Legal protections for organizers

As the WordPress Community begins to transition to in-person events, organizers are wondering what legal protections are available to them related to COVID-19. Here are a couple of solutions!

Disclaimer on WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. Ticket Purchases

We will be adding a disclaimer to the WordCamp ticket purchase page, which will protect organizers against claims related to COVID-19. The disclaimer text will read:

An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable.

By attending WordCamp {city} {year}, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and waive any claims against the event organizers; volunteers; sponsors; the WordPress FoundationWordPress Foundation The WordPress Foundation is a charitable organization founded by Matt Mullenweg to further the mission of the WordPress open source project: to democratize publishing through Open Source, GPL software. Find more on wordpressfoundation.org.; WordPress Community SupportWordPress Community Support WordPress Community Support PBC is a subsidiary of WordPress Foundation. It is created specifically to be the financial and legal support for WordCamps, WordPress Meetup groups, and any additional “official” events organized within the WordPress Community Events program., PBC; and their respective affiliates.

This disclaimer will appear on the ticket purchase page for the ticket purchaser to agree to. Agreement is given by checking a box next to the disclaimer (similar to agreeing to the Code of ConductCode of Conduct “A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the norms, rules, and responsibilities or proper practices of an individual party.” - Wikipedia), before completing their ticket purchase.

We are aiming to roll this update out to WordCamp sites on Wednesday, 13 October 2021.

Insurance Policy

This year, WPCSWordPress Coding Standards A collection of PHP_CodeSniffer rules (sniffs) to validate code developed for WordPress. It ensures code quality and adherence to coding conventions, especially the official standards for WordPress Core. added a “communicable disease liability coverage” policy to our event insurance. This policy provides coverage to help defer any legal fees and costs related to lawsuits claiming damages due to:

  • Actual or alleged transmission of a communicable disease
  • An act, error, or omission by or on behalf of WPFWordPress Foundation The WordPress Foundation is a charitable organization founded by Matt Mullenweg to further the mission of the WordPress open source project: to democratize publishing through Open Source, GPL software. Find more on wordpressfoundation.org./WPCS in:
    • The supervision of any person who transmits, is infected with, and/or alleged to be infected with a communicable disease
    • Testing for a communicable disease
    • Actual or alleged failure to prevent the spread of a communicable disease
    • Actual or alleged failure to report a communicable disease to the authorities

This policy is currently in effect and covers all official WordCamps and WordPress Chapter MeetupsMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook..

Summary

These legal protections should hopefully ease the minds of organizers concerned about planning in-person WordCamps and WordPress Meetups. Please leave a comment below if you have any concerns or questions!

#policy, #wordcamps