Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature.
This conduct constitutes unlawful sexual harassment when:

  1. Submission to this conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic success;
  2. Submission to or rejection of this conduct is used as the basis for an employment or academic decision; or
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

Sexual harassment refers to behavior that is not welcome, is personally offensive, is debilitating to morale and interferes with academic or work effectiveness. It frequently (though not necessarily) occurs as an abuse of authority where the parties are in an unequal power relationship. Sexual harassment may take different forms. One specific form is the demand for sexual favors. Other forms of harassment can include:

  • Verbal: Sexual innuendoes, suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propositions, implied or explicit threats, and offensive or obscene language.
  • Non-Verbal: Sexually suggestive objects, graffiti, cartoons, posters, calendars, writings, pictures, graphic commentaries, suggestive or insulting sounds, leering, whistling, stalking, staring and making obscene gestures.
  • Physical: Unwanted or unwelcome physical contact, including touching, pinching, grabbing, holding, hugging, kissing, brushing the body, assault and rape.

While sexual harassment usually involves members of the opposite sex, it also includes “same sex harassment,” (i.e., males harassing males and females harassing females).  Sexual harassment may be subtle or overt. Some behavior that is appropriate in a social setting is not appropriate in the workplace or in an academic environment. Regardless of the form it takes, verbal, non-verbal or physical, sexual harassment is inherently destructive, insulting and demeaning to the recipient and will not be tolerated at LMU.