What is this?
This is our Member Agreement, or basically, what members of CoworkBuffalo agree to when they use our space. It’s both a legal document and goes over some of the finicky ground rules we’ve learned. This document is based off IndyHall’s. Last revised: January 8, 2014
The Member Agreement
CoworkBuffalo, LLC (“Cowork”) was created by its co-founders (“co-founders”) to foster and support a coworking community at 653 Main St., Suite 104 by providing its members with space, tables, phone rooms, chairs, trash cans, Internet connectivity, a collaborative community, and other resources and stuff (such services, the “Cowork Stuff”). By joining Cowork, our members agree to certain rules for our community (“Rules of Cowork,” “Rules”). The goal of a community such as Cowork is to help each of us work hard, so we should be considerate of each other, play well together, follow the Rules of Cowork. If one of us doesn’t follow the Rules, it affects all of us and Cowork, and as a condition to membership, we each agree to abide by this Agreement (“Agreement”).
Any questions about this Agreement, the Anti-Harassment Policy, or any rules not covered here, should be addressed by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, here are the Rules of Cowork, which all members, including you, agree to:
Behave well and treat others the way you would want to be treated. Keep in mind that people who are annoyed or offended may not tell you so directly, but instead engage less with Cowork, which hurts everybody.
At the co-founders’ discretion, or upon notice from other members, disruptive or abusive language or behavior will result in a warning and a mark against your membership (a “strike”). On the third strike, your membership will be revoked. Your membership may be revoked prior to the third strike upon the sole discretion of the co-founders.
These are the general rules we ask you to abide by:
a. Indoor voice. We are all trying to get work done, so try to be mindful and respectful of others’ attention and time. Generally, if someone has their headphones on, please respect their privacy (that’s the most important rule we have). Cowork is not a library, and collaboration is encouraged, but this is a workplace, first and foremost.
b. Phone calls. If you have a phone call and it will last just a minute or two, feel free to take it in the common areas. If you are going to be on the phone for more than that, please use the phone rooms (or phone booth, if you’re feeling old-time-y). We paid to have them installed so that you and your fellow Coworkers could have some privacy and avoid the mental oddity of hearing half of a conversation.
Some exceptions can be made, such as for those working in support jobs, where an occasional and not very talkative phone call of 5-10 minutes is necessary. We ask, however, that you keep your voice quiet, and, if you know that a call will persist for more than 5 minutes or be especially talkative, you take the call into a phone room.
c. Harassment. Please read our Anti-Harassment Policy. We have zero tolerance for harrassing our members or guests of Cowork. Members or guests violating the Anti-Harrassment Policy will be sanctioned or expelled from the space or the event at the discretion of the co-founders.
d. Guests. Feel free to invite friends or guests for lunch, a quick meeting, or just to say hello. However, if your guest is going to be here for more than an hour we would ask that they pay for a daily pass. Guests are required to adhere to the Rules of Cowork.
e. Desk use. Every desk at CoworkBuffalo is for the community. At this point in time, we do not offer permanent desks. Please do not leave property on the desks or around the desks when you will not be working there that day. Take home what you bring in, or arrange with the co-founders for storage in an out-of-the-way area. Every evening and/or morning the desks will be cleared of items, which will be deposited in an area for collection. Leaving items on desks despite notice will result in a strike.
f. Refrigerator. The refrigerator is primarily for storing that day’s food, beverages, and some occasional leftovers from events. As a general policy, food that is older than one week and taking up space will be thrown out. Containers or food left in the refrigerator may be thrown out at any time at the discretion of the co-founders. Labeling your food will help us at least give you a heads up.
g. Alcohol policy. It is fine to relax with a nice drink, but please don’t do it before 5 p.m. We do not tolerate intoxication at the space. Be mindful, too, that your “quitting time” does not match up with everybody else’s schedule.
h. Overnight use. We understand that our members may need to pull a late night of work every now and again. However, under no circumstances is sleeping at the space overnight allowed.
i. Heat & air conditioning. We set the heat and air conditioning on a schedule that makes sense for most people. Please do not raise or lower the temperature more than 3 degrees. If the heat or air conditioning do not seem to be working, please notify a Cowork founder.
j. Locks. The doors are automatically locked most of the time. We have large windows that look in on our members’ gear and our supplies. Do not do anything to allow the doors to be unlocked for any notable length of time. If you believe the doors are not locked when you leave the space, it is your duty to notify a Cowork cofounder of the situation.
Believe in yourself, believe in others, and especially believe in the collaborative power of the Cowork community. Network. Collaborate. Work hard. Have fun. Improve Cowork for all. Give input to make Cowork better. And if this isn’t your sort of thing, see 1. Conduct.
3. Environmental Stewardship
Cowork values responsible recycling in all possible forms. This includes disposing of refuse that could present dangers through the contamination and pollution of the environment. These forms of hazardous waste require special disposal techniques to make them harmless or less dangerous. Cowork has requested appropriate recycling totes from the City of Buffalo, in order that member might dispose of refuse responsibly. This policy herein mandates that refuse in question be disposed of accordingly; this includes items that may pose a threat to human health or the environment. Such items should not be thrown away with general municipal waste (e.g. printer cartridges, certain batteries, CFL bulbs, etc). Do your best to dispose of such waste accordingly, and when in doubt, check with a Cowork cofounder.
We will do our best to notify members of changes to the Rules and this agreement. We will strive to keep an up-to-date copy of this agreement on Cowork’s website.
