Society of Environmental Journalists Anti-Harassment Policy

SOCIETY OF ENVIRONMENTAL JOURNALISTS
ANTI-HARASSMENT POLICY

The Society of Environmental Journalists is committed to maintaining a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity and providing a harassment-free experience at Society events. To keep this commitment, the Society maintains a strict policy prohibiting discrimination and all forms of unlawful harassment, including sexual harassment and harassment based on an individual’s race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status and any other legally protected characteristics.

This strict policy means that no form of unlawful discriminatory or harassing conduct by or towards any employee, member, board member, speaker or invited guest, exhibitor, vendor or contractor, or volunteer in the Society’s work environment will be tolerated. This policy should not be construed as applicable to events or workplaces over which the Society has no control.

The Society is committed to enforcing its policy at all levels within the Society. Any employee, member, board member, speaker or invited guest, exhibitor, vendor or contractor, or volunteer who engages in prohibited discrimination or harassment in the Society’s work environment will be subject to discipline, up to and including immediate discharge from employment, removal from leadership, and expulsion from the Society consistent with the Society’s member expulsion policy.

Conduct Covered by this Policy: This policy applies to and prohibits all forms of illegal harassment and discrimination. Harassment becomes unlawful where enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment and/or the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.

Use of sexual or discriminatory language and imagery is not appropriate for a Society event and violators may be sanctioned or expelled from the event at the discretion of the Society event organizers.

Sexual harassment may take many forms, including the following:

  • Offensive or unwelcome sexual advances and invitations, regardless of whether they involve physical contact, or the harassed individual submits to the invitation, and particularly when a spoken or implied quid pro quo for sexual favors is a benefit of employment or continued employment.
  • Offensive or unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including sexually graphic spoken comments; offensive comments transmitted by e-mail or another messaging system; offensive or suggestive images or graphics whether physically present in the work environment or sent over the Internet; or displaying or using sexually suggestive objects in an offensive manner.
  • Offensive or unwelcome physical contact of a sexual nature, including the touching of another’s body; the touching or display of one’s own body in a sexual manner.

Harassment may take many forms, including the following:

  • Verbal conduct such as epithets, derogatory comments, and slurs
  • Displaying derogatory posters, cartoons, drawings or gestures
  • Physical conduct such as assault or blocking normal movement unnecessarily.

Computer Messaging and Information Systems: Employees, members and board members are particularly cautioned that the use of e-mail, voice mail, text messaging, electronic messaging systems, or other online platforms and systems, may give rise to liability for harassment. Employees, members and board members may not generate, post or forward, any message or graphic that might be taken as offensive based on sex, gender or other protected characteristic over the Society’s computer equipment, listservs, websites and social media accounts. Any such messages should be reported to the Society’s Executive Director and the President of the Society’s Board of Directors.

Employees, members, board members, speakers or invited guests, exhibitors, vendors or contractors or volunteers are reminded that the data generated on, stored in, or transmitted to or from the Society’s computers, websites and listservs remain the property of the Society for all purposes. The Society retains the right to monitor its computers, computer systems, listservs, networks, websites, and social media accounts to ensure compliance with this requirement.

Procedures in Cases of Harassment: Any Society employee who believes that she or he has been subjected to unlawful harassment of any kind has the responsibility to report the harassment immediately to her or his supervisor. If the employee is uncomfortable reporting the harassment to her or his immediate supervisor (whether because the supervisor has committed the harassment or for any other reason whatsoever), the employee must report the harassment to the Society’s Executive Director or the President of the Society’s Board of Directors.

Any Society board member, member, exhibitor, vendor or contractor, or volunteer who believes that she or he has been subjected to unlawful harassment in the Society’s work environment should report the harassment immediately to the Society’s Executive Director or the President of the Society’s Board of Directors.

The Society is committed to taking all reasonable steps to prevent harassment, and will make every reasonable effort to promptly and completely address any harassment that may occur. However, the Society cannot take prompt and effective remedial action unless each incident of harassment is immediately reported to the Society’s Executive Director or the President of the Society’s Board of Directors.

An individual making a claim of harassment will be expected to follow the stated harassment reporting procedure, which includes providing as much information as possible about the details of the incident or incidents, name or names of the individuals involved, the names of any witnesses, and any written or electronic evidence.

The Society will take appropriate, thorough, independent, and prompt action in response to reports of harassment. Every effort will be taken to maintain confidentiality although confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. The complainant and the accused will be informed of the results of the investigation.

Reporting Without Fear of Retaliation: Retaliation against any employee, member, board member, speaker or invited guest, exhibitor, vendor or contractor or volunteer in the Society’s workplace, annual conference and regional or local events for reporting harassment will not be tolerated. Any person who believes he or she has been harassed, discriminated against or retaliated by a Society representative, in the Society’s work environment, should promptly report the facts of the incident(s) and the names of the individuals involved to the Society’s Executive Director or the President of the Society’s Board of Directors.

The Society will take appropriate, thorough, independent, and prompt action in response to reports of harassment. Every effort will be taken to maintain confidentiality although confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. The complainant and the accused will be informed of the results of the investigation.

Consequences for violations of this anti-harassment and anti-retaliation policy: If the Society finds that its anti-harassment policy has been violated, it will take appropriate corrective and remedial action, up to and including discharge of offending board members or employees, discharge of offending Society members consistent with the Society’s member expulsion policy and/or similarly appropriate action towards offending exhibitors, vendors and contractors, including immediate removal from the premises of any SEJ work environment.

 

SOCIETY OF ENVIRONMENTAL JOURNALISTS
EVENT ANTI-HARASSMENT POLICY

The Society of Environmental Journalists is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone at Society-sponsored events. The Society seeks to provide an event environment in which diverse attendees may learn, network, and enjoy the company of colleagues and others in a professional atmosphere. The Society does not tolerate harassment of attendees and specifically prohibits:

  • Harassment or intimidation based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status and any other legally protected characteristics.
  • Sexual harassment or intimidation, including unwelcome sexual attention, stalking (physical or virtual), or unsolicited physical contact.
  • Yelling at or threatening speakers and other participants (verbally or physically).

SEJ is strongly committed to diversity, equity and the free expression of ideas. Critical disagreements or conflicting beliefs and viewpoints do not alone constitute harassment. Sexual imagery or language in a professional discussion might not constitute harassment. Speakers and sponsors are asked to be aware of how language or images may be perceived by others. Participants may exercise their option to leave a session or a conversation.

Scope: This anti-harassment policy applies to all attendees at Society-sponsored events, including employees, members, board members, speakers or invited guests, exhibitors, vendors or contractors, and volunteers. Participants asked to stop a hostile or harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Reporting an Incident: If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed or have any other concerns, please contact the Society’s Executive Director or a member of the Society’s Board of Directors immediately.

Disciplinary Action: All reports of harassment should be directed immediately to the Society’s Executive Director or to a member of the Society’s Board of Directors, who may consult with and engage other Society staff, board members and legal counsel as appropriate. Event security and/or local law enforcement may be involved, as appropriate based on the specific circumstances. In response to a report of harassment, the Society’s Executive Director or the Society’s Board of Directors may take any action they deem appropriate. Such actions range from a verbal warning to ejection from the event without a refund to being banned from participating in future Society conferences or events.