Office for Equal Opportunity: Sex and Gender Based Harassment and Discrimination

Relevant excerpt

Discrimination, on the basis of sex and/or gender, is prohibited by WSU Executive Policy #15 (EP15). Discrimination in all its forms, including harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct, destroys mutual respect and a trusting environment, can bring substantial personal harm to individuals, and violates individual rights. Such behaviors are prohibited and not tolerated at WSU.

Sex, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity/expression are protected classes. WSU prohibits discrimination on the basis of a protected class.  Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination and is prohibited by EP 15.  Sexual harassment includes improper conduct toward a particular individual, individuals, or groups on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity/expression that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it has the purpose or effect of:

  • Creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment; or
  • Unreasonably interfering with work, academic performance, living environment, personal security, or participation in any WSU activity.

Examples include, but are not limited to, sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive:

    • Physical assault
    • Direct or implied threats that submission to sexual advances will be a condition of employment, work status, promotion, grades, work references, or letters of recommendation
    • Sexual behavior that is unwelcome.  Such behavior may include, but is not limited to, the following:
      • Comments of a sexual nature
      • Sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes
      • Unnecessary or undesirable physical contact
      • Unwanted, offensive, and/or uninvited comments about another’s physical appearance
      • Display of pictures with sexual content
      • Persistent, unwanted attempts to change a professional relationship to an amorous relationship
      • Subtle propositions for sexual activity or direct propositions of a sexual nature
      • Uninvited letters, emails, telephone calls, or other correspondence referring to or depicting sexual activities
      • Any of the above carried out via the Internet or social media (“cyber harassment”)

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