Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment for Members and Event Attendees

The open exchange of ideas and the freedom of thought and expression are central to VRMA’s aims and goals. These require an environment that recognizes the inherent worth of every person and group, fosters dignity, understanding, and mutual respect, and embraces diversity. For these reasons, VRMA provides a harassment-free experience for all participants at our events and in our programs.

This policy applies to all VRMA-related activities, including any conferences, symposiums, meetings, or other events sponsored, co-sponsored, or cooperating with VRMA. This policy also applies to communications sent through official communication channels for any such activity or event, including social media, emails, webinars, etc.

This policy applies only to conduct in which the complaining party is a member and/or event attendee or attendee guest and the subject of the complaint is a member and/or event attendee or attendee guest. If a complaint is made by or against any VRMA employee, that complaint will be addressed under VRMA’s employee policy against discrimination and harassment.

Discriminatory Harassment: VRMA prohibits discrimination and conduct that constitutes or could lead or contribute to harassment because of an individual’s race or color, religion or creed, alienage or citizenship status, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and pregnancy-related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, disability, marital or domestic partnership status, military or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Examples of prohibited discriminatory harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • Use of ethnic slurs or derogatory terms relating to an individual’s gender or sexual orientation;
  • Distribution of racially or sexually offensive email or other electronic communications; and/or
  • Threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts directed at a particular sex or religious group or directed at an individual because of their sexual orientation, color, or ethnicity.

Harassment does not require intent to offend. Thus, inappropriate conduct or language meant as a joke, a prank, or even a compliment can lead or contribute to harassment.

Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is a specific type of discriminatory harassment. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature can constitute sexual harassment.

Other Harassment: VRMA also prohibits harassment, including bullying, that does not meet the definition of Discriminatory Harassment or Sexual Harassment but nevertheless rises to the level of persistent, malicious, and severe mistreatment by conduct or threats, intimidation, or abuse that has the effect of (i) substantially interfering with a member or event attendee’s participation in VRMA-related activities or (ii) that would reasonably cause a member, event attendee, or attendee guest to fear for his or her physical safety.