Code of Conduct

WEF Member Code of Conduct

The Water Environment Federation (“WEF”) is committed to providing a professional, safe, and welcoming environment for all members and expects members to uphold WEF’s commitment to providing and supporting a positive environment for all WEF members and others affiliated with

WEF’s Member Code of Conduct (the “Code”) is intended to provide WEF with a set of best practices and guidelines on standards of conduct with which members agree they will adhere to when joining and maintaining their WEF membership. This Code applies to any conduct and communication of a WEF member involving other WEF members, WEF staff, WEF contractors, or
non-member participants of WEF (collectively “WEF Participants”) in connection with or resulting from any WEF-related business, activity or at WEF Functions, as defined below.

All conduct and all communications arising out of or resulting from WEF business or activities that are related to WEF or to WEF members, including but not limited to conduct and communications at WEF-sponsored functions (Conferences, House of Delegate meetings, Committee Leadership Council activities, Board meetings, etc.), at WEF Member Association functions, at WEF-affiliated functions, or member representation of WEF at a non-WEF function or in WEF business (collectively referred to as “WEF Functions”), are expected to be in accordance with this Code.

Furthermore, WEF may establish a code of conduct for specific WEF Functions that may apply to a broader group in attendance at the specific function. WEF members attending these specific functions must follow that specific WEF function’s code of conduct, related terms, and conditions, as well as this Code.

This Code governs conduct of WEF members and will be enforced by WEF. As such, this Code does not give rise to a legal cause of action, create a presumption, or serve as evidence that a legal duty has been breached, or form the basis for governmental enforcement proceedings.

WEF and Member Association Code Interactions

To the degree that membership in a WEF Member Association (MA) is required for a WEF member, this Code extends to that MA membership and its programs and activities, in addition to any additional code of conduct adopted by the MA.

Complaints submitted to WEF, and actions to address WEF member misconduct issues occurring at any WEF Functions, as defined earlier (and inclusive of WEF member participation in MA functions), are under the jurisdiction of WEF.

When multiple codes of conduct exist, this Code will be primary for the WEF member and will take precedence for decisions affecting WEF membership followed by other codes that may apply to the member at WEF Functions. WEF will communicate information on complaints of WEF member misconduct to any affected MA, as appropriate, and discuss impacts to the MA, if any.

MAs must also notify the WEF executive director of any misconduct concerns or related actions being contemplated at the MA level for a WEF member. MA-only members are not WEF members; therefore, they are not subject to discipline under this Code and the MA will handle any misconduct issues with MA-Only members independently from WEF.

Expectations of WEF Members

As a condition of WEF membership, WEF expects members to demonstrate their commitment to WEF’s core values by conducting themselves consistent with the following principles including but not limited to exhibiting common courtesy and civility; acting in a businesslike, ethical, and professional manner; supporting diversity, equity and inclusion throughout WEF; and refraining from discriminatory or harassing behavior directed toward any WEF Participants as defined earlier in this Code.


The WEF Board of Trustees (“Board”) and Ethics Subcommittee (“ESC”) identifies types of misconduct and makes determinations on whether a member engaged in misconduct. This Code applies to conduct while an individual is a WEF member. This code addresses misconduct in three general areas: Personal Misconduct, Professional Misconduct, and Legal Misconduct. The examples set forth below are representative of misconduct in these areas; however, misconduct is not limited to these examples.

