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Ethics and Anti-Harassment Policy
The American Circus Alliance (ACA) is committed to creating a space—virtual and in person—in which all individuals and members of ACA are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to participate in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal opportunities and prohibits discriminatory practices and abusive behavior, including harassment. Therefore, ACA expects that all individuals within the organization, associated with the organization, or participating in ACA events will be professional and free of bias, prejudice, discrimination, and harassment.
The ACA prohibits harassment of any kind, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment and harassment based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, sex, age, physical or mental disability, socio-economic background, citizenship status, partnership status, employment status, or any other characteristic protected by state, federal, or local employment discrimination laws (the “Protected Categories”). Harassment, whether verbal, physical, or environmental, is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by ACA.
Harassment is the verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion towards an individual because of their Protected Categories or based on that of a person with whom the individual associates. ACA prohibits all behavior that is based on a person’s membership in any of the Protected Categories and which adversely affects an individuals’ work environment, performance, or opportunities.
Regardless of whether any single instance of improper behavior (as exemplified below) rises to the level of harassment prohibited by law, it is ACA’s policy that such behavior is inappropriate and offensive, and it will not be tolerated. Examples of improper behavior that violate this policy and may constitute harassing conduct include, but are not limited to:
- Threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts that relate to a person’s membership in any of the Protected Categories;
- Making negative comments about a person’s personal religious beliefs, or trying to convert them to a certain religious ideology;
- Using racist slang, phrases, or nicknames;
- Making remarks about an individual’s skin color or other ethnic traits;
- Making offensive gestures that related to a person’s membership in any of the Protected Categories;
- Making offensive references to an individual’s mental or physical disability;
- Sharing inappropriate images, videos, emails, letters, or notes;
- Offensively talking about negative racial, ethnic, or religious stereotypes;
- Making derogatory age-related comments;
- Wearing clothing that could be offensive to a particular ethnic group.
Harassment on the basis of sex is a particular type of violation of unlawful harassment under federal, state, and local law. Sexual harassment includes harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, self-identified or perceived sex, gender expression, gender identity, and the status of being transgender. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct including, but is not limited to, sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual or otherwise offensive nature as well as any unwelcome conduct which is directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex. ACA prohibits all forms of inappropriate, offensive or harassing sex-based conduct, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Touching, pinching, patting, kissing, hugging, grabbing, brushing against another employee’s body or poking another employee’s body;
- Rape, sexual battery, molestation or attempts to commit these assaults;
- Subtle or obvious pressure for unwelcome sexual activities;
- Sexually-oriented gestures, noises, remarks or jokes, or comments about a person’s sexuality or sexual experience, which create a hostile work environment;
- Hostile actions taken against an individual because of that individual’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and the status of being transgender;
- Questions about one’s sex life or experiences;
- Repeated requests for dates;
- Bullying, yelling, name-calling;
- Any other conduct or behavior deemed inappropriate by ACA.
The behaviors described above are examples of sexual harassment are in all ACA settings, including gatherings, meetings, receptions, social events, and other ACA occasions. It may also result from the conduct or communication of non-ACA affiliated individuals in a group setting.
The ACA recognizes that no community, including its own, is immune from potential bias and misconduct and thus believes it is its ethical responsibility to respect and honor the dignity of all individuals who enter ACA’s space. The ACA believes that all individuals, whether professional, volunteer, speaker or participant, are responsible to help prevent and respond to discrimination, bullying, and harassment. Regardless of whether any single instance of improper behavior rises to the level of harassment prohibited by law, it is ACA’s policy that such behavior is inappropriate and offensive, and ACA will not tolerate it.
ACA encourages any person whose safety is threatened, violated, or placed in immediate danger is urged to contact local law enforcement immediately. In addition, anyone who feels unsafe or experiences unwelcome, offensive or harassing conduct or who observes such conduct, is encouraged to contact the ACA Board immediately at this email address: email@example.com. The ACA believes that it is all members’ duty to report any violations of this policy.
Upon receiving a report of unacceptable behavior, ACA’s first priority will be the safety and security of members. In order to preserve a safe environment, ACA reserves the right to take action against all individuals, including third parties associated with ACA, who are found to be in violation of this policy. ACA reserves the right to take any action it deems just and necessary, including but not limited to (i) asking such member to leave the ACA event (ii) preventing the member from attending or participating in future events (ii) temporarily suspending or terminating specific features available to a member (iv) suspending or terminating the member’s entire membership. Any member who is denied access, suspended, or terminated based on this policy may request that the ACA review the matter after the event has concluded.
This Ethics and Anti-Harassment Policy does not create an employment or independent contractor relationship between ACA, any member, or third party.