Office of Institutional Diversity: Sexual Harassment Policy 13-14

Category: Harassment Policies School: Brown University Statement Rating: Yellow

Relevant excerpt

Sexual harassment may involve the behavior of a person of either sex against a person of the opposite or same sex, and occurs when such behavior constitutes unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other unwelcome verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature where: … Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s welfare, academic or work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, offensive education or work environment.

Examples of the kinds of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
1. Unwelcome sexual propositions, invitations, solicitations, and flirtations. …
3. Unwelcome verbal expressions of a sexual nature, including graphic sexual commentaries about a person’s body, dress, appearance, or sexual activities; the unwelcome use of sexually degrading language, jokes or innuendoes; unwelcome suggestive or insulting sounds or whistles; obscene phone calls.
4. Sexually suggestive objects, pictures, videotapes, audio recordings, computer communications, or literature placed in the work or study area, that may embarrass or offend individuals.

Important: Sexual Harassment need not be intentional. Under Brown’s sexual harassment policies, the intent of the person who is alleged to have behaved improperly is not relevant to determining whether a violation of Brown’s policy has occurred. The relevant determination is whether a reasonable person could have interpreted the alleged behavior to be sexual.

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