NON-DISCRIMINATION AND ANTI-HARASSMENT POLICIES
Minnesota Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous (MNYPAA) adheres to the spiritual principles of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), the AA 12 Steps, Traditions, and Concepts. MNYPAA is committed to an environment that is free of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment. All individuals should be aware of how their personal opinions and behaviors can affect others and in some instances, create a harassing and hostile experience. Moreover, all individuals should treat each other with dignity and respect. To this end, MNYPAA requires that all Advisory Council members, Host Committee members, Bid Committee members, and general MNYPAA attendees (including but not limited to the annual conference, events, and committee meetings) adhere to the policies and guidelines set forth herein, below.
Discrimination is adverse treatment of any individual based on their said protected attribute, rather than on the basis of his/her individual merit. MNYPAA is proud of its diversity. It attracts attendees and trusted servants from many different backgrounds. Therefore, it is our policy to provide a safe and protected environment for all persons regardless of the following: age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, creed, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or other protected status.
Harassment is unwelcome or unwanted conduct, whether verbal, physical or visual, toward an individual because of their age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, creed, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or other protected status, when the conduct creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment. Examples of harassment include words, gestures, stories, jokes or nicknames that are derogatory, demeaning or insulting to a person based upon their protected attribute as stated above.
Sexual harassment or gender-based harassment is a form of harassment that is when anyone, of any sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, ties conditions to a request or demand for sexual favors. Specifically, it is sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (1) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for decisions affecting that individual, or (2) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s experience by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. Examples of sexual harassment include (1) offensive sex-oriented verbal kidding, teasing or jokes, (2) repeated unwanted sexual flirtations, advances or propositions, (3) continued or repeated verbal abuse of a sexual nature, (4) graphic or degrading comments about a person’s appearance or sexual activity, (5) offensive visual conduct, including leering, making sexual gestures, the display of offensive sexually suggestive objects or pictures, videos cartoons or posters, (6) unwelcome pressure for sexual activity, (7) offensively suggestive or obscene letters, notes or invitations, or (8) offensive physical contact such as patting, grabbing, pinching, or brushing against another's body.
NON-DISCRIMINATION AND ANTI-HARASSMENT ENFORCEMENT GUIDELINES
The MNYPAA Advisory Council reserves the right to empower a select group of individuals to investigate offences and enforce the Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policies as described below (hereafter referred to as “The NDAH Ad Hoc Committee”). The NDAH Ad Hoc Committee will promptly investigate offences and enforce the Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policies as described below. The NDAH Ad Hoc Committee report to the full Advisory Council. If one or more of the individuals appointed to the NDAH Ad Hoc Committee are the subject of an investigation, they shall be removed from the NDAH Ad Hoc Committee until the investigation is complete.
Discrimination, harassment, and sexual harassment are unacceptable from all Advisory Council members, Host Committee members, Bid Committee members, and general MNYPAA attendees at all related events (including but not limited to the annual conference, events, and committee meetings). This behavior violates MNYPAA policies even when it does not constitute a violation of law. If at any time an individual believes he or she has been a victim of or witness to a crime, they are encouraged to promptly report the incident to the police and then inform the MNYPAA Advisory Council. Determining what constitutes harassment depends upon the specific facts and the context in which the conduct occurs. Sexual harassment may take many forms—subtle and indirect, or blatant and overt. For example:
v It may be conduct toward an individual of the opposite sex or the same sex.
v It may occur between peers or between individuals in a superior-subordinate relationship.
v It may be aimed at coercing an individual to participate in an unwanted sexual relationship.
v It may consist of repeated actions or may arise from only a single incident if sufficiently serious.
Any of these examples may constitute harassment depending on the circumstances, and whether or not such conduct is perceived to be offensive by the person to whom it is directed or in whose presence it occurs:
- offensive sex-oriented verbal kidding, teasing or jokes;
- repeated unwanted sexual flirtations, advances or propositions;
- continued or repeated verbal abuse of a sexual nature;
- graphic or degrading comments about a person’s appearance or sexual activity;
- offensive visual conduct, including leering, making sexual gestures, display of offensive sexually suggestive objects or pictures, videos cartoons or posters;
- unwelcome pressure for sexual activity;
- suggestive or obscene letters, notes or invitations; or
- unwanted physical contact such as patting, grabbing, pinching, or brushing against another's body.
MNYPAA will promptly and thoroughly investigate the facts and circumstances of any claim of harassment in any form. If the Advisory Council determines that harassment has occurred, the offending Advisory Council member, Host Committee member, Bid Committee member, or attendee may be subject to discipline up to and including termination, removal, and/or prohibition from attending future conventions, at the Advisory Council’s sole discretion.
REPORTING AND INVESTIGATION
Everyone can help ensure that MNYPAA and all related events are free from discrimination and harassment. Our hope is that any person who finds another’s conduct unwelcome will inform that individual. We understand this might not always be possible. Therefore, all are encouraged to report conduct they feel is in violation of these policies directly to any member of the MNYPAA Advisory Council or Host Committee. Moreover, any MNYPAA Advisory Council or Host Committee member who is aware of or who receives a report of conduct consistent with these guidelines is to report immediately to the MNYPAA Advisory Council. These guidelines do not require reporting harassment or discrimination to, or confronting, any person responsible for the harassment or discrimination. If an incident occurs that is in violation of the law, the police may be notified directly.
The NDAH Ad Hoc Committee may put interim measures in place, such as a leave of absence or censure, while the investigation takes place. The NDAH Ad Hoc Committee is aware that further appropriate action by the full Advisory Council may be necessary once a report has been thoroughly investigated. The investigation—either by the NDAH Ad Hoc Committee or the full Advisory Council—may conclude in one of three ways (1) that a violation of policy occurred, (2) that no violation occurred, or (3) that it cannot be determined whether or not a violation occurred.
DISCIPLINARY OR CORRECTIVE ACTION
When an investigation reveals a violation of this Policy has occurred the MNYPAA Advisory Council must take corrective action. Upon a finding of discrimination, harassment, or sexual harassment, the Advisory Council will take disciplinary or corrective action that it deems appropriate, in its sole discretion, under the circumstances. Disciplinary or corrective action may include, but is not limited to, termination, removal, dismissal, or prohibition from attending future MNYPAA conventions, events, and/or participation in MNYPAA-operated or -moderated websites, internet forums or social media groups. Discrimination, harassment, or sexual harassment need not amount to a criminal violation to be disciplined under this Policy. MNYPAA forbids any person from making retaliation threats against any person for reporting discrimination or harassment, for assisting another person in making a report, or for cooperating in a discrimination or harassment investigation. Any person who experiences or witnesses any conduct they believe to be retaliatory should immediately follow the reporting procedures stated above
MNYPAA recognizes that confidentiality is important. Those responsible for implementing these policies will respect the confidentiality and privacy of individuals reporting or accused of discrimination, harassment, or sexual harassment to the extent reasonably possible. Examples of situations where confidentiality cannot be maintained include circumstances when MNYPAA is required by law to disclose information (such as in response to legal process) and when disclosure is required by MNYPAA’s outweighing interest in protecting the rights of others. Any illegal conduct will be reported to the appropriate authorities for investigation and adjudication.
Updated February 2018
For questions, concerns, and reporting of incidences please email MNYPAAadvisory@gmail.com.