Policies Adopted by the Board of Directors
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY POLICY
It is the policy of Public Relations Society of America Houston Chapter (also known as PRSA Houston) to provide equal employment and membership opportunity in conformance with all applicable laws and regulations to individuals who are qualified to perform job requirements or become members regardless of their race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, veteran or other legally protected status. PRSA Houston administers its membership and employment policies, programs and practices in a nondiscriminatory manner in all aspects, including recruitment, hiring, work assignment, promotion, termination, wage and salary administration and selection for training.
The board and contract staff to whom it delegates is responsible for implementing and administering this policy, for maintaining a work environment free from unlawful discrimination, and for promptly identifying and resolving any problem area regarding equal employment opportunity.
In addition to providing equal employment opportunity, it is also PRSA Houston’s policy to undertake special efforts to
- Develop and support educational programs and recruiting sources and practices that facilitate recruitment of minorities and women and support diversity in the workforce;
- Foster a work environment free from sexual, racial or other harassment;
- Make reasonable accommodations that enable disabled individuals to participate in association activities
- Emphasize board responsibility in these matters at every level of the association.
Individuals who believe they have observed or been subjected to prohibited discrimination should immediately report the incident to the board or contract staff.
Individuals will not be subjected to harassment, intimidation, threats, coercion, discrimination or retaliation for opposing any unlawful act or practice, or making a complaint, assisting or participating in an investigation or any other proceeding, or otherwise exercising any of the rights protected by this policy or any Federal, state, or local laws concerning equal employment opportunity.
It is the policy of PRSA Houston to prohibit any form of harassment in any association activity. The policy prohibits unlawful harassment based on race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, veteran or other protected status, as well as any other form of harassment, even if the harassing conduct is lawful. The objective of this policy is to provide an environment that fosters mutual member respect and volunteer/contract staff relationships free of harassment. The Association specifically prohibits any form of harassment by or toward employees, contracts, suppliers, members or visitors.
Under PRSA Houston’s policy, harassment is any inappropriate conduct which has the purpose or effect of
- Creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment;
- Unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance; or
- Affecting an individual’s employment opportunity.
Harassment will not be tolerated. Forms of harassment include, but are not limited to, unwelcome verbal or physical advances and sexually, racially or otherwise derogatory or discriminatory materials, statements, or remarks. All officers, board members or contract staff will be subject to disciplinary action up to an including ethics charges or termination for any act of harassment.
Individuals who believe they have been subjected to harassment should immediately report the incident to an unrelated board member or contract staff. All complaints will be promptly and thoroughly investigated.
Board members who observe or become aware of harassment should immediately advise officers or contract staff. No member should assume that the Association is aware of a problem. All complaints and concerns should be brought to board attention so that appropriate corrective steps can be taken.
No retaliation will be taken against any member because he or she reports a problem concerning possible acts of harassment. Questions about what constitutes harassing behavior should be directed to the board.
NAME TAG POLICY
Nametags will be brought to luncheons only for those with advance reservations.
EVENT NO-SHOWS POLICY
It is the policy of PRSA Houston to bill all no-shows who have registered and not paid in advance. Refunds are given for cancellations 24 hours before the event unless otherwise specified on promotional material or special arrangements have been made in advance with the chapter administrator.
There shall be a published cancellation policy for each event.
CHECK SIGNING POLICY
Checks must be signed by two authorized signers based on a policy adopted in 2011. No more than five authorized signers are allowed on the Chapter’s accounts at one time, and the President and Treasurer are required signers, along with the Chapter Administrator. Two other Board members may also be added to the account.
RETURNED CHECKS POLICY
The board has agreed that a fee of $25 should be charged for checks returned to PRSA Houston. This fee is in addition to the amount of the check.
MEMBERSHIP LISTS POLICY
PRSA Houston protects the privacy of its members, and the Chapter membership list will not be made available for purchase or barter. Information from other communications organizations may be included in the Chapter’s electronic newsletter when necessary.
All sponsors are required to submit payment in full prior to the company or organization receiving benefits of sponsorship and promotion by the chapter for Houston Chapter events, unless other arrangements are made.
COMMITTEE CHAIRS POLICY AND REGISTRATION FEES POLICY
Individuals volunteering as chair or co-chair of a committee must be a Houston Chapter member in good standing. Non-members are welcome to participate in a lesser role on the committee.
Chapter members and non-members who volunteer on a committee that organizes a paid Chapter event are required to pay the registration fee, set by the event committee, to attend the function.
FOUNDATION AUCTION EXPENSES POLICY
At the Chapter’s annual Excalibur Awards Gala, the Public Relations Foundation of Houston (PRFH), which is the philanthropic arm of the Chapter, will organize and execute its annual silent auction. While this event is held in conjunction with the Excalibur Awards Gala, it is a separate event from the gala with separate chairs. The Chapter will cover the costs for auction-related expenses, including space at the venue, printing costs and credit card charges by the amount budgeted for foundation support. This results in a pass-through to the Foundation of the gross amount received for the auction items.
Every effort should be made to secure speakers at no charge. However, speakers can be paid for their service as long as these fees are properly budgeted. Contracts or letter agreements or at least an email from the speaker are required for all speakers to be compensated monetarily. Any outside speakers are guests of PRSA Houston and should not be charged for attendance. Speakers may bring one guest at no charge.
No Chapter officers or committee members are entitled to compensation for their time as this organization is volunteer-based. The Chapter’s policy is to reimburse expenses of Assembly Delegates who represent the Chapter at PRSA’s annual Leadership Assembly, as long as receipts are presented for these expenses. Items typically reimbursed include two nights’ hotel, airfare, meals on Friday and Saturday, cab fare and parking for time spent at the Assembly. No additional reimbursement is provided should Assembly Delegates choose to stay to attend the PRSA International Conference.
Updated: April 2015