UH Systemwide Policies and Procedures: EP 1.204- Interim Policy and Procedure on Sex Discrimination and Gender-Based Violence

Relevant excerpt

Sexual Harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: … When such conduct is unwelcome to the person to whom it is directed or to others directly aware of it, and when such conduct is:
a.  severe or pervasive; and
b.  has the purpose or effect of either:
(1)  unreasonably interfering with the employee’s work performance or student’s academic performance, or
(2)  creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment.

The conduct must be both objectively and subjectively perceived as offensive.  That is, the reporting party must view the conduct as offensive, and a reasonable person with the same fundamental characteristics as the reporting party (e.g., age, race, gender) must also view the conduct as offensive.

The following are examples of behavior that can constitute hostile environment sexual harassment if unwelcome and persistent, pervasive, or severe:

  • sexually offensive jokes or ridicule of a person’s sexuality, sexual orientation or gender identity
  • remarks of a sexual nature about a person’s clothing or body
  • remarks about sexual activity or speculations about previous sexual experiences
  • unnecessary and unwanted touching, patting, hugging, or brushing  against a person’s clothing or body
  • pressure for sexual activity, an element of which may be nonverbal conduct, such as repeated and unwanted staring or sexually suggestive gestures
  • displays of offensive objects or pictures, including  the use of electronic technology to send derogatory, demeaning, threatening, or hostile materials based on sex
  • requests for sexual favors accompanied by direct or implied rewards or threats
  • taking, sending, or sharing photos, videos, or audio recordings of sexual activity without the person’s consent, regardless of whether the sexual activity itself was consensual
  • intimidation, threats of harm, or actual assaults against a person based on their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity
  • sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking

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