Policy on Harassment and Fraternization Form

Sexual Harassment

It is the policy of the American Association of Orthodontists that all employees and members should enjoy an environment free from unlawful harassment. The Association is committed to maintaining a pleasant, professional work environment, and behavior that could be perceived as sexual harassment is prohibited. This policy prohibits unlawful harassment in any form, including sexual harassment, unlawful harassment relating to race, color, age, ethnicity, religion and disability or any other legally protected characteristic.

Sexual harassment has no place at the Association, and will not be tolerated. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual acts or favors, unsolicited and intimidating sexual overtures or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (a) submission or rejection of such conduct is a term or condition of employment or is a basis for employment decisions or (b) such conduct interferes with an individual’s work performance, or (c) the conduct creates an offensive or intimidating work environment.

Harassment can include, but is not limited to, the following behavior:

Verbal conduct such as sexual innuendo, sexually suggestive “kidding” or “teasing,” jokes about gender-specific traits, unwanted sexual overtures or comments, inquiries or discussions concerning one’s sexual experiences, comments about an individual’s body;

Visual conduct such as derogatory and/or sexually oriented posters, photography, cartoons, drawings, e-mails or gestures;

Physical conduct such as unwanted touching, intentional brushing against the body;

Threats or demands to submit to sexual requests as a condition of continued employment or to avoid loss of benefits, or offers of benefits in return for sexual favors; and

Retaliation for having reported or threatened to report harassment.

Whenever possible, any person who is experiencing unwelcome conduct of the type generally described above should inform the person engaging in the conduct that it is unwelcome and request that it stop.

All members, especially those in leadership position, are warned not to engage in such conduct in connection with the performance of the Association activities. This includes the member’s relationships with AAO staff, as well as any one that the member encounters as part of his/her Association responsibilities, e.g. other members and staff of other associations, exhibitors, vendors, etc.).

Member leaders are urged to remember that their positions carry authority and that it may be difficult for an employee to differentiate between a request that must be addressed as part of their assigned duties and personal requests.

Any person who believes that he/she has been unlawfully harassed by a member, co-worker, supervisor or other business visitor of the AAO, or who has witnessed such harassment, is strongly encouraged to report the facts of the incident or incidents to the Executive Director. The AAO can only resolve matters brought to its attention; accordingly, the AAO encourages all persons to come forward with information about allegations of unlawful harassment. Retaliation for making a complaint or cooperating with an investigation of alleged harassment is strictly prohibited. In the event of a conflict of interest or in the absence of the Executive Director, the information may be reported to the General Counsel. All complaints will be addressed promptly, and confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible. The complainant may be required to submit the complaint in writing. No adverse or retaliatory action will be taken against an employee, member or member leader for filing a complaint. Complaints will be investigated in a fair and impartial manner and the complainant and the person complained about will be informed of the result of the investigation although not necessarily the specific action taken. In the event it is determined that the complaint has merit, appropriate action (up to and including termination) will be undertaken by the AAO.


Members of the Association should never engage in sexual relations with AAO employees. Such conduct can adversely affect the operation and reputation of the Association.


I acknowledge that I have read and understand the Association’s policy on sexual harrassment and fraternization. I also agree to abide by the outcome of any investigation that may be undertaken as the result of a complaint, and release the Association from all liability therefor.

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