Code of conduct

We are committed to providing an environment that enables engaging and thought provoking conversations which support a free exchange of ideas.

Code of conduct

The Candela Foundation (Candela) is committed to providing an environment that enables engaging and thought provoking conversations which support a free exchange of ideas. This endeavor requires that all people be treated with equal consideration, dignity and respect. While Candela encourages vigorous debate of ideas, personal attacks in any form will not be accepted as they create an environment in which people feel threatened and intimidated. This is not productive and does not advance the cause of science. All people involved in the Candela Foundation and participants of Candela-managed events and activities are therefore expected to conduct themselves professionally and respectfully.

It is the policy of the Candela that all forms of bullying, discrimination and harassment, sexual or otherwise, are strictly prohibited during any Candela-managed event or activity. This policy applies to every individual at the event including organizers, attendees, speakers, exhibitors, award recipients, staff, contractors and all others. It is also a violation of this policy to retaliate against an individual for reporting bullying, discrimination or harassment and to intentionally file a false report of bullying, discrimination, or harassment. Individuals violating these rules may be asked to leave the event or activity without a refund at the sole discretion of the conference organizers.

How do I report an incident?

If you wish to report bullying, discrimination or harassment you have witnessed or experienced, you may do so through the following methods:

  • contact any Candela’s staff member (if onsite at an event or activity)
  • email –

We encourage you to write down as many relevant details as you can recall (e.g., names, dates, times, locations, behavior or statements made, etc.), which can be helpful in assisting any future investigation of the incident. To ensure a fair and complete investigation, Candela cannot accept anonymous reports of bullying, discrimination or harassment. However, Candela is very sensitive to the potential ramifications of making a report and will maintain your confidentiality except where doing so would compromise another person’s rights or Candela’s ability to conduct a thorough investigation. In such cases, Candela will limit disclosure only to that information necessary to ensure proper investigation and compliance with procedures. No retaliation will be taken or tolerated against anyone who makes a good faith report of bullying, discrimination or harassment to Candela.

What are Bullying, Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation?

For purposes of this policy, “Bullying”, “Discrimination”, “Harassment” (including “Sexual Harassment”) and “Retaliation” are defined as follows.

Bullying is the ongoing abuse and intentional mistreatment of one or more vulnerable persons or groups by a more powerful individual or group. Bullying consists of repeated verbal (name-calling, verbal attacks), physical (use of physical force or aggression) and/or social behavior (ostracism, exclusion, spreading rumors) that causes physical or psychological harm. Being “more powerful” may include being physically bigger or stronger, having more social status or having influence over someone’s employment or professional advancement

Discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of categories of people based on personal attributes such as race, sex, age, color, sexual orientation, body size, ethnic or national origin, disability, religion, marital status, veteran status, political affiliation or other attributes not related to the merit of one’s work or scientific research or ideas.

Harassment consists of unwanted, unwelcomed and uninvited behavior that demeans, threatens or offends another and results in a hostile environment. Harassing behavior includes, but is not limited to, the use of epithets, derogatory comments or slurs, assault, stalking, impeding or blocking movement, threats of violence, offensive touching, any physical interference with normal work or movement and visual insults, such as derogatory images, posters or cartoons. Harassment is often (but not always) based upon personal attributes such as race, sex, age, gender, color, sexual orientation, body size, ethnic or national origin and disability.

Sexual harassment consists of harassing behavior based upon sex, gender or sexual orientation. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors (often accompanied by overt or implied promises or threats relating to employment, professional advancement or recognition), lewd comments or images or other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature where such conduct creates an unreasonable, intimidating, hostile or sexually offensive environment and may interfere with the target’s professional performance.

Retaliation consists of negative action or treatment toward someone who has reported bullying, discrimination or harassment based upon such report. Retaliation may include terminating or demoting a reporting employee, excluding a reporting individual from work or professional activities, injuring a reporting individual’s professional or personal reputation or unjustly demeaning a reporting individual’s work. Retaliation can be used as a method of bullying or harassment, but more importantly retaliation creates an environment that discourages victims and bystanders from reporting offensive behavior.

What happens if I report an incident?

Upon receiving a report of misconduct, Candela will conduct a prompt, thorough investigation, which will include speaking with all parties with knowledge of the incident, including the reporting individual, the alleged victim (if different from the reporting individual), any known witnesses , and the alleged offender. Candela may seek other legal or professional counsel as needed prior to recommending a decision and any follow-up actions to Candela’s Management Board or Candela’s Foundation Council. Candela may consult with the alleged victim and/or the reporting individual prior to taking any action. If Candela finds that a violation of this policy has occurred, Candela may take any disciplinary action it deems appropriate which may include suspension or ejection from a Candela activity or event without refund or recompense. Serious or repeated offenses may result in more significant consequences, such as being banned from participation in future Candela events, contacting the violator’s employer, filing a report with law enforcement, etc., if applicable.


This Code of Conduct is heavily based on the Optica’s Anti-Harassment Policy and Code of Conduct.