Code of Conduct Enforcement Procedures

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This document summarizes the procedures the PyLadies Con CoC team uses to enforce the Code of Conduct.

Summary of processes

When the work group receives a report of a possible Code of Conduct violation, it will:

  1. Acknowledge the receipt of the report.
  2. Evaluate conflicts of interest.
  3. Call a meeting of Code of Conduct responders who do not have a conflict of interest.
  4. Evaluate the reported incident.
  5. Propose a behavioral modification plan.
  6. Propose consequences for the reported behavior.
  7. Vote on behavioral modification plan and consequences for the reported person.
  8. Contact online community administrators/moderators to approve the behavioral modification plan and consequences.
  9. Follow up with the reported person.
  10. Decide further responses.
  11. Follow up with the reporter.

Acknowledge the report

We will have members of the Code of Conduct team online at all times during the conference. Reporters should receive an emailed acknowledgment of the receipt of their report within 2 hours.

Conflict of interest policy

Examples of conflicts of interest include:

  • The reporter or reported person is your manager
  • You have a romantic or platonic relationship with either the reporter or the reported person. It’s fine to participate if they are an acquaintance.
  • The reporter or reported person is your metamour. (This is a term used in the poly community; see the short definition for metamour, and a longer description).
  • The reporter or reported person is your family member
  • The reporter or reported person is your direct client
  • The reporter or reported person is someone you work closely with. This could be someone on your team or someone who works on the same project as you.
  • The reporter or reported person is a maintainer who regularly reviews your contributions

Committee members do not need to state why they have a conflict of interest, only that one exists. Other work group members should not ask why the person has a conflict of interest.

Anyone who has a conflict of interest will remove themselves from the discussion of the incident, and recuse themselves from voting on a response to the report.

Evaluating a report


  • Is this a Code of Conduct violation? Is this behavior on our list of inappropriate behavior? Is it borderline inappropriate behavior? Does it violate our community norms?
  • Did this occur in a space that is within our Code of Conduct’s scope? If the incident occurred outside the community, but a community member’s mental health or physical safety may be negatively impacted if no action is taken, the incident may be in scope. Private conversations in community spaces are also in scope.


  • Did this incident occur in a private conversation or in a public space? Incidents that all community members can see will have more negative impact.
  • Does this behavior negatively impact a marginalized group in our community? Is the reporter a person from a marginalized group in our community? How is the reporter being negatively impacted by the reported person’s behavior? Are members of the marginalized group likely to disengage with the community if no action was taken on this report?
  • Does this incident involve a community leader? Community members often look up to community leaders to set the standard of acceptable behavior.


  • Does this incident include sexual harrasment?
  • Does this pose a safety risk? Does the behavior put a person’s physical safety at risk? Will this incident severely negatively impact someone’s mental health?
  • Is there a risk of this behavior being repeated? Does the reported person understand why their behavior was inappropriate? Is there an established pattern of behavior from past reports?

Reports which involve higher risk or higher impact may face more severe consequences than reports which involve lower risk or lower impact.

Propose a behavioral modification plan

The CoC team will determine a concrete behavioral modification plan that ensures the inappropriate behavior is not repeated. The CoC team will also discuss what actions may need to be taken if the reported person does not agree to the behavioral modification plan.

What follows are examples of possible behavioral modification plans for incidents that occur in online spaces under the scope of this Code of Conduct. This behavioral modification list is not inclusive, and the event staff reserves the right to take any action it deems necessary.

  • Requiring that the reported person not use specific language
  • Requiring that the reported person not join in on specific types of discussions
  • Requiring that the reported person not send private messages to a community member
  • Requiring that the reported person not join specific communication channels
  • Removing the reported person from administrator or moderator rights to community infrastructure
  • Removing a volunteer from their duties and responsibilities
  • Removing a person from leadership of relevant organizations
  • Removing a person from membership of relevant organizations

Propose consequences

What follows are examples of possible consequences of an incident report. This consequences list is not inclusive, and the event staff reserves the right to take any action it deems necessary.

Possible private responses to an incident include:

  • Nothing, if the behavior was determined to not be a Code of Conduct violation
  • A verbal or emailed warning
  • A final warning
  • Temporarily removing the reported person from the online community
  • Permanently removing the reported person from the online community
  • Publishing an account of the incident
  • Escalating the incident to the PSF Code of Conduct Working Group

Follow up with the reported person

The CoC team will draft a response to the reported person. The email should contain:

  • A description of the person’s behavior in neutral language
  • The negative impact of that behavior
  • A concrete behavioral modification plan
  • Any consequences of their behavior

The CoC team should not state who reported this incident. They should attempt to anonymize any identifying information from the report. The reported person should be discouraged from contacting the reporter to discuss the report. If they wish to apologize to the reporter, the CoC team can accept the apology on behalf of the reporter.

Decide further responses

If the reported person provides additional context, the CoC team may need to re-evaluate the behavioral modification plan and consequences.

Follow up with the reporter

A person who makes a report should receive a follow-up email stating what action was taken in response to the report. If the CoC team decided no response was needed, they should provide an email explaining why it was not a Code of Conduct violation. Reports that are not made in good faith (such as “reverse sexism” or “reverse racism”) may receive no response.

The follow-up email should be sent no later than one week after the receipt of the report. If deliberation or follow up with the reported person takes longer than one week, the CoC group should send a status email to the reporter.


This Code of Conduct is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.