X

IAEM Non-Discrimination & Anti-Harassment Policy

IAEM Non-Discrimination & Anti-Harassment Policy

The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) is committed to an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to work and participate as a member or volunteer of IAEM and to participate in IAEM events or activities in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal employment opportunities and prohibits unlawful discriminatory practices, including harassment. Therefore, IAEM expects that all relationships among persons, including management staff, officers, directors, members, volunteers and IAEM event attendees will be business-like and free of bias, prejudice and harassment.

This policy has been enacted by the Board to ensure that all management staff, officers, directors, volunteers, members and event attendees can actively participate in IAEM’s activities in an environment free from unlawful harassment, discrimination, retaliation and other forms of inappropriate and/or offensive conduct. The IAEM Board of Directors will make every reasonable effort to ensure that all concerned are familiar with these policies and are aware that any complaint in violation of such policies will be investigated and resolved appropriately.

Any member of IAEM’s management staff, any IAEM officer, director, member, volunteer or IAEM event attendee who has questions or concerns about these policies should talk with the IAEM Chair, its Executive Director or IAEM’s legal counsel.

These policies should not, and may not, be used as a basis for excluding or separating individuals of a particular gender, or any other protected characteristic, from participating in any IAEM activities or programs. In other words, no one should make the mistake of engaging in discrimination or exclusion to avoid allegations of harassment. The law and the policies of IAEM strictly prohibit disparate treatment on the basis of sex or any other protected characteristic with regard to participation in IAEM governance, program volunteer or member activities or other IAEM events or conferences. The prohibitions against harassment, discrimination and retaliation are intended to complement and further those policies, not to form the basis of an exception to them.

Equal Employment Opportunity

It is the policy of IAEM to ensure equal opportunity to participate as an IAEM officer, director, member, volunteer or event attendee without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, national origin, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. IAEM prohibits any such discrimination or harassment.

Retaliation

IAEM encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination or harassment. It is the policy of IAEM to promptly and thoroughly investigate such reports. IAEM prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports discrimination or harassment or participates in an investigation of such reports.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment constitutes discrimination and is illegal under federal, state and local laws. For the purposes of this policy, “sexual harassment” is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, including when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance or work as a volunteer or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or volunteer activity environment.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 recognizes two types of sexual harassment: a) quid pro quo, and b) hostile work or volunteer environment. Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not-so-subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual’s body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; leering, whistling or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; display in the workplace or at association events or meetings of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature.

Harassment

Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited. Under this policy, harassment is verbal, written or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law, or that of his or her relatives, friends or associates, and that: a) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or volunteer environment, b) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or volunteer performance, c) otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment or volunteer opportunities, or d) adversely affects an individual’s participation in an IAEM sponsored event, activity or conference.

Harassing conduct includes epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes; and written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group that is placed on walls or elsewhere at an IAEM event or meeting or using IAEM equipment by e-mail, phone (including voice messages), text messages, social networking sites, applications or other means.

Individuals and Conduct Covered

These policies apply to all management staff, IAEM officers, directors, members and volunteer members, including those attending and participating in IAEM events or conference.

Conduct prohibited by these policies is unacceptable in the association’s business, volunteer or meeting environments.

Reporting an Incident of Harassment, Discrimination or Retaliation

IAEM encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination, harassment or retaliation, regardless of the offender’s identity or position. Individuals who believe that they have been the victim of such conduct should discuss their concerns with the IAEM Executive Director, Chair or IAEM’s legal counsel.

In addition, IAEM encourages individuals who believe they are being subjected to such conduct to promptly advise the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome and to request that it be discontinued. Often this action alone will resolve the problem. IAEM recognizes, however, that an individual may prefer to pursue the matter through complaint procedures.

Complaint Procedure

Individuals who believe they have been the victims of conduct prohibited by this policy or reasonably believe they have witnessed such conduct should discuss their concerns with the IAEM Executive Director, IAEM Chair or IAEM’s legal counsel.  Upon review of the facts, the Executive Director, Chair or IAEM’s legal counsel may refer the matter to the IAEM Board of Directors for further consideration and action.

IAEM encourages the prompt reporting of complaints or concerns so that rapid and constructive action can be taken before relationships become irreparably strained. Therefore, while no fixed reporting period has been established, early reporting and intervention have proven to be the most effective method of resolving actual or perceived incidents of harassment.

Any reported allegations of harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be investigated. The investigation may include individual interviews with the parties involved and, where necessary, with individuals who may have observed the alleged conduct or may have other relevant knowledge.

IAEM will endeavor to maintain confidentiality throughout the investigatory process to the extent consistent with adequate investigation and appropriate corrective action.

Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or discrimination or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment or discrimination itself, will be subject to disciplinary action. Acts of retaliation should be reported immediately and will be promptly investigated and addressed.

Misconduct constituting harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be dealt with appropriately. Responsive action may include, but are not limited to, suspension or termination of IAEM membership, censure, removal from office in the case of an IAEM officer or director, removal from a volunteer leadership position, or revocation or suspension of the privilege of attending or participating in IAEM events or activities. The decision of the Board of Directors on such matter will be final. 

False and malicious complaints of harassment, discrimination or retaliation (as opposed to complaints that, even if erroneous, are made in good faith) may be the subject of appropriate disciplinary action, including, but not limited to, suspension or termination of membership, removal from office in the case of an IAEM officer or director, removal from a volunteer leadership position, or revocation or suspension of the privilege of attending or participating in IAEM events or activities.

Adopted by the IAEM Board of Directors on Jan. 21, 2020