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ABI Event Anti-Harassment Policy

Statement of Policy

The American Bankruptcy Institute (“ABI”) is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone at ABI events. ABI seeks to provide a conference environment in which diverse attendees may learn, network and enjoy the company of colleagues in a professional atmosphere. ABI does not tolerate harassment of attendees in any form. Violators of this Event Anti-Harassment Policy may be sanctioned or expelled from the event at the discretion of the ABI event organizers.

Definition of Harassment

Harassment includes, but is not limited to, offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, national origin, religion, age, marital status, military status, or any other status protected by law; deliberate intimidation; stalking; following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; and inappropriate physical contact.

Harassment can occur when there is no deliberate intention to offend. Harassment committed in a joking manner or disguised as a compliment still constitutes unacceptable behavior. Sexist, racist, and other exclusionary jokes can be offensive to those around you. Attendees asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behavior at any ABI conference or event includes:

  • Abuse: Any action directed at an individual that (a) interferes substantially with that person’s participation; or (b) causes that person to fear for his/her personal safety. This includes threats, intimidation, bullying, stalking, or other types of abuse.‬
  • Discriminatory Harassment: Any conduct that discriminates or denigrates an individual on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, citizenship, nationality, age, sexual or gender identity, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law in the location where the ABI activity takes place.‬
  • Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal/physical conduct of a sexual nature. Examples include (but are not limited to):

    ◦ unwelcome advances or propositions, particularly when one individual has authority over the other;

    ◦ inappropriate touching of an individual’s body;

    ◦ degrading or humiliating comments about an individual’s appearance; and

    ◦ using an activity-related communication channel to display or distribute sexually explicit images or messages.

Scope of Policy

This Anti-Harassment Policy applies to all attendees at ABI events, including participants, guests, staff, contractors, and exhibitors. All attendees are expected to comply with this Event Anti-Harassment Policy at all event venues and event-related social activities.

This policy applies to all ABI activities, including:

  • conferences, symposia, workshops, and events sponsored, co-sponsored, or in cooperation with ABI;
  • ABI Committee and Board of Directors meetings; and
  • exchanges among members, Committees or other bodies associated with ABI activities, including in publications and communications sent through communication channels associated with ABI, including social media.

ABI’s Anti-Harassment Policy does not apply outside of ABI-sponsored activities and events. ABI has no duty to investigate allegations of harassment or misconduct made against members that did not arise at or during an ABI-sponsored event or activity.

Reporting an Incident

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact an ABI staff member immediately. ABI staff will be stationed at the event registration table. All complaints will be treated seriously and will be investigated promptly.

If requested, ABI staff will assist attendees in contacting venue security or local law enforcement or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event.

Disciplinary Action

All reports of harassment will be directed immediately to the ABI Executive Director and ABI President, who may consult with and engage other ABI staff, leaders and legal counsel as appropriate. Event security and/or local law enforcement may be involved, as appropriate, based on the specific circumstances. In response to a report of harassment, the ABI Conference leadership team or ABI staff may take any action they deem appropriate. Such actions range from a verbal warning to ejection from the event without a refund. Repeat offenders may be subject to further disciplinary action, such as being banned from participating in future ABI conferences or events.

Warnings and Disclaimers

ABI assumes no liability or responsibility for the actions of any member or other conference or event participant.

ABI is not responsible for protecting the safety of members or participants in ABI activities. Any individual who feels his/her safety is at risk due to harassment or for any other reason is encouraged to take appropriate steps to ensure personal safety.

There may be situations (such as those involving Title IX issues in the United States and venue- or employer-specific policies) where an on-site person who is informed of harassment will be under obligation to file a report with an individual or organization outside of ABI.

Questions regarding ABI’s Event Anti-Harassment Policy should be emailed to aquackenboss@abi.org.