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Sexual Harassment Policy

ADEC Sexual Harassment Policy

The Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) is committed to creating and maintaining an organizational environment free of sexual harassment. Improper conduct, either during official ADEC functions or between ADEC staff, officers, directors, and members in other settings is inappropriate and will not be tolerated.
Sexual harassment is a violation of Section 703 of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and is illegal. The statute defines “sexual harassment” as follows:


“unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when (1) submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term of condition of an individual’s employment; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.”

ADEC considers sexual harassment to be:

  • Expressed or implied requests for sexual favors as a condition of job retention, promotion or other benefit of employment or volunteer activity within the organization.
  • Unwelcome physical contact including sexual advances.
  • Harassment or other unwanted or inappropriate behavior (such as the telling of sexually explicit jokes, improper suggestions, graphic or descriptive comments or discussions about an individual’s body or physical appearance, degrading verbal comments, offensive sexual flirtations, and intimidation).

It is not considered harassment for ADEC staff, officers, directors, and members to require ADEC staff, officers, directors, and members to meet performance or conduct standards. Sexual behavior that is welcome or consensual does not constitute sexual harassment under the law. However, romantic relationships in situations where one individual has greater power or authority over another or where conflicts of interest exist can lead to a complaint about sexual harassment.

ADEC’s policy on sexual harassment and other offensive behavior applies to all ADEC staff, officers, directors, and members.

Sexual harassment, in any form, will not be tolerated.  If any ADEC staff, officer, director, or member, male or female, believes that he or she is being sexually harassed, that person is encouraged to report the incident(s) to the President of ADEC. ADEC will do everything consistent with enforcement of this policy and with the law to protect the privacy of the individuals involved and to ensure that the complainant and the accused will be treated fairly.  At no time will anyone bringing forward a complaint be retaliated against by ADEC.

Information about individual complaints and the disposition will be treated as confidential and will be shared only on a “need to know” basis.

Complaints about the President should be brought to the attention of another Officer or a member of the Board of Directors. The Executive Committee shall review the complaints, conduct any investigation needed on a confidential basis, and take appropriate action to address the complaint and to ensure that the conduct, if found to be in violation of this policy, is not repeated. 

If it is found that the complaint is valid, immediate and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. Depending on the severity of the harassment, the discipline may range from a written warning to immediate termination of membership. False complaints will not be tolerated.

All persons who are aware of any incidents of sexual harassment are responsible for reporting such incidents to the President of ADEC. Failure to do so can result in appropriate disciplinary action, ranging from a written warning to immediate termination.

The same policies and procedures apply to all other forms of illegal harassment.

Information about the policy shall be communicated to the ADEC membership via The Forum and ADEC Connects. The actual policy shall be posted on the ADEC website in the My ADEC section together with appropriate materials that present information about sexual harassment and other offensive behavior addressed by this policy for the purpose of educating the staff, Officers, members of the Board of Directors, and members of ADEC about sexual harassment and other offensive behaviors addressed by this policy.