Why are we concerned with sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is prohibited by federal and state law and by Cleveland State University policy. It creates an unacceptable educational and working environment and hurts individuals emotionally and physically. Sexual harassment is morally and ethically reprehensible and, in most cases, it is a misuse of power.
What type of conduct may be involved in sexual harassment?
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature OR relating to a personís gender.
When does unwelcome sexual or gender-related conduct become sexual/gender harassment?
When submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individualís employment or academic performance OR when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a personís work or academic performance OR creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment.
Who is protected from sexual/gender harassment?
All individuals are protected from sexual/gender harassment. CSUís non-discrimination policy also specifically includes sexual orientation as a protected category. Thus, harassment on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited.
In what type of situations can sexual/gender harassment occur?
The law recognizes that sexual harassment may occur between individuals of the opposite sex or between individuals of the same sex. Sexual harassment most commonly occurs in situations where there is a power relationship such as supervisor/supervisee and teacher/student. It also occurs in situations involving co-workers or between students.
How does one determine that sexual/gender harassment has occurred?
In order to determine whether sexual/gender harassment has occurred, it is necessary to look at the totality of circumstances using a reasonable person standard. Facts to take into account include, among others, context, location,
frequency of conduct, presence of a pattern, presence of physical threats and degree of interference. The conduct must be both objectively and subjectively offensive.
What should I do in cases of sexual/gender harassment?
Report it to the Office for Institutional Equity as soon as possible (Administration Center, Room 236 or call 687.2223). If it is within your control/authority to stop the conduct, do so immediately. If you are not sure that a particular situation amounts to harassment, call the Office for Institutional Equity for advice. The university has the obligation to respond to complaints of sexual harassment promptly and appropriately and it is in the best interests of all involved to deal with occurrences of sexual harassment as soon as possible.
If a person complains about sexual/gender harassment, what protection does the person have against the harassing party?
Retaliation is prohibited by law. Thus, the University will take appropriate action to prevent retaliation and to insure that the complainant is protected from further harm.
If a complaint of unlawful harassment is brought against me, what can happen to me?
A fair and impartial investigation will be conducted by the Office for Institutional Equity under established University policies. If the allegations are substantiated and the conduct amounts to unlawful harassment, appropriate discipline will be imposed pursuant to the university disciplinary procedures. Under certain circumstances, external to the university, you may be liable for monetary damages.
Is sexual/gender harassment the only type of harassment prohibited by law or university policy?
No. Harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, genetic information, disability and veteran status is also prohibited by law. Harassment on the basis of sexual orientation is also prohibited by Cleveland State University policy.