University Policies: General Policies- Rice University Policy on Harassment and Sexual Misconduct

Relevant excerpt

Harassment.  Harassment is unwelcome conduct (whether physical, verbal, written, or via technology) that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, genetic information, ancestry, age, disability, veteran status, or other protected categories under the law. Moreover, harassing behavior not based on any of the above discriminatory factors that creates a hostile educational or workplace environment also is unacceptable and subject to corrective action.

Harassment has the purpose or potential effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or educational participation. Harassment violates this policy and is subject to disciplinary action when 1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continuing in or receiving benefits in one’s employment or educational program, or 2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work or educational environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.

Sexual Harassment.  Sexual harassment is a particular form of harassment that constitutes illegal employment discrimination or educational discrimination under Federal and State law. It encompasses unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical behavior of a sexual or gendered nature. It can include such behaviors as unwanted touching or unwelcome conduct (whether physical, verbal, written, or via technology) of a sexual or gendered nature. Sexual harassment occurs when:… such conduct is reasonably regarded as offensive and has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s work performance or educational participation, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational or working environment.

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