Sexual Harassment

Purpose: To stress the University's strong opposition to sexual harassment and identify the complaint procedure available to victims, as well as the disciplinary penalties that could be imposed for sexually harassing conduct or behavior by supervisory personnel, co-workers, or visitors.

Actions which may be considered sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, physical assaults or attempts to commit these assaults; intentional physical contact that is sexual in nature, such as touching, patting, pinching, or brushing up against another employee's body; unwanted sexual advances, propositions or sexual comments; posting or displaying pictures, posters, calendars, graffiti, objects, or other material that is sexual in nature or pornographic.

  1. No member of the University community shall engage in sexual harassment, which includes but is not limited to: verbal or non-verbal conduct with an inappropriate focus on gender or sexual history, characteristics, or preferences that is intimidating, demeaning, hostile, or offensive; unwelcome verbal or physical advances; attempts to subject a person to unwanted sexual attention or to coerce a person into a sexual relationship; or retaliation for a refusal to comply with sexual demands.
  2. The University and the court system recognize two (2) categories of sexual harassment.
    1. Quid pro quo (this for that), in which an employee suffers a tangible job detriment in retaliation for refusing to submit to sexual demands.
    2. Hostile work environment, in which the employee suffers no tangile employment detriment but where the unwelcome conduct is sufficiently pervasive or severe to unreasonably interfere with work performance or create a work atmosphere that is offensive or abusive.
  3. Any employee who believes that he or she is or has been the subject of sexual harassment or is aware of such conduct should report the charge immediately, in accordance with the established procedure. All information will be held in strictest confidence and will be disclosed only on a need-to-know basis to investigate and resolve the matter. Intentional misrepresentation can lead to disciplinary actions, up to and including termination.
  4. University personnel are expected to avoid or to recuse themselves from any situation which requires them to evaluate an employee or student with whom they have a relationship which could make their evaluations suspect because such behavior may constitute an abuse or misuse of power, station, rank or influence.
  5. A violation of this policy can lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
  6. Each supervisor has a responsibility to maintain a workplace free of sexual harassment. This duty includes discussing this policy with all employees and assuring them that they are not to endure insulting, degrading, or exploitive treatment.
  7. It is unlawful to retaliate against an employee who has filed a complaint of sexual harassment.

Procedure:

  1. A complaint relating to sexual harassment may be filed with the Affirmative Action Coordinator/Compliance Officer or with the Director of Personnel Relations.
  2. The complaint must be filed within 180 days of the most recent act.
  3. A thorough investigation will be conducted and appropriate action taken.
  4. The disciplinary determination, up to and including termination, will be based on the facts on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, the Staff Grievance and Appeal process may be used to grieve or appeal actions of this nature.

Last modified on Wednesday, 15-May-2002 16:15:16 CDT.

Department of Mathematics and Statistics
ILB 325
University of South Alabama
411 University Blvd North
Mobile, AL 36688-0002
phone: (251) 460-6264 (voice), (251) 460-7969 (fax)
dept e-mail:
current page:
http://www.southalabama.edu/mathstat/info/from_chair/sexual_harassment.shtml

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