Sample Code of Conduct


The San Diego region and its citizens are firmly committed to addressing two pressing issues regarding Workplace Equity: sexual/gender harassment and fairness in compensation. This Code of Conduct results from collaborating with large and small employers, for profit and not for profit institutions, educational institutions, local government representatives, and representatives of the armed services. This group of regional community members conducted several meetings during which information and viewpoints were exchanged and best employment practices were discussed and evaluated. This Code of Conduct results from that collaboration and is intended to make our regional workplaces as welcome, professional and productive as possible.


1. Background and Purpose

Employers must maintain a workplace free from harassment and discrimination and compensation systems untethered to gender or any other characteristic. As a community, San Diego is committed to holding employers accountable for meeting these obligations. This Code of Conduct marks our region’s rededication to upholding professional standards and addressing the undesirable impact that sexual and other harassment and gender inequity has in the workplace. It is our expectation, as a region, that our community will uphold the collective responsibility to stop workplace misconduct, to ensure fair and equitable pay practices, and to support those who speak up and report the offensive conduct.


2. Accountability Statement

This Code of Conduct requires both employers and employees to be accountable, and jointly to champion the responsibility of preventing sexual harassment and ensuring gender equity.

Employers who adopt this Code of Conduct have agreed to the following principles through the adoption, enforcement, and monitoring of policies in their workplace that represent best practices. Those actions include:


Employees are equally accountable to abide by the Code of Conduct. Employers will ensure that to do so, employees will strive to:


3. Policies Promoting Professional Workplace Behavior

Sexual Harassment is conduct of a sexual nature that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work by creating a pervasive sexually hostile or offensive work environment. It also occurs when a person’s submission to or rejection of sexually offensive and unwelcome conduct is used as the basis for an employment decision. Sexual Harassment takes many forms. It includes sexual assault (which is also a crime), unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, inappropriate use of nudity or sexual images in work areas, repeatedly sending sexually offensive texts or emails, and other unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.


Retaliation occurs when an employer takes an employment action against someone who makes a complaint of sexual or other harassment or who assists another in making a complaint or who participates in an investigation. Retaliation can take many forms, including firing, denial of work assignments, and loss of extra hours, offering less favorable work opportunities or exclusion.


All businesses who have agreed to this Code of Conduct agree to adopt policies that incorporate these definitions and that clearly communicate these anti-harassment policies to every employer and employee. These policies will include:


4. Commitment to Pay Equity

All businesses who have agreed to this Code of Conduct agree to the basic premise that individuals should be compensated based upon an individual’s skills, talents, education and experience and without regard to an individual’s gender, gender expression, sex, national origin, or any other protected category. Individuals should be paid equally for work of equal value.


5. Policies that Promote Pay Equity in the Workplace

Businesses that adopt this Code of Conduct agree to adopt policies that promote pay equity in the workplace, which include: