Unlawful Harassment Policy
Harassment is a form of discrimination under both federal and state laws. In accordance with applicable law, US Quidditch prohibits sexual harassment and harassment because of actual or perceived sexual orientation, race, color, creed, religion, religious dress and grooming, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, military and veteran status, marital status, registered domestic partnership status, medical condition, genetic tests and information, gender expression, gender identity, pregnancy or related condition, breastfeeding or a related condition, physical disability or mental disability, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local law. All such harassment may be unlawful and will not be tolerated by US Quidditch.
These discriminatory actions against any individual may be illegal in the United States and always violate the US Quidditch member code of conduct, and are contrary to the spirit of US Quidditch’s values. As such, US Quidditch does not tolerate any behaviors defined under or related to the definitions set forth below, and encourages any victims of harassment or assault at or around a US Quidditch event or program to file a report with US Quidditch immediately. Additionally, we encourage victims to report illegal activity to local law enforcement agencies and consider seeking counseling or other support resources.
After receiving a report, US Quidditch will take appropriate steps to investigate the complaint and take necessary action in response. US Quidditch expects its members to familiarize themselves with these policies. As with all other league policies, ignorance is not an excuse. Please note that in case of accusations of harassment involving non-members like fans, US Quidditch reserves the right to use the member policy in determining appropriate action.
Sexual Harassment: Applicable state and federal law, including the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), defines sexual harassment as unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
Sexual Assault: As defined by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.
Sexually harassing conduct does not need to be motivated by sexual desire. Thus, hostility based on someone’s gender can amount to unlawful sexual harassment regardless of whether the treatment was motivated by any sexual desire. This definition includes many forms of offensive behavior. The following is a partial list:
- Unwanted sexual advances
- Making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to sexual advances;
- Visual conduct such as leering, making sexual gestures, or displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons, or posters;
- Verbal conduct such as making or using derogatory comments, epithets, slurs, sexually explicit jokes, or comments about any individual’s 's body or dress;
- Verbal sexual advances or propositions;
- Verbal abuse of a sexual nature, graphic verbal commentary about an individual's body, sexually degrading words to describe an individual, or suggestive or obscene letters, notes, or invitations;
- Physical conduct such as touching, assault, or impeding or blocking movements;
- Retaliation for reporting harassment or threatening to report harassment.
Both victim and the harasser can be any sex or identify with any gender, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex and/or gender. For example, it is unlawful for males to sexually harass females or other males, and for females to sexually harass males or other females.
Sexual harassment is unlawful whether it involves teammate harassment, harassment by a Supervisor, Manager, or harassment by persons doing business with or for US Quidditch, including volunteers and other members/players. Therefore, a US Quidditch coach, team president or captain, teammate, other US Quidditch member, volunteer, official, employee, or a fan or event attendee may be liable for harassment, or be a victim of harassment.
Other Types of Harassment
Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex or gender. Prohibited harassment on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation, race, color, creed, religion, religious dress and grooming, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, military and veteran status, marital status, registered domestic partnership status, medical condition, genetic tests and information, gender expression, gender identity, pregnancy or related condition, breastfeeding or a related condition, physical disability or mental disability, or any other protected basis, includes behavior similar to sexual harassment, when such behavior is based on a person’s protected status. Such behavior includes:
- Verbal conduct such as threats, epithets, derogatory comments, or slurs;
- Visual conduct such as derogatory posters, photographs, cartoons, drawings, or gestures;
- Physical conduct such as assault, unwanted touching, or blocking normal movement; and
- Retaliation for reporting harassment or threatening to report harassment.
The following terms will also be used in this policy:
Complainant: The person filing a report concerning sexual or other unlawful harassment and/or assault.
Claimant: The person who was/is the target of sexual or other unlawful harassment and/or assault. This person may also be the complainant.
Victim: The person who is the alleged perpetrator of sexual or other unlawful harassment and/or assault.
US Quidditch primarily provides its services to college students and post-graduates. However, it does offer a youth membership level, its teams occasionally do outreach work with local schools, and the league does from time to time offer organized youth activities for young attendees at championship events. Any type of sexual harassment or assault complaint involving a minor that is reported to US Quidditch will be immediately reported to local law enforcement agencies and child protective services for further investigation. US Quidditch does not investigate such reports or complaints - these are instead turned over to law enforcement. US Quidditch will take further action as necessary after the investigation by law enforcement agencies and any decisions by state or federal judicial bodies are made.
Additionally, any US Quidditch volunteers who are selected to organize activities for minors at US Quidditch events must undergo a background check including past criminal activity. US Quidditch also strongly recommends that in any scenario in which a team or players interact with minors during a clinic or exhibition match with an institution of minors such as a school or camp, that the team work with the hosting institution to complete background checks on any team members working directly with minors at the event.
Law Enforcement Agencies & Resources
US Quidditch is required by law to report any alleged sexual harassment or assault of minors to local law authorities. The US DOJ recommends the following resources for dealing with sexual assault:
National Sexual Assault Hotline
- 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
National Sexual Violence Resource Center
US Quidditch’s Complaint Procedures
US Quidditch’s complaint procedure provides for an immediate, thorough, and objective investigation of any claim of unlawful or prohibited harassment, appropriate disciplinary action against one found to have engaged in prohibited harassment, and appropriate remedies for any victim of harassment.
If you believe you have been harassed, or if you are aware of the harassment of others, you should provide a written or email complaint to the following as soon as possible:
PO Box 79304
Charlotte, NC 28271
Your complaint should be as detailed as possible, and include the following:
- The name(s) and contact information of individuals involved, including the Complainant(s), Claimant(s), Respondent(s), or any witnesses
- The type of misconduct alleged
- The approximate dates the misconduct was committed
- Direct quotations when language is relevant
- The names of other individuals who might have information regarding the alleged misconduct
- A summary statement of the reasons to believe that misconduct has occurred, including any written, audio, or video evidence (notes, pictures, cartoons, etc).
US Quidditch or any authorized representative of US Quidditch will immediately undertake or direct an effective, thorough, and objective investigation of the harassment allegations.
US Quidditch will endeavor to protect the privacy and confidentiality of all parties involved to the extent possible, consistent with a thorough investigation. US Quidditch prohibits retaliation against any person by any other person or by US Quidditch for using this complaint procedure in good faith, or for filing, testifying, assisting, or participating in any manner in any investigation, proceeding, or hearing conducted by a governmental enforcement agency. Additionally, US Quidditch will not knowingly permit any retaliation against any employee who complains of prohibited harassment or who participates in an investigation. US Quidditch will also not tolerate a complaint by a member that US Quidditch concludes was false at the time it was made (as opposed to a genuine misunderstanding) and intended to injure or harm the individual or individuals accused of violating this policy.
If US Quidditch determines that prohibited harassment has occurred, US Quidditch will take effective remedial action commensurate with the circumstances. Appropriate action will also be taken to deter any future harassment. If a complaint of prohibited harassment is substantiated, appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including a lifetime ban, will be taken. The victim will be advised as to the outcome of the investigation and whether disciplinary action was taken against the alleged harasser.
Liability for Harassment
In addition to the penalties outlined above, any member that engages in prohibited harassment may be held personally liable for monetary damages under federal and state law.