Anti-Harassment Policy

Adopted by SLA Board of Directors, October 16, 2019

Objective

The Special Libraries Association (“SLA”) is committed to providing a professional environment that is free from harassment and discrimination in which all individuals, including members, employees, and volunteers, are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to be in a professional atmosphere free from unlawful harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.

This policy applies to conduct by members, employees, and volunteers of SLA, including but not limited to officers, directors, members of committees, chapters, divisions, and caucuses, speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, members, attendees, volunteers, employees. It applies to complaints of harassment that involve members, employees, and volunteers of SLA at or in connection with all SLA events, including but not limited to board, committee, chapter, division, and caucus meetings, conferences, and all other SLA programs, online forums, events, and activities, whether in person, via telephone, online, or otherwise (collectively, “SLA events”).

In order to provide all participants at events the opportunity to interact professionally and benefit from the event, SLA is committed to providing a safe and productive environment free of discrimination, hostility, harassment, and retaliation based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, physical appearance, body size, or any other characteristic protected by law.

SLA has a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination, harassment, and retaliation and is committed to enforcing this policy vigorously, consistently, and objectively at and in connection with all SLA events.

Equal Opportunity

It is SLA’s policy to ensure equal opportunity without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, physical appearance, body size or any other characteristic protected by law. SLA prohibits all such discrimination and harassment.

Harassment Defined

Harassment on the basis of any protected characteristic is strictly prohibited. Harassment includes verbal, written, or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual on the basis of any of the above listed protected factors and that: (1) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment; (2) has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s performance or ability to participate in SLA events; or (3) otherwise affects an individual’s ability to participate in SLA events.

Harassing conduct includes but is not limited to epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; and denigrating jokes; and offensive texts, emails, or other messages.

Sexual harassment means any unwelcome conduct, comment, gesture, or contact of a sexual nature, whether on a one-time basis or in a continuous series of incidents that might reasonably be expected to offend or embarrass an individual. Sexual harassment also includes any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical unwelcome conduct.

Prohibited Conduct

As a professional organization, SLA is committed to diversity, equity, professional treatment of ideas, and respectful treatment of all members, employees, and volunteers at or in connection with all SLA events. SLA seeks to provide a professional atmosphere in which diverse participants may learn, network, and otherwise participate in an environment of mutual respect. Conduct that is prohibited includes but is not limited to:

  • Harassment or intimidation based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, physical appearance, body size, or any other characteristic protected by law
  • Sexual harassment or intimidation, including unwelcome sexual attention, stalking, or unsolicited physical contact
  • Harassment, intimidation, or coercion based upon a position as a board member, employee, or any position of influence
  • Abusive, lewd, or threatening conduct
  • Bullying, harassment, or unprofessional conduct toward members, employees, volunteers, or other participants at SLA events
  • Physical violence or threats of violence
  • Sexually charged communications or conduct

Reporting Acts of Harassment, Discrimination, or Retaliation

SLA encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, regardless of the offender’s identity or position. Individuals who believe they have been the victim of such conduct should report their concerns to SLA’s Executive Director or President, or to any SLA officer or staff person. In addition, SLA encourages individuals to advise the offender that his or her conduct is unwelcome and to request that it be discontinued, if they feel comfortable so doing. Anonymous reports will be accepted and acted on, but SLA encourages non-anonymous reporting wherever possible.

SLA encourages the prompt reporting of complaints of concerns so that immediate action can be taken, if appropriate. An individual making a complaint may be asked to put the complaint in writing.

In the event that an individual feels that his or her physical safety is in jeopardy, SLA encourages the individual to contact the appropriate law enforcement agency immediately.

Any reported allegations of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation will be investigated promptly. The investigation may include individual interviews with the parties involved as well as witnesses to the conduct.

SLA will maintain confidentiality to the extent consistent with appropriate investigation and corrective action.

Please reach-out to Amy Burke, SLA Executive Director, and/or Tara Murray, SLA President, to report any perceived incidents of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation. To make an anonymous report, please complete this form.

If it is determined that an individual has engaged in prohibited conduct, SLA shall determine the appropriate action to be taken, which may include, but is not limited to:

  • Private reprimand
  • Expulsion from the SLA event without warning or refund
  • Implementation of conditions upon attendance at future SLA events
  • Removal of the individual as a board member or other volunteer leadership position
  • Restriction from attendance at future SLA events
  • Revocation of membership in SLA

False Reporting

Knowingly making a false accusation of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, or knowingly providing false information in the course of an investigation of a report, may be grounds for appropriate disciplinary action. A complaint made in good faith, even if found to be unsubstantiated, will not be considered a false accusation.

Retaliation

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 and is strictly prohibited. Acts of retaliation should be reported immediately and will be promptly addressed.

* * * * *

Reporting an Incident?

Please reach out to Amy Burke, SLA Executive Director, and/or Tara Murray, SLA President, to report any perceived incidents of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation. To make an anonymous report, please complete this form. 

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