We collect fees for monthly memberships, day passes, 10-packs, and after-hours usage through (mostly) automatic credit card billing. If you believe you have been billed in error, you should contact the co-founders before disputing the charge with your card company (they are usually easy to solve). You are expected to pay for services up front; Cowork cannot maintain a “tab” for you.
See section 1. Conduct for reference to what actions could lead to termination of your Cowork membership. Beyond those day-to-day rules, you agree not to use Cowork for any purpose that is unlawful, prohibited, or that could damage, disable or impair any of the Cowork Stuff, or keep other members from using the Cowork Stuff, or that would hurt Cowork as an ongoing business. This also means you won’t attempt to gain access to any computer systems or networks of Cowork (beyond general web access), or attempt to obtain any materials or information not intentionally made available to all Cowork members. If you attempt to do any of these bad things, then forget about the three strikes under Rules of Cowork No. 1, as your membership may be terminated immediately with notice from Cowork.
You also agree not to use Cowork or Cowork Stuff in connection with:
a. Contests, pyramid schemes, chain letters, junk email, spamming or similar annoying behavior; b. Defaming, abusing, harassing, threatening or otherwise violating the legal rights (such as privacy and publicity) of others; c. Posting, distributing or disseminating inappropriate, profane, defamatory, obscene, indecent, or unlawful material or information; d. Uploading, reproducing, using, performing or otherwise making available, images, software or other material or information which infringes another’s rights, or is protected by intellectual property laws where you don’t own or license such rights; and e. Uploading or using files that contain viruses, corrupted files, or any other similar software or programs that may damage the computers or property of Cowork or another member.
You acknowledge that during your membership in Cowork, you are going to be exposed to Cowork Confidences. “Cowork Confidences” means information (such as business information, trade secrets, technology, customers and prospects, and other secret stuff) disclosed by Cowork or by other members of Cowork (including through your keen observation) that is confidential or proprietary in nature and simply just not known by others. It’s plain and simple - you agree to keep confidential and not to disclose or use Cowork Confidences, you understand that they remain the exclusive property of whomever disclosed them, and you don’t acquire any rights to such Cowork Confidences.
Please don’t make defamatory or disparaging comments about Cowork or other members. Frankly, if you don’t have anything good to say, then keep it to yourself or let us know about it. We can probably fix it or at least talk about it.
Neither Cowork nor its members will assume any liability to you with respect to your access to, participation in, use of Cowork or Cowork Services, or any loss of information or other property resulting from such participation or use. Basically, if you leave stuff here and it disappears, we are not liable (but we will certainly look into how it happened and work to prevent such losses).
Cowork will not assume liability for damages or injuries to clients, guests, or other parties that members may invite to the Cowork space. We would be glad to put you in touch with our insurance agent about a general liability policy, if this is of particular concern.
Legal types ask that the following sections be CAPITALIZED, which means you’re really supposed to pay attention (frankly, you’re supposed to pay attention to ALL these Rules of Cowork). Here goes:
a. Cowork PROVIDES Cowork SERVICES “AS IS” AS A SERVICE AND NOT AS A LEASE OF REAL PROPERTY, AND DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS, WHETHER EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. OH YEAH, THERE IS ALSO NO WARRANTY OF TITLE, QUIET ENJOYMENT OR POSSESSION. THE ENTIRE RISK OF PARTICIPATING IN OR USING Cowork SERVICES, REMAINS WITH YOU. THAT’S USUALLY THE DEAL, YOU KNOW?.
b. IN NO EVENT SHALL Cowork OR ITS AGENTS, OWNERS, MEMBERS, OR EMPLOYEES BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE, CONSEQUENTIAL OR OTHER DAMAGES WHATSOEVER (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, DAMAGES FOR LOST PROFITS, LOSS OF CONFIDENTIAL OR OTHER INFORMATION, BUSINESS INTERRUPTION, PERSONAL INJURY, LOSS OF PRIVACY, FAILURE TO MEET ANY DUTY (INCLUDING OF GOOD FAITH OR OF REASONABLE CARE), NEGLIGENCE, AND ANY OTHER LOSS) ARISING OUT OF OR IN ANY WAY RELATED TO Cowork SERVICES OR OTHERWISE, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.
Besides all that CAPITALIZED stuff in 11. Disclaimer, you also release, and agree to indemnify, defend and save harmless Cowork, its agents, owners, members and employees, from and against all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, expenses, judgments, fines and penalties based on or arising out of your negligent actions, errors and omissions, willful misconduct or fraud, breach or violation of the Rules of Cowork or otherwise suffered in connection with your participation in Cowork or use of Cowork Services.
You are near the end, so keep your pace up. Take note that you can’t assign this Agreement without the prior written consent of Cowork. Since Cowork is situated in the City of Buffalo, we all agree that the law of the great State of New York governs this Agreement. And we further agree that exclusive jurisdiction and venue for all purposes under this Agreement shall be in Buffalo, New York and everybody consents to such jurisdiction and venue. Finally, in the highly unlikely event that any provision or portion of this Agreement is determined to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable for any reason, in whole or in part, the remaining provisions of this Agreement shall be unaffected and shall remain in full force and effect to the fullest extent permitted by law.
Believe it or not, I acknowledge that I have stayed awake, read and even understand this Agreement and the Rules of Cowork. Further, I agree to be bound by this Agreement and the Rules of Cowork regarding my participation in Cowork and the use of Cowork Services.