The American Academy of Health Physics (AAHP) “advances the profession of Health Physics and encourages the highest standards of ethics and integrity in its members”. Essential to this mission are the open exchange of ideas, freedom of thought and expression, and productive scientific debate, which require an open, diverse environment, free of bias and intimidation, built on dignity and mutual respect for all participants. As such, AAHP is dedicated to providing a safe, welcoming, and productive experience for everyone participating in Academy events and other Academy activities, regardless of age, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, marital status, military service status, national origin, parental status, physical appearance, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or any other status or condition. AAHP will not tolerate harassment of or by participants in any form, including discriminatory harassment. Participants in AAHP activities who violate this principle are subject to disciplinary action up to and including forfeiture of membership in the Academy (see Section V).
II. DEFINITION OF HARASSMENT
Harassment is behavior that is hostile or offensive. Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
- Verbal or written comments that are insulting, discriminatory, degrading, or threatening;
- Verbal or written comments that are sexually graphic or sexually suggestive;
- Unwelcome and targeted photography or recording;
- Sustained disruption of talks or other events;
- Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following;
- Display of offensive and/or suggestive objects, pictures, or graphics;
- Initiation of inappropriate physical contact;
- Unwelcome sexual attention, including flirtations or advances;
- Advocating for, encouraging, or intentionally concealing any of the above behavior.
Harassment does not necessarily require intent to offend; harassment could include actions above that are intended to be jokes, "kidding" or "teasing", depending on the circumstances. Harassment does not include consensual personal and social relationships or conversations. Harassment also does not include third parties eavesdropping on conversations intended to be private, particularly for anonymous complaints.
All participants in AAHP events and other Academy activities are expected to treat other participants with professionalism and respect. Participants are expected to refrain from all harassing behavior toward any individual or group. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.
Creation of a safe, respectful and welcoming environment is a shared responsibility held by all participants. Harassment and other violations of this policy reduce the value of participation for everyone, not just those on the receiving end. Participants who believe they are witnessing or experiencing harassing behavior are encouraged, though not required, to ask the offender to stop the unwelcome behavior by referencing this policy. Often, this action alone will stop the problem. Participants are equally encouraged to exercise their option to leave a situation that makes them feel targeted, unsafe or uncomfortable, particularly in the case of a third-party eavesdropping on conversations intended to be private.
If you or someone else experiences harassment, regardless of how you otherwise choose to initially handle the situation, you are encouraged to report the situation to AAHP leadership. If you choose to do so, you have the option of reporting anonymously (see Section V). Please alert AAHP to behavior you feel to be harassment regardless of the offender’s identity or standing in the Academy.
Additionally, if you have an incident to report, please report it as soon as possible. The most effective method of resolving actual or perceived harassment is early identification and intervention. Timely reporting helps AAHP to take constructive action before relationships become irreparably damaged.
IV. POLICY APPLICATION
This policy applies to all AAHP members, affiliates, volunteers, and other event attendees, including speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, and vendors. This policy applies at all official AAHP events and other activities related to Academy business, such as training courses, committee and other business meetings, and public-speaking engagements. For in-person events, participants are expected to follow these rules at all event venues and event-related social activities. For remote activities, participants are expected to follow these rules in all nonphysical spaces associated with the activity (e.g., teleconferences, group emails, online comment threads, and any other work related to or sponsored by the Academy, written or oral).
V. REPORTING AND ENFORCEMENT
If you have an incident to report, you have several options. If you are at an in-person event, you may contact the designated person listed in the event program, or anyone in the AAHP leadership team (whom you may also contact for remote activities). The complaint and investigation will be handled with respect for the privacy and wishes of all involved and will be confidential (anonymous if desired) to the extent practical. Upon receiving a complaint, the matter may be further investigated by the Executive Committee and/or the AAHP president. Details of the complaint may later be shared with members of the Executive Committee, depending on the case. Individuals to be notified and actions to be taken will be discussed beforehand with the recipient of the harassing behavior, where possible.
Please note that AAHP believes in respecting the wishes of those directly involved in the incident. While you may report an incident if you are not the target of the harassing behavior, AAHP reserves the right to discontinue enforcement if it determines that no harassment existed, that the recipient of the behavior does not wish to further pursue a complaint, or that the information provided is not complete enough to allow an investigation to be made.
The AAHP also recognizes the seriousness of harassment charges, and the adverse effects such a charge can have on those accused of such behavior. Those accused of harassment have a right to defend themselves. While the AAHP will accept anonymous and/or third-party reporting as a sufficient basis to begin an investigation, every effort must be made to corroborate such reporting, and the accused must be afforded the opportunity to defend themselves. The burden of proof shall not be shifted onto the accused, i.e., it is not the responsibility of the accused to prove their innocence, but rather it is the responsibility of the AAHP to substantiate the charges. Charges based solely on anonymous and/or third-party reporting inherently compromise the right of the accused to defend themselves, and charges that cannot be corroborated and verified will be dismissed without prejudice or public disclosure. Making false accusations of harassment (distinct from charges that ultimately cannot be verified) is a violation of Section D.2 of the AAHP “Standards of Professional Responsibility for CHPs”, “The CHP shall not attempt to falsely injure the reputation of any person”.
Disciplinary action for participants found to have violated this policy may include reprimand, expulsion from an event or activity with or without a refund, temporary or permanent exclusion from all AAHP events and activities, suspension or expulsion from volunteer leadership positions or groups, and/or suspension or forfeiture of Academy membership, as appropriate.
For more detail on the complaint-resolution procedure, or if you have other questions about the Respectful Behavior Policy, please contact the AAHP president.