An Open Letter to the O&P Field on Sexual Misconduct, Harassment, & Discrimination in the Workplace
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
The O&P Alliance has issued an open letter to the O&P profession on sexual misconduct, harassment, and discrimination in the workplace. The Academy is here to support you throughout your career and stands with its members in upholding the highest ethical standards for our profession.
As the leader in O&P education, the Academy presented a session on sexual misconduct, harassment, and discrimination at its 2019 Annual Meeting & Scientific Symposium in Orlando. If you were unable to attend in person, the session is available online via the Academy’s Paul E. Leimkuehler Online Learning Center.
The open letter to the profession follows:
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE ORTHOTIC AND PROSTHETIC FIELD ON SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, HARASSMENT, AND DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE
The undersigned organizations stand united in condemning sexual misconduct, harassment, and discrimination in all forms. Sexual misconduct includes abuse and assault. These behaviors are illegal and have no place in the orthotic and prosthetic (O&P) community.
Please consider this letter our clear message to the entire field that we support a zero tolerance policy for sexual misconduct, harassment, and discrimination based on sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), race, color, national origin, religion, age, and disability, as well as retaliation for the reporting of such conduct.
Sexual misconduct, harassment, and discrimination of any kind can be reported to one’s employer or supervisor, law enforcement authorities, state employment discrimination authorities, state O&P licensure boards, and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). ABC, BOC and NCOPE all have processes in place to address ethical violations by certified individuals, accredited facilities or residents. Certified/licensed professionals witnessing such behavior also have an obligation to report it to the appropriate credentialing organization.
Those affected by sexual misconduct, harassment, and discrimination should know that all reports of such conduct will be taken seriously, investigated, and addressed in alignment with the processes of each of the undersigned organizations. All parties will be treated with dignity and respect and afforded due process. There are numerous public and private agencies that serve as confidential resources to offer support and answer questions.
Each of the undersigned organizations has resolved to review and, if necessary, refine its policies on sexual misconduct, harassment, and discrimination in the workplace. We resolve to enhance education, training, and compliance with such policies, and impose appropriate sanctions and disciplinary action where allegations have been substantiated, within the scope of each organization’s authority.
We encourage every O&P clinic, business, or academic or research program to take similar steps to proactively address these important issues with respect to compliance plans, policy manuals, and where otherwise appropriate.
American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics (ABC)
Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC)
National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics (NAAOP)
American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA)
American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP)
National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE)
Harassment Advocacy Work Group
Download a PDF of the open letter.