Guidelines for Sexual Harassment, Sexual Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct

Category: Harassment Policies School: University of Massachusetts at Lowell Statement Rating: Green Last updated: January 17, 2018

Relevant excerpt

Sexual Harassment that rises to an actionable level is:

• Gender-based or sexual verbal or physical conduct that is,

• unwelcome and/or without consent,

• considered to be sufficiently offensive in terms of severity, persistence, or pervasiveness, both to a reasonable person and the person impacted, that it,

• has the effect of unreasonably or substantially interfering with, or of depriving someone of access to, the terms, conditions, privileges, benefits, or opportunities of the University’s education, employment, or programs or activities, regardless of whether it occurs on or off campus.

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 upon the totality of the circumstances including the severity of the conduct, its persistence, and its pervasiveness:

  • Sexual emails;
  • Sexting, or sexual messages or images posted on social media, for example, texts, instant messages, Facebook posts, Tweets, Snapchat, Instagram, blog entries
  • Physical contact such as patting, pinching, or purposely rubbing up against another’s body
  • Unwelcome sexual advances — whether they involve physical touching or not;
  • Sexual “kidding,” epithets, jokes, written or verbal references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one’s sex life; comment on an individual’s body, comment about an individual’s sexual activity, deficiencies, or prowess;
  • Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons;
  • Unwelcome leering, whistling, brushing against the body, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments;
  • Inquiries into one’s sexual experiences; and,
  • Discussion of one’s sexual activities.

Download full policy