Code of Conduct

The member Code of Conduct provides guidelines on how PEN members are expected to behave when communicating with each other in person and online. It also describes how members are expected to act when representing PEN in any capacity.

PEN members are asked to:

  • Remember that PEN is a professional organization and that as a member, volunteer, or board member, you represent PEN. Behave accordingly in person and in all communications.
  • Show courtesy and respect for other members and their personal and professional opinions. Maintain professionalism online, in person, and in electronic and other communications. Do not contact members to argue or criticize. Harassment, threats, insults, discriminatory language, and other unwelcome behaviors are unacceptable.
  • Maintain confidentiality. Information shared in PEN’s board meetings, internal documents, and electronic communications, including the PENchat member discussion list and Networking News email newsletter, is not to be provided to nonmembers. (Information promoted via PEN’s public-facing social media and announcements of events open to the public may be shared. Members may also republish original content they write for the newsletter on their website or other platform beginning three months after PEN publication.)
  • Respect one another’s clients and contacts. Don’t use another member’s name as a reference, directly or indirectly, or share details of subcontracted projects unless you have been given explicit permission to do so, preferably in writing. When in doubt, ask.
  • Use the PEN name and logo appropriately. For example, the PEN name and logo may be displayed on a member’s business website as evidence of membership so long as the individual is a member in good standing; members may use PEN’s name in directories hosted by other organizations as evidence of membership; and former members may use PEN’s name in résumés so long as they explicitly note that they are no longer members. However, the name and logo may not be used by any current or former member to promote their own work.
  • Remember that when representing PEN, the goal is to promote PEN and not an individual or business.

If a PEN board member witnesses or discovers any violation of this code of conduct, the board reserves the right to remove the offender from email lists or social media forums and cancel their membership with no refund.

If you have questions or concerns about our policies, we welcome you to contact the board of directors at any time.