Standards of Conduct

ASLA promotes a working environment that values respect, fairness, and integrity. As representatives of ASLA, members of the Board of Trustees, ASLA committees and other volunteer groups, and professional staff, shall act with respect, fairness, honesty, integrity, and openness in all their dealings. It is the duty of each such individual to:
 
1.  Maintain the highest standards of personal conduct.
 
2.  Actively promote and encourage the highest level of ethics within the industries and professions that ASLA represents.
 
3.  Act in the best interests of ASLA.
 
4.  Act openly, honestly, fairly, and in good faith towards ASLA.
 
5.  Maintain loyalty to ASLA and pursue its objectives in ways that are consistent with the public interest.
 
6.  If authorized to communicate statements on ASLA’s behalf, to do so in a truthful and accurate manner.
 
7.  Recognize and discharge his/her personal responsibility to uphold all laws and regulations relating to ASLA’s policies and activities.
 
8.  Perform his/her responsibilities diligently and strive for excellence in all aspects of the management of ASLA.
 
9.  Use only legal and ethical means in all ASLA activities.
 
10.  Serve all members of ASLA impartially and provide no special privilege for any individual member.
 
11.  Comply with all ASLA bylaws, rules, and policies, including without limitation, those policies pertaining to conflicts of interest and improper gratuities.
 
12.  Maintain the confidentiality of privileged or non-public information entrusted or known to him/her by virtue of his/her position in accordance with ASLA’s policies regarding confidentiality, and act reasonably to protect the integrity of data and information used by ASLA.
 
13.  Refrain from engaging in activities for personal gain at the expense of ASLA.
 
14.  Refrain from using his/her position with ASLA to advance an outside interest to the detriment of ASLA.
 
15.  Refrain from engaging in discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other protected class.

 

Procedures for Filing and Resolution of Complaints

A.    General

Filing of Complaints: Any member of ASLA’s Board of Trustees or any member of any ASLA committee, volunteer group, or any ASLA staff person, or the Executive Committee, on its own volition (“Complainant”) may file a complaint of violation of the Standards or Conduct (“Complaint”).

Good Faith:  Anyone filing a Complaint must act in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing the information disclosed indicates a violation of the Standards of Conduct.  Making allegations that prove to be unsubstantiated and that prove to have been made maliciously, recklessly, or with the knowledge that such allegations are false or misleading, will be viewed as a serious disciplinary offense and may result in discipline, up to and including dismissal from a volunteer position or termination of employment.  Such conduct may also give rise to other actions, including lawsuits.

No Retaliation:  No Complainant shall be subject to any form of retaliation against anyone for having filed a Complaint of a violation of the Standards of Conduct.  A volunteer or employee who retaliates against someone who has reported a Concern in good faith is subject to discipline up to and including dismissal from the volunteer position or termination of employment, respectively.

Confidentiality:  All Complaints alleging a violation of the Standards of Conduct, and investigations pertaining thereto, shall be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation. Disclosure of Complaints to individuals not involved in the investigation will be viewed as a serious disciplinary offense and may result in discipline, up to and including dismissal from a volunteer position or termination of employment.  Such conduct may also give rise to other actions, including lawsuits. Referral: If the reported allegation involves questionable or improper accounting or auditing matters, the Committee shall forward the report to the Audit Committee for further action.

 

B.    Complaints Involving ASLA Staff Members

 

Complaints alleging violations the Standards of Conduct by ASLA staff members shall be submitted to the Executive Vice President/CEO (“EVP/CEO”).  Complaints alleging violation of the Standards of Conduct by the EVP/CEO shall be submitted to the ASLA President.  All Complaints against ASLA staff members will be handled in accordance with the applicable provisions of the ASLA Employee Handbook and related Human Resources policies and procedures.  All Complaints shall be promptly investigated and appropriate corrective action taken if warranted by the investigation.  Nothing in this policy shall limit or restrict the authority of the EVP/CEO to take appropriate personnel action with respect to ASLA staff.

 

C.    Complaints Involving Members of the Board of Trustees, ASLA Committees or other Volunteer Groups

 

Complaints alleging violations the Standards of Conduct by members of ASLA’s Board of Trustees, committees or volunteer groups shall be submitted to the ASLA Ethics Committee (“Committee”).  Complainants are encouraged to submit Complaints promptly.  The Committee reserves the right to dismiss any Complaint filed more than one (1) year after of the alleged improper conduct unless the Complainant explains the reasons for the delay and why the Complaint should be considered by the Committee.

 

The Complaint shall be submitted in writing to the Committee at ASLA national headquarters and shall include, to the extent available, the following:

 

  • The name, address, phone number, and email address of the Complainant.

  • The name, address, phone number, and email address of the person alleged to have violated the Standards of Conduct (“Respondent”).

  • The facts and circumstances giving rise to the Complaint, including dates of alleged violations, supporting information and exhibits, and references to the Standards of Conduct that may have been violated. The Complaint shall contain all relevant information, including third-party statements or exhibits, if any, that the Committee would need to consider in making a fair determination, provided that such third-party statements and exhibits do not result in a breach of confidentiality. The determination of the Committee will depend solely on the written record supplied by the Complainant and Respondent.

  • A list of pending actions, if any, against the Respondent, or against the Complainant by the Respondent, in relation to the Complaint, such as lawsuits, alternative dispute resolution procedures, or professional licensing board or other regulatory proceedings (“Pending Legal Action”).

