Sexual Harassment

Definition

Sexual harassment is defined as sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (1) submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic experience; or (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for any employment or academic decision; or (3) the conduct is unwelcome and sufficiently severe or pervasive that it has the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

Ask Yourself

  • Have you been offered better grades in exchange for sexual favors?
  • Have you felt singled out or belittled in class because of gender?
  • Has a supervisor or teacher touched you in a way that made you uncomfortable?
  • Are sexually offensive language or jokes used in your work place?

If you answered yes, you may be a victim of sexual harassment. There is help and support.

Retaliatory Actions

Sexual harassment complaints often heighten feelings of distress and engender adversarial attitudes. Under these conditions, any interaction between parties in a grievance may be perceived as retaliatory or motivated by ill will. University administrative rules prohibit retaliatory actions against individuals in response to filing sexual harassment grievances or participating in any manner in an investigation. A claim that a detrimental action is retaliatory is established by proof that  (1) the complaining party participated in any manner in a sexual harassment grievance or investigation; (2) retaliation occurred; and (3) there was a causal connection between participation in the grievance or investigation and the retaliation.

Information & Support

For information, confidential support and referral please contact the Office of Affirmative Action & Equal Opportunity by phone 503 494-5148 or .