It is ISA’s policy that all employees, members, officers, directors, volunteers, customers, and suppliers are to be treated with dignity and respect. Consistent with that policy, all employees, members, officers, directors, and volunteers are responsible for providing a working environment which is free of sexual harassment or intimidation. This type of conduct is against the law and will not be tolerated by ISA.
The following is a guide in determining what may constitute inappropriate conduct in violation of ISA’s policy.
What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual overtures, requests for sexual favors, or other conduct of a sexual nature when:
  • An individual must submit to such conduct in order to keep your job or to maintain your business or volunteer relationship with another, or
  • Submission or rejection of such conduct is the basis for decisions about the individual concerning his or her employment or promotion or business or volunteer relationship with another, or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with the individual’s work or volunteer performance or creates an offensive, uncomfortable, intimidating or hostile working environment.
Sexual harassment may involve persons of the opposite sex or the same sex and persons of either sex can violate the policy. Violations are not restricted to relationships where one person reports to another, any relationship, including those of peers, employees and volunteers, and officers or directors and volunteer are subject to the policy. While sexual harassment can involve physical conduct, other verbal and non-verbal conduct may equally offend.
Sexual harassment conduct includes, but is not limited to:
  • Unsolicited sexual comments about a person
  • Telling sexually explicit or offensive jokes or making sexual innuendoes.
  • Repeated, unwanted sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions
  • Overt or subtle pressure for sexual activity, with or without accompanying implied or explicit threats involving one’s job, promotion, performance evaluation, compensation, or other interest
  • Touching, hugging, patting, pinching, or kissing
  • Leering at a person
  • Displaying sexually explicit or offensive pictures or materials
  • Describing another in sexually degrading terms
What to do about such conduct
If an officer, director, volunteer, customer, or supplier believes he or she is being harassed by another person with a relationship to ISA, he or she should also:
  • Tell the offender immediately and firmly that the conduct is offensive, and
  • Notify the Executive Director immediately.
If the Executive Director is the alleged offender or is unavailable, notice should be given to the ISA president instead. In the absence of the Executive Director or president, the highest level Society officer or Executive Board member available should be notified.
The Executive Director (or president, if necessary) will immediately direct the conduct of an investigation of the complaint. Every effort will be made to safeguard the privacy of the parties involved and the investigation and results will be confidential to the extent possible without jeopardizing the thoroughness of the investigation or the rights of the parties. If possible, an effort will be made to resolve the matter informally.
What may result
If the offender is an employee and the complaint is not resolvable informally, disciplinary action, up to and including discharge, will be taken against the employee as described in the ISA Human Resources Manual.
If the offender is an ISA member or ISA volunteer, a committee consisting of the President, President-elect Secretary, and Past President will review the situation and issue a decision to the offender. In the event the President, President-elect Secretary or Past President is the offender, the Executive Director shall take the place of that committee member as a non-voting member. Depending on the severity of the offense and whether the offender is a repeat offender, the committee may issue a verbal or written warning, may request the individual’s resignation, or may involuntarily suspend or expel the offender.
If the offender wishes to appeal the decision of the committee, they may request an appeals committee be convened, chaired by the Executive Director with one officer or Executive Board Member selected by, but not from among, the original review committee, and one officer or Executive Board member selected by the offender.
If the offender is an employee of a supplier or a customer, the Executive Director will take appropriate action, including, but not limited to, suspension or termination of any business relationship.
If the offense is serious and the complaining party is fearful, the Executive Director may take protective action as necessary and appropriately designed to separate the parties involved while assuring that the action is not punitive, retaliatory, or prejudicial to a thorough investigation. Such measures may include temporarily reassigning an employee to other areas of responsibility or suspending a member, officer, director, or volunteer from duties while the investigation is conducted.
No employee will be disciplined or retaliated against for complaining about such harassing conduct. It is important that ISA know about harassment since ISA can do nothing to remedy the situation if it has not been reported.
How to avoid accusations
What is acceptable behavior to some is not always acceptable to others. Think about what you are saying or doing before you act. If a reasonable person may find your conduct objectionable, don’t do it. Listen to what others say. If you hear objections, heed them. Even if nobody says anything, be aware of the non-verbal reactions. Respect, tact, and consideration should be manifest at all times. Remember, each individual is personally accountable for his or her conduct and is subject to defending a lawsuit for violating ISA’s policy.