 

After review and consideration of the information submitted, the Committee will either: (1) determine that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of the Standards of Conduct may have occurred and accept the Complaint for further consideration; or (2) determine that there is no reasonable basis to believe that a violation occurred and decline to accept the Complaint. If the Complaint is declined on the basis of incomplete information, an amended Complaint with additional information may be submitted by the Complainant within thirty (30) days of receipt of notice of dismissal. If an amended Complaint is submitted and declined by the Committee, that determination is final.

 

On acceptance of the Complaint by the Committee, the Complainant shall be informed that the Complaint is accepted and the Respondent shall be provided with a copy of the Complaint. The Respondent shall have sixty (60) days to reply to the Complaint. The response shall be submitted in writing to the Committee and shall include the following:

  • Admittance or denial of the Complaint. If the Respondent admits that the facts alleged in the Complaint are true and the conduct alleged in the Complaint occurred, the Respondent shall describe and provide evidence to show what actions have been taken to become compliant with the Standards of Conduct.

  • Factual information in defense of the action(s) that led to the Complaint, including supporting information and exhibits. The response shall contain all relevant information, including third-party statements or exhibits, if any, that the Committee would need to consider in making a fair determination, provided that such third-party statements and exhibits do not result in a breach of confidentiality. The determination of the Committee will be based solely on the written record.

  • A list of Pending Legal Action against the Complainant, or against the Respondent by the Complainant, in relation to the Complaint.  If the Respondent requests deferral of further processing of the Complaint by the Committee due to Pending Legal Action, the Respondent shall explain the reasons therefore.  In response to such a request by the Respondent, or on its own initiative, the Committee may at any time defer further proceedings until resolution of the Pending Legal Action if the Committee determines, in its discretion, that such deferral is in ASLA’s best interest.

 

If no response is received from the Respondent within sixty (60) days, notice shall be given to the Respondent and an additional ten (10) days shall be given for a reply. No response or an unresponsive reply may result in the Complaint being resolved in favor of the Complainant.

Subject to disclosures that may be required or permitted in connection with a Pending Legal Action, if any, the Respondent shall keep all aspects of the Complaint and the review process confidential and shall avoid any public disclosure or discussion that would result in the Complaint or the review process becoming known to anyone other than the Complainant or a legal representative of the Complainant or the Respondent. A breach of confidentiality may constitute a separate violation of the Standards of Conduct.

The Committee will provide the Complainant with a copy of the reply.  The Complainant shall have thirty (30) days from the date of the Committee’s transmittal of the reply to rebut the reply. Copies of the rebuttal shall be provided to the Committee, which will provide a copy to the Respondent. The Respondent shall have thirty (30) days from the date of the Committee’s transmittal of the rebuttal to reply to the rebuttal. The Committee will provide a copy of the Respondent’s surrebuttal to the Complainant.

On acceptance of the Complaint and reply, and receipt of a rebuttal and surrebuttal, if filed, the Committee will consider the matters at issue, make findings, and make a recommendation.  If the Committee determines that there are insufficient facts to support a finding that the alleged conduct occurred and/or that the alleged conduct, if it occurred, would not constitute a violation of the Standards of Conduct, it will dismiss the Complaint. If the Committee determines that it is more likely than not that a violation has occurred, it will recommend to the ASLA Executive Committee any of the following:

1.         That the ASLA Executive Committee issue a confidential Letter of Admonition.  

2.         That the ASLA Executive Committee issue a Letter of Censure.

3.         That the ASLA Executive Committee issue a letter of Probationary Suspension of service on the board, committee or group.

4.         That the ASLA Executive Committee issue a Letter of Termination of service on the board, committee or group.

5.         That the ASLA Executive Committee take other recommended action considered appropriate under the circumstances.

 

The ASLA Executive Committee will review all information submitted by the Complainant and Respondent and either: (1) accept the recommendation of the Committee; (2) increase the recommended sanction against the Respondent; (3) reduce the recommended sanction against the Respondent, or (4) dismiss the Complaint.

Notice of the ASLA Executive Committee’s determination shall be provided to both the Complainant and the Respondent. The ASLA Executive Committee’s action shall be final and binding unless appealed by the Respondent to the ASLA Board of Trustees within sixty (60) days of receipt of the ASLA Executive Committee’s decision.  The Complainant may not appeal the decision of the ASLA Executive Committee.

Appeals to the ASLA Board of Trustees shall be entrusted to a subcommittee of the Board composed of a chair and four (4) members appointed by the president on a case-by-case basis. The chair and subcommittee members shall be duly elected, currently serving chapter trustees representing chapters other than the one or ones from which jurisdiction the Complaint arises. Trustees shall decline appointment if there is any question as to their impartiality and shall resign from the subcommittee if such question arises after appointment.

Resolution of appeals will be based solely on the written record. The subcommittee of the ASLA Board of Trustees will review all information submitted by the Complainant and Respondent and render a final and binding decision within sixty (60) days of receipt of the appeal that either: (1) upholds the ASLA Executive Committee’s action; (2) increases the sanction against the Respondent; (3) reduces the sanction against the Respondent; or (4) retracts the ASLA Executive Committee's action and dismisses the Complaint.

 
ASLA Administrative Policy:  2006; R2016; R2019

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