Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic status;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual influences employment or academic status decisions affecting that individual; or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual's work, academic performance, student life or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work, academic, or student life environment.

While sexual harassment encompasses a wide range of conduct that may be verbal, visual, or physical in nature, specifically prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • Promising, directly or indirectly, a student, employee or other person a reward, if the student or employee complies with a sexually oriented request.
  • Threatening, directly or indirectly, retaliation against a student, an employee or another person, if the student, employee or another person refuses to comply with a sexually oriented request.
  • Denying, directly or indirectly, a student or employee an employment or education related opportunity, if the student or employee refuses to comply with a sexually oriented request.
  • Engaging in sexually suggestive conversation.
  • Displaying pornographic or sexually oriented materials.
  • Engaging in indecent exposure.
  • Making sexual or romantic advances toward a student, employee or another person and persisting despite the student's, employee's or other person's rejection of the advances.
  • Physical conduct such as assault, touching, or blocking normal movement.
  • Retaliation for making reports of harassment or threatening to report harassment.

More subtle forms of inappropriate behavior such as offensive posters, cartoons, caricatures, comments, and jokes of a sexual nature are prohibited, as they may constitute sexual harassment when they contribute to a hostile or offensive work, academic, or student life environment.

Sexual harassment can involve males or females being harassed by members of either sex. Although sexual harassment sometimes involves a person in a greater position of authority as the harasser, individuals in positions of lesser or equal authority also can be found responsible for engaging in prohibited harassment.

Sexual harassment can be physical and/or psychological in nature. An aggregation of a series of incidents can constitute sexual harassment even if one of the incidents considered separately would not rise to the level of harassment.