Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy

The Florida Engineering Society (FES) and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Florida (ACEC Florida) strive to maintain a workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment, including all conduct that can be considered coercive or disruptive as defined by applicable local, state, and federal laws, rules, and regulations. All employees and members are to be treated with dignity, decency, and respect. While all forms of discrimination and harassment are prohibited, FES and ACEC Florida emphasize that sexual harassment is specifically prohibited. Any member who engages in discriminatory or harassing conduct towards an employee of FES/ACEC Florida, or another member, is subject to immediate membership revocation, removal from the Board of Directors, or other disciplinary action. Accordingly, FES and ACEC Florida have adopted the following Code of Conduct regarding anti-discrimination and harassment that all members agree to adhere to by signing below:

Prohibited Conduct Under This Policy

FES and ACECFL do not discriminate, or tolerate discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, on the actual or perceived basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, disability, or any other characteristic characterized and protected by law (collectively, these are henceforth known as “Protected Characteristics”).

  1. Discrimination is any disparate treatment directed toward an individual(s) on the basis of their Protected Characteristic(s) that adversely affects their ability to work, perform, or otherwise participate in FES and ACEC Florida activities.
  2. Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on a Protected Characteristic. Offensive conduct may include but is not limited to, threats, non-consensual physical contact, physical violence, pranks, jokes, bullying, epithets, derogatory comments, vandalism, or verbal, graphic, or written conduct directed at an individual(s) because of their Protected Characteristic(s).

Sexual harassment includes any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that could be reasonably expected to make someone feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. Sexual harassment can be additionally defined as one or a series of comments or conduct of a gender-related or sexual nature outside the boundaries of consent, which is known, or ought to be reasonably known, to be unwelcome/unwanted, offensive, intimidating hostile, or inappropriate. This may include, but is not restricted to:

  1. Any unwelcome sexual advance;
  2. Any unwanted or inappropriate physical contact such as touching, kissing, massaging, patting, hugging, or pinching;
  3. The distribution, display or discussion of any sexually explicit material through comments, gestures, texts, instant messages, e-mail, social media messages, offensive posters, cartoons, pictures, drawings or jokes (including instant messages, email or social media messages);
  4. Unwelcome remarks, jokes, innuendoes, or taunts about a person’s body, attire, gender, or sexual orientation;
  5. Unwelcome inquiries or comments about a person’s sex life or sexual preference;
  6. Leering, whistling, or other suggestive or insulting sounds;
  7. Sexually explicit comments, stories, or jokes;
  8. Invitations/suggestions to engage in relationships of a sexual nature;I. Requests or demands for sexual favors, especially those that include, or imply, promises of rewards for complying (e.g. job advancement opportunities) and/or threats of punishment for refusal (e.g. denial of job advancement or opportunities); or,J. Retaliation against any individual who complains of, or reports, sexual harassment.

The conduct does not need to be directed at a specific person for harassment to have occurred or for a negative environment to be created. A hostile environment may be created when the conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive and objectively offensive as to interfere with an individual(s) ability to work, perform, or otherwise participate in FES and ACEC Florida activities.

  1. Retaliation is any adverse action, discriminatory behavior, or harassment in response to, or discouragement of, a complaint being brought against an individual(s)

Complaint Process

FES and ACEC Florida encourage reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination and harassment, regardless of the offender(s)’ identity or position. Complaints alleging misconduct on the part of members will be investigated by an independent third party contracted by the Executive Director, in conjunction with the Presidents of both FES and ACEC Florida as confidentially as possible, and as allowed by law. Should any of these parties be part of the complaint, the responsibility to contract with an independent third party shall fall to at least one officer from each organization not involved in the complaint. Members are required to cooperate fully with any authorized internal or external investigations of complaints related to discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation.

If the allegations are sustained, the member who engaged in the harassing, discriminatory, or retaliatory conduct may have their membership revoked, be removed from the Board of Directors, or be subject to other disciplinary actions pursuant to the requirements and processes provided in the organization’s governing documents and/or local, state, and federal laws, rules and regulations.


You are expected to comply with both the letter and spirit of this Code of Conduct. It is your responsibility to seek clarification about the application of this policy to a specific situation.