Personal Misconduct Defined

  • Threatening (physically and/or verbally), engaging in demeaning gestures and/or language, stalking, physically or verbally abusing, or using combative language toward any WEF Participants(as defined earlier in this Code) in any communications including but not limited to those communications arising out of, or related to, any WEF business or activity or at any WEF Function as defined earlier in this Code. This applies to contact in person, by email, telephone, social media, or any other media regardless of whether the contact
    occurs at WEF Functions or the subject matter relates to WEF.
  • Harassing or discriminating against any individual, including but not limited to making negative comments, insults, offensive jokes, using ridicule or mockery, slurs or name calling, or making physical assaults or threats, or otherwise exhibiting prejudice on the basis of that person’s race, color, sex, pregnancy/maternity or related medical conditions, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, religion, age, ethnic or national origin, ancestry, citizenship, marital or family status, disability or perceived disability status,
    genetic information, veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristics in accordance with applicable law.
  • Endangering the health or safety of others, including but not limited to the brandishing of firearms, explosives, chemicals, or other weapons or the threat (substantiated or implied) of using such weapons, tampering with safety systems (such as fire-fighting equipment), turning in a false alarm, or engaging in behavior that constitutes a fire hazard
    at WEF Functions.
  • Subjecting another person to physical conduct (except self-defensive conduct) or sexual attention which that person perceives as offensive or unwelcome.
  • Engaging in lewd, indecent, disruptive, or disorderly conduct (including such conduct which results from a member being under the influence of alcohol or drugs) at WEF Functions.
  • Being arraigned, indicted, or convicted (by a judge, jury, or plea agreement) of a felony or a crime which is violent, dangerous to others, or is vile or depraved in nature arising out of the member’s personal conduct.

Professional Misconduct Defined

Legal Misconduct

  • Being arraigned, indicted, or convicted (by a judge, jury, or plea agreement) for violations of national, regional or local laws or regulations.
  • Harassing or discriminating against any individual on the basis of that person’s race, color, sex, pregnancy/maternity or related medical conditions, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, religion, age, ethnic or national origin, ancestry, citizenship, marital or family status, disability or perceived disability status, genetic information, veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristics in accordance with applicable law.
  • Violating national, regional, or local regulations regarding the purchase, possession, or consumption of alcoholic beverages, including the furnishing of alcoholic beverages to minors, at WEF Functions.
  • Possessing, distributing, or selling illicit drugs, as may be prohibited by law, at WEF Functions, unless such drugs are permitted to be possessed in the locale of the WEF Function.
  • Violating any statute, governmental regulation, or disciplinary action by any licensing or other authority, relating to, or arising out of, the member’s work.
  • Engaging in fraud, money laundering, misappropriation of WEF funds or other similar issues.
  • Failing to comply with antitrust regulations in connection with WEF activities.
  • Engaging in unauthorized use of tangible or intellectual property.
  • Intentionally or recklessly defacing public or private property at WEF Functions.


Any WEF Participants or Member Association (MA) may bring a complaint against any WEF member if they believe, in good faith, that the member engaged in conduct in violation of the Code. WEF may also bring a complaint against a member based on publicly available information such as court documents, newspaper articles or social media posts which were verified by independent sources. WEF and MAs will communicate on complaints for WEF members as noted earlier in this Code. Anonymous complaints are not acceptable. Complaints must be submitted in writing using the WEF Member Code of Conduct Complaint Form. Members engaging in misconduct are subject to disciplinary action as outlined in WEF’s Member Discipline Policy.

Instances of misconduct that require immediate attention during WEF Functions should be brought promptly to the attention of WEF senior management, a member of the Board, or the most senior WEF staff member or WEF representative attending WEF Functions.


To qualify for WEF membership or to renew WEF membership, individuals must accept the following agreement as a condition of initial, or renewal of their existing, WEF membership:

As a WEF member, I agree to abide by the WEF Member Code of Conduct (“Code”). To the degree that membership in a Member Association (MA) is required, the Code extends to that MA membership and its programs and activities, in addition to any code of conduct adopted by the MA. I understand that participation in WEF is a privilege and is not a right and that WEF may take disciplinary action against me pursuant to the WEF Member Discipline Policy for any violations of the Code. I understand that membership may be revoked with just cause or other disciplinary action may be taken against me. I agree that my participation in WEF will be at my sole and exclusive risk, and I (and anyone claiming on my behalf) hold harmless WEF, its Trustees, and staff from any damages, claims, loss, and liability from my participation in any program, activity or WEF Functions.

WEF Board of Trustees
July 23, 2021

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