Policy Against Harassment

The Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) is committed to providing a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity.  Harassment of any kind, including sexual harassment, is prohibited and will not be tolerated. The Society has zero tolerance of harassment of any kind by anyone, including managers, co-workers, members, vendors, clients, customers, or any other third party.


Harassment consists of unwelcome conduct or behavior, whether verbal, physical, or visual, that is based on a person’s protected status, including sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, military status, or any other protected group status. The SVS will not tolerate harassing conduct or behavior that affects tangible job benefits; that interferes unreasonably with an individual’s work performance, or that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment. Such harassment may include, but is not limited to: epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; kidding, teasing, practical or denigrating jokes directed at a person based on his or her protected status; display in the workplace of harassing, intimidating or disrespectful objects based on an employee’s protected status; or vulgar, obscene or harassing use of telecommunications or other technology.

Sexual harassment is prohibited behavior under this policy and requires special mention. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical, verbal, or visual conduct or behavior based on sex constitute sexual harassment when:

  • Submission to the conduct or behavior is an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment.
  • Submission to or rejection of the conduct or behavior is used as the basis for an employment decision.
  • The conduct or behavior has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

Sexual harassment is conduct or behavior based on sex, whether directed toward a person of the opposite or same sex. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Jokes, slurs or degrading comments of a sexual nature
  • Offensive sexual flirtations
  • Sexual advances or propositions
  • Graphic verbal commentaries about an individual or his or her appearance
  • Sexual innuendo or suggestive comments
  • Sexually-oriented “teasing” or “joking”
  • Unwanted physical touching, such as patting or pinching another person’s body
  • Display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, or other visual materials 
  • Obscene or harassing use of telecommunications or other technology


No person shall be subject to harassment of any nature, including sexual harassment. All employees share in the responsibility of helping to create an environment that is safe, productive, and free from harassment and can do so by reporting incidents believed to be harassment. If an individual feels that he or she has been subject to or has knowledge of any form of harassment, the individual is to report the matter to any member of management immediately. All managers are required to report to the Executive Director any behavior that they hear, observe or become aware of that may violate the provisions of this policy.

There will be no retaliation or discrimination against any individual, who submits a complaint, reports an incident witnessed, or participates in any way in an investigation of a harassment claim. If an individual feels that he or she has been retaliated against, the individual is to report the matter to the Executive Director. Anyone found to have retaliated against an individual because of participation in the investigation of a complaint is subject to discipline, up to and including termination from employment.

All concerns or complaints will be treated with confidentiality, to the extent possible, and will be investigated thoroughly and promptly. Any person who violates this policy, or interferes with the investigation of a claim under this policy, will be subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment.