Policy Against Harassment

Perennial Plant Association
Policy Against Harassment

The Perennial Plant Association (PPA) aims to be inclusive of all members, attendees, exhibitors, volunteers, and staff. As such, PPA is committed to providing a friendly, safe, and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and religion.
This Policy Against Harassment outlines PPA’s expectations for all those who participate in PPA and PPA events, meetings, and activities as well as the consequences for unacceptable behavior.
“Participant” in this policy refers to anyone who participates in PPA and/or a PPA event, meeting, or activity.
Expected Behavior
PPA expects all members and participants to abide by this Policy Against Harassment in all venues at all PPA meetings, events, and activities, whether in-person or virtual, including ancillary events and official and unofficial social gatherings.

  • Exercise consideration and respect in your speech and actions.
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants.
  • Alert PPA leadership (Executive Director and/or member of the Board of Directors) if you notice violations of this Policy Against Harassment, even if they seem inconsequential.

Unacceptable Behavior
Unacceptable behaviors include:

  • Intimidating, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, derogatory or demeaning speech or actions by any participant, at any PPA event or meeting and/or in one-on-one communications carried out in the context of a PPA event or meeting.
  • Harmful or prejudicial verbal or written comments or visual images related to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability, age, appearance, or other personal characteristics.
  • Inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images, graphics, films, and/or movies in public spaces (including presentation slides, handouts, and/or in exhibitor’s booths, brochures, fliers, or handouts)
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
  • Harassing photography or recording
  • Unwelcome and uninvited attention or contact
  • Physical assault (including unwelcome touching or groping)
  • Real or implied threat of physical harm
  • Real or implied threat of professional or financial damage or harm

Be careful in the words that you choose.  Harassment committed in a joking manner still constitutes unacceptable behavior.  Excessive swearing and offensive jokes are not appropriate.
Retaliation for reporting harassment is a violation of this policy.  Reporting harassment in bad faith is also a violation of this policy.
Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior
Unacceptable behavior from any participant will not be tolerated.  If a participant engages in unacceptable behavior, PPA reserves the right to take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion from the event, meeting, activity, forum, website, or other PPA platform, without warning or refund; to prohibit an individual from participating in future PPA events, meetings, and activities; and/or to notify the individual’s employer of the action taken.
Reporting Unacceptable Behavior
If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please report them to the PPA Executive Director and/or a member of the PPA Board of Directors.  
If your safety is threatened, please contact the police and venue security.

All complaints will be treated seriously and responded to promptly.  All reports are confidential.
Once a report is made, the PPA Executive Director will meet with the victim to collect identifying information of the participant doing the harassing; the behavior that was in violation; the approximate time of the behavior; the circumstances surrounding the incident; and other people involved in or witnessing the incident.  If the victim is uncomfortable reporting this information to the PPA Executive Director or if the PPA Executive Director was involved in the incident, the PPA Board President and/or President-Elect will meet with the victim.

Following a report of unacceptable behavior, the PPA Board of Directors will meet at the earliest possible opportunity to review the report and determine appropriate consequences.  The PPA Board of Directors may speak with the accused and/or any witnesses to the behavior as part of the review process but must maintain the confidentiality of the victim.  The victim shall have the right to speak to the PPA Board of Directors during this review if she or he wishes but she or he is not expected to.  Whether or not the victim speaks with the Board of Directors during the review process shall have no bearing on the process or consequences.
The PPA Board of Directors may, but is not required to, involve legal counsel in their meeting(s) during the review process.

If a member of the PPA Board of Directors and/or the Executive Director is accused of unacceptable behavior, he or she shall not attend any meeting of the Board of Directors until the review of the report concerning his or her unacceptable behavior is complete.  If a family member or staff member of either the Executive Director or a Board Member is accused, that Board Member or Executive Director shall not attend or participate in any discussion pertaining to the report, review, or consequences for the unacceptable behavior.
Addressing Grievances
If you feel you have been falsely or unfairly accused of violating this Policy Against Harassment you should notify the PPA Executive Director and/or a member of the PPA Board of Directors with a concise description of your grievance.  

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