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Practical definition of sexual harassment
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Practical definition of sexual harassment

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NOTE:  The Office of Equal Opportunity transitioned to the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Access effective July 1, 2013 and the website is located at: murraystate.edu/idea.  All references within campuswide documents to the Office of Equal Opportunity should be considered analogous to the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Access.

 

The Practical Definition of Sexual Harassment

In practical terms, there are two kinds of sexual harassment which may generally be described as follows:

Quid Pro Quo: In which employment or educational decisions or expectations (e.g., hiring decisions, promotions, salary increases, shift or work assignments, performance expectations, grades) are based on employee's/students' submission to unwelcome sexual advances. Examples of quid pro quo harassment:

  • Demanding sexual favors in exchange for a promotion, raise, or grade
  • Disciplining or firing a subordinate/student because of a romantic relationship
  • Changing performance expectations/grades after a subordinate/student refuses repeated requests for a date

Hostile Environment: In which verbal or non-verbal behavior in the workplace or academic environment

  1.  Focuses on the sexuality of another person or occurs because of the person's gender;
  2. Is unwanted or unwelcomed; and
  3. Is severe or pervasive enough to affect the person's work/academic environment

The following are examples that can create a hostile environment if unwanted, uninvited, and pervasive:

  • Off-color jokes or teasing
  • Comments about body parts or sex life
  • Suggestive pictures, posters, calendars or cartoons
  • Leering, stares, or inappropriate gestures
  • Repeated requests for dates
  • Excessive attention in the form of love letters, telephone calls, text messages, or gifts
  • Touching-brushes, pats, hugs, shoulder rubs or pinches

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