Environmental Sexual Harassment – Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute “environmental sexual harassment” when such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment which unreasonably interferes with another’s work, academic performance or privacy. Environmental harassment can inflict emotional and psychological harm on individuals and can make relationships and the work or study environment unpleasant, threatening and unproductive. However, there is no requirement that evidence of actual emotional or physiological harm be shown in order for environmental sexual harassment to be found to have occurred.
In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment as defined in the policy, the record as a whole will be considered as well as the context in which the conduct occurred. “Environmental sexual harassment” normally arises from a repeated or pervasive course of conduct, whereas “bargained-for sexual harassment” can be based on a single act.