Office for University Equity and Compliance: Policy on Sexual Harassment

Category: Harassment Policies School: Northeastern University Statement Rating: Yellow Last updated: November 6, 2017

Relevant excerpt

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature is sexual harassment when: … Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or educational performance by creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for that individual’s employment, education, benefits, housing, or participation in a University activity.

The legal definition of sexual harassment is broad and in addition to the above examples other sexually oriented conduct, whether it is intended or not, that is unwelcome and has the effect of creating a workplace environment that is hostile, offensive, intimidating, or humiliating to male or female workers may also constitute sexual harassment. While it is not possible to list all those additional circumstances that may constitute sexual harassment, the following are some examples of conduct which, if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment depending on the totality of the circumstances. This list is not intended to be exhaustive:

Unwelcome sexual advances – whether they involve physical touching or not;

Sexual epithets, jokes, written or oral references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one’s sex life;

Comment on an individual’s body, sexual activity, deficiencies or prowess;

Communicating by any electronic means or displaying sexually suggestive objects, statements, pictures, cartoons;

Unwelcome leering, whistling, brushing against the body, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments.

Download full policy