Code of Conduct

This policy is designed to clearly communicate our standards of behavior for our members and the process for reporting violations of these standards. We are committed to having an inclusive community embracing different perspectives and viewpoints. And we are equally dedicated to providing a safe and productive experience for everyone who participates in AIGA and to treating everyone with respect. That means that misconduct, including but not limited to harassment in any form, will not be tolerated. Members* violating these standards jeopardize their membership (without a refund), and their attendance at AIGA meetings and conferences at the discretion of the Executive Committee of the National Board of Directors. Our policy is as follows:

Misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following behaviors at the AIGA national office, or in connection with AIGA-sponsored/affiliated activities or events:

  • Sexual harassment, which includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when, for example, submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or participation in the AIGA-sponsored activity, or submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions. Sexual harassment also can occur when a member is subjected to discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, or insult by another member that is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it creates an abusive environment, or an environment where the member feels uncomfortable. 

    Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not so subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. You could be harassed by an AIGA employee, or a member at AIGA’s office or at an AIGA-sponsored/affiliated event or activity, and the conduct need not be sexual; a pattern of profanity or rudeness based on your gender, for example, might constitute sexual harassment. Other examples of behavior that might constitute sexual harassment, depending on the circumstances, include, but are not limited to, publicly indecent behavior**; subtle or overt pressure for sexual favors; repeated and unwelcome sexual jokes, innuendo, advances, or propositions; repeated verbal abuse of a sexual nature; repeated and unwelcome graphic commentary about an individual's body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; repeated leering or insulting or obscene comments or gestures; and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature.
  • Harassing, physically threatening, or physically or verbally abusing any person because of, but not limited to, that person’s race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, native language, political party affiliation, or viewpoint.
  • Conducting oneself in a manner endangering the health or safety of another person. 
  • Exhibiting disorderly conduct, including but not limited to, abuse of controlled substances or overt drunkenness.
  • Bringing any weaponry, firearms, dangerous chemicals, or any materials specifically banned by the chapter and/or venue space to an AIGA sponsored activity or event.
  • Defacing property.
  • Any social media posting reflecting any of the above behavior occurring at an AIGA-sponsored/affiliated event or activity.

Other Misconduct

Failing to respect the confidentiality of sensitive information obtained in the course of the member’s professional engagements, unless compelled by law to divulge the information.

Making intentionally false communications, either written, spoken, or posted on any social media, that harms a member’s or the organization’s reputation.

Failing to respect the terms of use of AIGA’s Designer Directory. AIGA’s Designer Directory is for individual, personal, and confidential reference purposes only, and may be used only pursuant to the terms of this agreement.

The Designer Directory and its contents are proprietary products of AIGA. The contents of the Designer Directory may not, in whole or in part, be reproduced, copied, disseminated, entered into a computer database, used as part of or in connection with a mailing list, or otherwise utilized, in any form or manner or by any means, except for the user's individual, personal, and confidential reference.

Stealing or misappropriating any property (including digital) belonging to another member or the association. This includes all materials developed for or on behalf of an AIGA chapter  without the express permission of the member and/or chapter.

Reporting Misconduct

The safety, well-being and professional reputations of our members and participants is of the utmost importance. If someone engages in behavior that violates this Code of Conduct, you are urged to address the situation.

If you feel comfortable doing so, you are encouraged to first speak to the person directly, asking them to cease the misconduct. If you are not comfortable confronting the person directly or if the misconduct continues, you are urged to report the behavior to the Executive Director or Chief Financial Officer.

While confidentiality will be respected to the extent possible, allegations of illegal behavior must be investigated and must be based on a written complaint. If you are uncomfortable putting your complaint in writing, the person to whom you brought the allegations will create a written complaint and ask you to review and correct it and to then sign the final version.

You should be assured that there will be no retaliation against you for making good faith claims.

How Complaints are Investigated

The Executive Committee of the National Board of Directors will appoint a lead investigator. Persons not affiliated with AIGA, may be asked to serve in this capacity. Lead investigators or their designees will interview complainants, asking for the identification of relevant witnesses and production of relevant documents.

Persons named by a complainant will also be interviewed. They will be provided with a copy of the written complaint against them, asked to respond, and asked to identify any relevant witnesses and produce relevant documents. They also will be warned about the need to protect the complainant from retaliation.

Persons with relevant information will also be interviewed. During the interview, they will be told of the need for confidentiality and the need to protect complainants from retaliation.

Relevant documents and electronic records will be reviewed.

How Violations and Sanctions are Determined

The lead investigator will prepare a report for the Executive Committee of the National Board of Directors summarizing their findings and the basis for those findings. If any charges were upheld, the Executive Committee will determine an appropriate sanction.

How Sanctions are Imposed

Sanctions will be imposed and enforced by the Executive Committee of the National Board of Directors. If the sanction includes a revocation of membership in AIGA, the AIGA National Board of Directors will be asked to affect the revocation by a two-thirds vote

*Members include all membership at any level

**Publicly indecent behavior is defined as:

  • Obscene or indecent acts, characterized by, or for the purpose of becoming aroused.
  • Sexual behaviors that are unlawful in nature and are performed with the intention of arousing the perpetrator or the person to whom the behavior is directed.