SRA Annual Meeting Code of Conduct and Harassment Policy
Statement of Policy
The Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) is committed to providing a meeting environment that fosters open dialogue and the exchange of scientific ideas. In order to promote that environment, SRA is committed to equal opportunity and treatment for all meeting participants, regardless of gender, gender identity or expression, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion or religious belief, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, medical condition, genetic information, military or veteran status, or any other reason not related to scientific merit. SRA strives to create at its meetings an environment free from harassment and discrimination. The SRA annual meeting should serve as an effective forum to consider and debate science-relevant viewpoints in a respectful, civil, and fair manner. Meeting participants are expected to uphold standards of scientific integrity and professional ethics and must comply with these standards of behavior. Harassment and other forms of misconduct undermine the integrity of SRA meetings and are strictly prohibited.
Scope of Policy
The policies herein apply to all attendees, speakers, exhibitors, staff, contractors, service providers, volunteers, and guests at the annual meeting and related activities.
Definition of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature; this type of behavior debilitates morale and interferes with effective discourse, and therefore will not be tolerated. When unwelcome, behaviors that may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to: sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions; verbal comments or physical actions of a sexual nature; sexually degrading words used to describe an individual; a display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; sexually explicit jokes; and unnecessary touching. Behavior that is acceptable to one person may not be acceptable to another, so one must use discretion to ensure that words and actions communicate respect for others. This is especially important for those in positions of seniority, as those in more junior positions may be reluctant to express their objections or discomfort regarding unwelcome behavior.
Definition of Other Harassment and Unacceptable Behavior
Harassment on the basis of any other legally protected characteristic will not be tolerated. Harassment refers to behavior that is not welcome or is personally offensive, including but not limited to: epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; denigrating jokes; display or circulation of written graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion towards an individual or group. Harassment intended in a joking manner still constitutes unacceptable behavior. Furthermore, disrespectful disruption of presentations and other meeting activities will not be tolerated.
Reporting an Incident of Harassment
If you experience or observe harassment, we recommend that you write down the details as soon as possible, in as much detail as possible, to help you to recall specific events in the future. If you believe you have experienced or observed harassment, notify SRA via our web portal here, by email at secretariat@SRA.org, by phone at (703) 592-9946, at the meeting registration desk, or by contacting one of the Society’s Executive Officers (President, Past President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Executive Secretary). The person experiencing harassment is not required to discuss the incident with the offending party, unless they feel comfortable doing so and may report anonymously via the web portal. If you feel unsafe or threatened, use a venue phone to ask for security; if the circumstances warrant it, call 911 for medical or police assistance. All complaints will be treated seriously, and addressed promptly and appropriately. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent that it does not compromise the rights of others or the need to conduct an adequate investigation and to the extent allowed by law.
SRA Procedures for Responding to Harassment Complaints at Annual Meetings
- Any SRA representative receiving a complaint will immediately notify the SRA Executive Secretary, Meeting Director, Meeting Manager, or an SRA Executive Officer (President, Past President, President-Elect, Secretary, or Treasurer). The Executive Secretary and the SRA President should be made aware of the situation immediately unless such individual is the subject of the complaint.
- The Executive Secretary and the SRA President, or SRA Officers designated by one or both of them to serve this function, (along with the SRA President-Elect and the Past President, if available) will then determine whether the matter requires an investigation. If so, they will name at least two impartial investigators to conduct an investigation. Any individual who believes he or she has a conflict of interest should not serve as an impartial investigator. If the Executive Secretary and the SRA President (along with the SRA President-Elect and the Past President, if available) determine that no investigation is necessary, they will determine if any other action is appropriate.
- The selected independent investigators will review the complaint and interview the complainant. They will then document and report to the Executive Secretary and the SRA President, or their designates, who will determine if further investigation is required or recommend other appropriate action, including, where it is deemed advisable, consultation with legal counsel.
- If appropriate, the investigators will then meet with the alleged offender, explain the details of the complaint, and give them a reasonable chance to respond to the allegations and bring evidence of their own.
- If the facts are in dispute, the investigators will take any additional steps necessary to determine the facts, such as interviewing witnesses. The investigators will seek appropriate counsel from the Executive Secretary and SRA President, or their designates, if they are unsure how to proceed at any time.
- The investigators will report the findings of the investigation to the Executive Secretary and the SRA President or other Executive officers, as appropriate. The available Executive Officers will then determine an appropriate action. The determination will then be promptly communicated to the complainant and alleged offender.
- Notification to the Society is essential to enforcing this Policy. Meeting participants may be assured that they will not be penalized in any way for reporting harassment or discrimination.
This portion of the Code of Conduct is being developed with the intention of implementation with the 2020 Annual Meeting.
Retaliation is Prohibited
Retaliation against any individual who reports harassment or assists in an investigation as defined herein is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated. Retaliation is a serious violation of SRA policy and, like acts of harassment or discrimination, will be subject to disciplinary action. If you believe you have experienced or observed retaliation, notify SRA meeting staff via the same mechanisms as noted in the Reporting section above.
Any questions regarding this policy should be directed to an Executive Officer.