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ABCT is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all members, meeting participants, guests, and ABCT staff. This policy applies to conduct by members, employees, and volunteers of ABCT, including but not limited to officers, directors, committee chairs, members of committees, editors, speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees. It applies to complaints of harassment or discrimination by or other conduct that involve members, employees, and volunteers of ABCT at or in connection with all ABCT events, including but not limited to board, committee, work group, and task force meetings, conventions, and all other ABCT programs, online forums, events, and activities, whether in person, via telephone, online, or otherwise (collectively, “ABCT events”).  In addition, this Code of Conduct applies to those events sponsored by organizations other than ABCT but held in conjunction with ABCT events, in person or on public or private online platforms.

ABCT has zero-tolerance for any form of discrimination or harassment by participants or our staff at our meetings. If you experience harassment or hear of any incidents of unacceptable behavior, ABCT asks that you inform either Dr. Courtney L. White, CAE, Executive Director, [email protected] or Stephen Crane, Director of Education and Meeting Services, [email protected] so that we can take the appropriate action.

Equal Opportunity

It is ABCT’s policy to ensure equal opportunity without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, physical appearance, body size, or other characteristics whether protected by law or not. ABCT prohibits all such discrimination and harassment and will address all allegations in a fair manner as swiftly as possible.

Harassment Defined

Harassment on the basis of any protected characteristic is strictly prohibited. Harassment includes verbal, written, or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual on the basis of any of the above listed protected factors and that: (1) creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment; or (2) interferes with an individual’s performance or ability to participate in ABCT events.

Harassing conduct includes but is not limited to epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; and denigrating jokes; and offensive texts, emails, or other messages.

Sexual harassment means any unwelcome conduct, comment, gesture, or contact of a sexual nature, whether on a one-time basis or in a continuous series of incidents that might reasonably be expected to offend or embarrass an individual or be intended to generate a sexual response or favor. Sexual harassment also includes any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or unwelcome physical conduct.

Prohibited Conduct

As a professional organization, ABCT is committed to diversity, equity, professional treatment of ideas, and respectful treatment of all members, employees, and volunteers at or in connection with all ABCT events. ABCT seeks to provide a professional atmosphere in which diverse participants may learn, network, and otherwise participate in an environment of mutual respect. Conduct that is prohibited includes but is not limited to:

  • Harassment or intimidation based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, physical appearance, body size, or any other characteristic protected by law
  • Sexual harassment or intimidation, including unwelcome sexual attention, stalking, or unsolicited physical contact
  • Harassment, intimidation, or coercion based upon a position as a board member, employee, or any position of influence
  • Abusive, lewd, or threatening conduct
  • Bullying, harassment, or unprofessional conduct toward members, employees, volunteers, or other participants at ABCT events
  • Physical violence or threats of violence
  • Sexually charged communications or conduct

Reporting Acts of Harassment, Discrimination, or Retaliation

ABCT encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, regardless of the offender’s identity or position. Individuals who believe they have been the victim of such conduct should report their concerns to Mary Jane Eimer, CAE, Executive Director, [email protected], or Stephen Crane, Director of Education and Meeting Services, [email protected]. ABCT encourages individuals to advise the offender that their conduct is unwelcome and to request that it be discontinued, if they feel comfortable so doing.

An individual making a complaint may be asked to put the complaint in writing promptly after reporting unwanted conduct.

In the event that an individual feels that their physical safety is in jeopardy, ABCT encourages the individual to contact the appropriate law enforcement agency immediately and notifying Mary Jane Eimer, Executive Director at [email protected].

Any reported allegations of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation will be investigated promptly by ABCT. The investigation may include individual interviews with the parties involved as well as witnesses to the conduct.

ABCT will maintain confidentiality to the extent consistent with appropriate investigation and corrective action. ABCT reserves the right to notify an individual’s employer of serious misconduct under this policy when it is determined that such notification is appropriate and such misconduct substantiated.

If it is determined that an individual has engaged in prohibited conduct, the ABCT Board of Directors, or the appropriate committee or staff designee, shall determine the appropriate action to be taken against the individual, which may include, but is not limited to:

  • Private reprimand
  • Expulsion from the ABCT event without warning or refund
  • Implementation of conditions upon attendance at future ABCT events
  • Removal of the individual as a board member or other volunteer leadership position
  • Restriction from attendance at future ABCT events
  • Suspension from or revocation of membership in ABCT, pursuant to the ABCT Bylaws
  • Notification to the individual’s employer for serious misconduct as determined by ABCT in its sole discretion

Determinations reached in ABCT’s complaint process are not legally conclusive in any other proceeding.

False Reporting

Knowingly making a false accusation of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, or knowingly providing false information in the course of an investigation of a report, may be grounds for appropriate disciplinary action and be treated as harassment. A complaint made in good faith, even if found to be unsubstantiated, will not be considered a false accusation.


Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or discrimination or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation and is strictly prohibited. Acts of retaliation should be reported immediately and will be promptly addressed.

By joining, registering, participating, or working at ABCT or its events, you have agreed to the terms as outlined in ABCT’s Code of Conduct.

Revised 7.1.2024