Institute Policy on Unlawful Harassment

Relevant excerpt

Harassment is a form of misconduct that includes unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct which results in a person feeling intimidated, threatened, humiliated or demeaned, and is likely to interfere with an individual’s work or education, or adversely affects an individual’s living conditions.

Conduct becomes unlawful harassment when 1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or 2) the conduct is enough to create a work or academic environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive. … Petty slights and annoyances will not rise to the level of illegality.

Offensive conduct may include, but is not limited to, offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures, and interference with work or academic performance.

Some kinds of behavior that are clearly intended to harass, while inappropriate and not tolerated at Caltech, may not be unlawful. These types of behavior may be dealt with for students through the student disciplinary process and for employees through supervisory intervention, including the disciplinary process.

The following are examples of behaviors that may constitute harassment: … A student tells racially offensive jokes within a study group session with other students.

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