Handbook of Operating Procedures 3-3031: Prohibition of Sexual Assault, Interpersonal Violence, Stalking, Sexual Harassment, and Sex Discrimination

University of Texas at Austin

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Sexual Harassment is unwelcome, sex-based verbal or physical conduct that qualifies as quid pro quo harassment or hostile environment harassment.

(1) Types of Sexual Harassment.

(a) Quid pro quo: An employee of the institution conditioning the provision of University aid, benefit, service or term of employment or educational experience on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct; or

(b) Hostile environment: A hostile environment exists when the conduct is unwelcome and so sufficiently severe, pervasive, and offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to an education program or activity. Equal access is denied when the conduct unreasonably interferes with, limits, or deprives an individual from participating in or benefiting from the University’s education or employment programs and/or activities. The University assesses the totality of the circumstances to determine if these factors are present. Severity determinations consider whether conduct is physically threatening or humiliating, or a mere offensive utterance. Pervasive means frequent. Offensive means conduct that a reasonable person would find hostile or abusive, and the affected individual did perceive it to be hostile or abusive. Conduct must be deemed severe, pervasive, and offensive from both a subjective and an objective perspective. It will be necessary, but not adequate, that the conduct was unwelcome to the individual who was affected.

This type of harassment includes “gender-based harassment,” which is harassment based on an individual’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, or is related to an individual exhibiting what is perceived as a stereotypical characteristic for one’s sex, or for failing to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity, regardless of the actual or perceived sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression of the individual. Gender-based harassment may include acts of aggression, intimidation, or hostility, whether verbal, non-verbal, graphic, physical, or otherwise, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature, when the conditions outlined above, are present.