and discrimination.

The WGAW believes the current social outcry against sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace is not just warranted, it is long overdue. Sexual harassment is a form of employment discrimination, which is illegal under federal and state law. It is the legal and moral responsibility of our employers to adhere to both the letter and the spirit of these laws. Unfortunately, their policies have historically failed to do so. Since it is the right and obligation of the WGAW to support the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws, we must take action on behalf of our members to address these issues. To that end, the WGAW supports the creation of a meaningful industrywide policy agenda that is fair, legal, and effective.

The WGAW supports a zero tolerance policy for any form of workplace discrimination, including sexual harassment. Zero tolerance means that every claim of harassment or discrimination is taken seriously, and the investigation of every claim is thorough and transparent. Zero tolerance does not mean the absence of due process, or that there is a one-size-fits-all punishment for every incident. The WGAW supports a fair and legal process that is consistently and transparently applied. The WGAW also believes that it is a perversion of due process to implement policies that protect the accused or the employer, instead of the accuser, that create obstacles to investigation, or that discourage victims from filing claims.

The WGAW acknowledges that creativity requires a unique workplace. There are no words or ideas that can be off-limits, and deliberately pushing the boundaries of good taste, or social and political correctness, is instrumental to the work we do. But there is nothing about creativity and humor that requires individuals to fear for their physical or economic safety. Assaulting, demeaning, or diminishing anyone is wrong, and doing so in the workplace based on gender or other protected attributes is illegal. The WGAW condemns this type of behavior, both toward its members and by its members. It demeans our profession and our industry as a whole when a hostile work environment is considered normal or acceptable.

WGAW membership standards are defined by our constitution, labor law, and requisite employment by signatory employers. A writer achieves or retains membership despite any personal criminal history. The WGAW is a union, not judge or jury, and cases of harassment and discrimination should be adjudicated in a court of law or through legal policies of employment.

Because harassment and discrimination are products of an institutional imbalance of power, the WGAW believes that there is no solution to harassment that does not include efforts to address the economic and career disadvantages that burden women and other protected classes. Pay equity and equal opportunity are necessary to the solution. The WGAW will actively seek effective programs that promote gender equality in our industry. The WGAW will also investigate any pattern of retribution by employers toward individuals who file claims or who speak out about harassment. No member of the WGAW should tolerate any form of backlash against hiring or working with women due to fear or discomfort around this issue.

These principles form the basis of our policies and actions going forward. We are committed to not merely stating what is right, but to doing what is right, for our members and our industry. We can no longer leave issues of harassment and discrimination solely in the hands of our employers. In addition to the action items above, we will seek every opportunity for change, including: partnerships with our sister Guilds and unions, surveying our membership, creating awareness and training programs that are actually effective, working to correct the toxic culture of discrimination within our industry, and negotiating policies with our employers that focus on protecting victims rather than the companies themselves. There is no issue more important to a union than ensuring a safe and fair workplace for all. That is our goal.