LOPSA Policies/Hostile Conduct and Harassment at Conferences and Events

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Hostile Conduct and Harassment at Conferences and Events

Policy approved by the Board on 14 Jan 2013.

LOPSA Policy on Hostile Conduct and Harassment at Conferences and Events

Purpose and Scope of Policy

The League of Professional System Administrators (LOPSA) and its affiliates, are non-profit organizations for advancing the practice of system administration. As part of our mission, we hold conferences from time to time, and the local chapters and affiliates hold regular meetings. To ensure that everyone attending our events is able to participate in them fully, LOPSA and its affiliates are committed to providing a safe and hospitable environment at all times. Accordingly, LOPSA and its affiliates prohibit intimidating, threatening, or harassing conduct during those events. This policy applies to everyone involved including but not limited to speakers, staff, volunteers, and attendees.

Prohibited Conduct

In general, prohibited conduct includes any abusive conduct that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with another person’s ability to enjoy and participate in the conference, including social events related to the conference.

Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • yelling at or threatening speakers or attendees, or any significantly disruptive conduct. By way of example, repeated interruption of a speaker by an attendee is prohibited.
  • harassment based on race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or any other protected group status, as provided by local, state, or federal law. By way of example, abusive conduct directed at someone because of their race is prohibited.
  • sexual harassment. By way of example, unwelcome sexual attention, stalking, and physical contact such as hugging, pinching, grabbing, or groping are prohibited. This does not in any way prohibit any legal forms of contact explicitly sanctioned by all parties involved.

Critical examination of ideas does not, by itself, constitute hostile conduct or harassment. One of the underlying rationales of this policy is to promote the free exchange of ideas, not to inhibit it.

Consequences of Hostile or Harassing Conduct

LOPSA and its affiliates have a zero-tolerance policy for hostile and harassing conduct. If a person engages in hostile or harassing conduct, appropriate remedial action will be taken, which may include, but is not limited to, expulsion from the conference. Threats of hostile conduct that are made prior to a conference may result in exclusion from the conference.

The exact remedy for hostile or harassing conduct will depend on an evaluation of all relevant circumstances, such as the severity of the conduct and prior violations by the person engaging in prohibited conduct.

When there is a reasonable basis for believing the conduct is illegal, appropriate law enforcement authorities will be notified.

Reporting Hostile or Harassing Conduct; Investigations

Persons who are the targets of, or witnesses to, hostile or harassing conduct should contact conference staff. At smaller meetings, conference staff, including the person(s) in charge of the meeting, will be introduced at the beginning. At larger conferences, conference staff will wear identification and/or will be identified in the conference program.

At larger conferences, phone numbers for hotel/venue staff, local law enforcement, and local emergency medical personnel will be provided to conference attendees to facilitate prompt response to complaints and/or requests for assistance.

Reports of hostile or harassing conduct will be promptly addressed. On some occasions, where conference staff are witnesses to the prohibited conduct, immediate remedial action may be taken. Where a report of hostile or harassing conduct is made to conference staff after the conduct has occurred, reasonable measures will be taken to establish the facts. This will typically include discussion with witnesses, if any, and the person accused of engaging in the prohibited conduct. Inquiries into hostile or harassing conduct will be carried out as confidentially as possible given the circumstances.

If the complaint is against a member of the event staff or directors, please contact one of the other identified staff or directors and all rules will be followed and applied as documented.


LOPSA and its affiliates will make a written record of all complaints/incidents as soon as practicable. These records will be used in connection with implementing this policy. These records will be confidentially maintained by the Board of Directors and will not be disclosed to individuals outside of the organization except as required by law.