Rights and Responsibilities Handbook: Section 3. Harassment, Discrimination, Sexual Violence- Prohibited Conduct

Brandeis University

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Harassment Based on a Protected Category (harassment) occurs when there is unwelcome or unwanted verbal or physical conduct which is objectively offensive and severe, persistent, or pervasive and is directed at an individual based on their membership in one (or more) Protected Categories. Protected Categories include race, color, national origin/ethnicity, caste, sex (which includes pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, including transgender identity, religion, disability, age, genetics, active military or veteran status and any other characteristics protected under applicable federal or state law. Harassment can include objectively offensive conduct that can be physical, verbal, non-verbal, and/or visual in nature. Harassment can include things such as jokes, slurs, epithets, name-calling, threats, intimidation, ridicule, mockery, insults, put-downs, unwanted touching, offensive objects or pictures, or other conduct that may be humiliating or that interferes with a person’s education or work environment. Typically single, isolated incidents will often not be enough to rise to the level of harassment. The conduct is harassment when it is objectively offensive and severe, pervasive, or persistent to a reasonable person and interferes with an individual's education or work environment or their participation in University programs or activities by creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment. Harassment that is not based on a protected category would be addressed in Section 2.10.c.