(Adopted July 27, 1999)


  NLSSA is committed to providing a professional environment free of discrimination and harassment in all of its activities and operations. This policy prohibits not only illegal conduct, but is also aimed at preventing all forms of disrespectful behaviors and decisions which could contribute to a discriminatory or hostile environment for NLSSA's members and supporters. The policy covers harassment and discrimination based on gender, race, color, religion, national origin, mental or physical disabilities, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, medical condition, and family or marital status.

At NLSSA, we recognize that, for many participants in our activities, such participation is part of or is an extension of the workplace environment established by our members and their employers. As such, we also recognize our obligation to assure our members that their policies of zero tolerance for discrimination and harassment will be respected and enforced when individuals participate in NLSSA's activities. This commitment extends to all of NLSSA's activities and operations, including but not limited to National Conferences, Regional and State Meetings, other gatherings and activities, and interaction and decisionmaking from remote locations throughout the nation.

Because this policy is a zero tolerance policy, harassment and discrimination are broadly defined with respect to the protected characteristics described above. Discrimination is defined as any unjustified or unlawful decision adversely affecting a member or participant. Harassment under this policy includes verbal, physical, or visual conduct that creates or contributes to a hostile professional or social environment or that interferes with a participant's ability to take part in NLSSA's activities. In a nutshell, this policy is aimed at encouraging and fostering respect and fairness for all members and participants.

Any incident of discrimination or harassment should be reported promptly to an Executive Board Member, an NCSL Liaison, or other responsible person working in an official capacity with NLSSA. A person with a grievance under this policy is not required to complain first to any particular person, but may report the grievance to any such responsible individual. All members or participants who receive reports, complaints or other information regarding discrimination or harassment, should transmit such information immediately to a responsible person within the organization.

To the extent appropriate and with due discretion and objectivity, every reported complaint of harassment or discrimination will be thoroughly investigated. NLSSA will not tolerate retaliation against any member or participant for making a complaint or for cooperating in the investigation of a complaint under this policy.

If harassment or discrimination is established, appropriate action will be taken by NLSSA, which may include, but may not be limited to, warnings, reprimands, suspension of membership benefits or status, or exclusion or termination of membership, benefits, or access to NLSSA programs.