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Human Resource Management

Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace and Learning Environment

Revised: October 27, 2017

Introduction

The purpose of this training is to raise awareness among our faculty, staff and students regarding their responsibility in preventing sexual harassment in the workplace and learning environment.

Sexual harassment training is based on LSUHSC Chancellor’s Memorandum 49 (CM-49) - Sexual Harassment/Gender Discrimination.

The Louisiana legislature requires annual sexual harassment training for employees. The federal Campus SaVE Act requires ongoing sexual harassment training for all faculty, staff and students.

Preventing Harassment is EVERYONE’s responsibility!!!

Why is Preventing Sexual Harassment Important?

Negative Effects of Sexual Harassment

Training Objectives

After completing this module, you will be able to:

LSUHSC-NO’s Responsibilities

Employee and Student Responsibilities

What is Sexual Harassment?

CM-49 defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, verbal or other expressive behaviors, or physical conduct commonly understood to be of a sexual nature, when:

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination that violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The EEOC is the federal agency responsible for enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws in the workplace.

Who Can Be Involved in Sexual Harassment?

While sexual harassment is most often thought of as a supervisor harassing an employee, harassment can occur in other circumstances such as:

There is No Typical Harasser

Sexual Harassment CAN involve ANYONE! Including, but not limited to the following:

How Do You Know if a Situation Constitutes Sexual Harassment?

Distinguishing Between Sexual Harassment and Friendly Behavior

If the behavior is perceived as unwelcome, it is no longer friendly behavior.

Any behavior that makes another person feel uncomfortable or offended may be considered sexual harassment.

When in doubt about the appropriateness of a particular behavior, don’t do it!

What Behavior Constitutes Sexual Harassment?

The harasser’s intent is irrelevant when evaluating his or her conduct.

Many people accused of sexually harassing another defend their behavior by saying he/she were “only joking” and did not mean anything by it. Courts have said that whether the harasser was just joking or not is no defense for sexual harassment. It is not the harasser’s intent that is important, but the effect of the harassment on the victim.

The U.S. Supreme Court determined the conduct is sexual harassment if a reasonable person with victim’s perspective considers it so.

How Can I Tell If My Behavior Is Inappropriate?

Ask yourself:

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, the chances of the behavior being considered sexual harassment is very high, if you have to ask, it is better not to do it.

Sexual Harassment is NOT

Types of Sexual Harassment

Quid Pro Quo Harassment

"Quid pro quo" is a Latin phrase which means "this for that".

Quid pro quo harassment occurs when someone experiences pressure to consent to sexual activity from a person with power in exchange for:

Devin

Meet Devin

Devin is an administrative coordinator and missed an important deadline for sending a report to Camille, a director in another department. When Devin spoke to Camille to explain about the missed deadline, Camille tells him she’ll complain to his boss and get him in trouble unless he takes her out for a dinner date and specifies an expensive restaurant. Devin is not interested in a romantic relationship with Camille but is anxious about the effect refusing her request might have on his career. Could Camille’s conduct be sexual harassment? Hover your mouse over or tap your finger on the box below to see the right answer. (Tap on any picture to make the answer disappear.)

YES

This could be quid pro quo sexual harassment.

NO

I’m sure Camille was just joking.

Ashley

This is Ashley

Ashley is a first year medical student applying for an internship. She asked her Faculty Advisor, Dr. Bond to write a letter of recommendation. He told her that he would be more than happy to write a glowing recommendation as long as she agreed to go on a romantic date with him. When Ashley refused Dr. Bond’s sexual advances, he told her that he wasn’t sure if he could write the letter. Could Dr. Bond’s behavior be considered sexual harassment? Hover your mouse over or tap your finger on the box below to see the right answer. (Tap on any picture to make the answer disappear.)

YES

This is an example of quid pro quo sexual harassment.

NO

This is not sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can only happen to employees of the university.

Chelsea

Meet Chelsea

Chelsea had an error on a report she submitted to her boss, Dr. Peter Davison. During a routine staff meeting, he criticized her about the error in the presence of others. Dr. Davison often criticizes his employees in public. Could Dr. Davison’s actions be considered sexual harassment? Hover your mouse over or tap your finger on the box below to see the right answer. (Tap on any picture to make the answer disappear.)

YES

His actions may be sexual harassment.

NO

His actions are not sexual harassment.

Same Sex Harassment

Same Sex Harassment is a male harassing another male or female harassing another female. In 1998, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that same-sex harassment is illegal and will not be tolerated.

Sara Jane

This is Sara Jane

Sara Jane is in a master’s program at the University. Amelia is another student in the same program. Recently, Amelia has become a lot more forward in her interactions with Sara Jane. During lectures, Amelia will sit behind Sara Jane and stroke her back and hair. Amelia has frequently sent Sara Jane text messages proposing a more intimate relationship with very revealing pictures of herself. Despite the fact that Sara Jane has told Amelia on numerous occasions that she already has a girlfriend and is not interested in that kind of relationship with Amelia, Amelia persists in these actions. Could Amelia’s actions be considered sexual harassment? Hover your mouse over or tap your finger on the box below to see the right answer. (Tap on any picture to make the answer disappear.)

YES

Amelia’s behavior could be considered sexual harassment.

NO

Amelia is just looking to take her friendship to the next level.

Gender Stereotyping

Gender stereotyping is the concept that certain jobs or roles must be performed by persons of a certain gender (e.g. only women should be nurses, only men can be doctors).

You can avoid gender stereotyping discrimination by not judging others or making comments or slurs based on arbitrary stereotypes or standards of “masculinity” or “femininity” in the workplace or learning environment.

Alice

Meet Alice

Alice is a heavy equipment operator. She enjoys her job, including the physical work. Some of Alice’s co-workers tease her by telling her that she is not a “real woman” because she likes physical labor and works in a field dominated by men. Sometimes, her co-workers don’t let her perform some of the work tasks, telling her that she’s not strong enough, or that the works is “men’s work.” Could Alice be experiencing sexual harassment from her co-workers? Hover your mouse over or tap your finger on the box below to see the right answer. (Tap on any picture to make the answer disappear.)

YES

Alice’s co-workers telling her that she is not a “real woman” is considered gender stereotyping discrimination.

NO

This is not sexual harassment. Alice’s co-workers have done nothing wrong, they are just joking around.

Third Party Sexual Harassment

Third Party sexual harassment occurs when someone is affected by harassing behavior even if the behavior or harassment was meant for someone else. You can avoid third party harassment by:

If in doubt, don't do it.

Shelly Tegan and Lucy

Meet Shelly, began and Lucy

The three all share a common work area. Shelly and began discuss every man they encounter, commenting on their physical appearance and speculating about their sexuality. Although they pretend to keep their comments to themselves, they are often loud and overheard by Lucy, who finds their conversations offensive. Lucy has asked the pair several times to not hold these types of discussions in the work area. Shelly and began just laugh and tell Lucy to mind her own business. Could began and Shelly’s conversations be considered sexual harassment? Hover your mouse over or tap your finger on the box below to see the right answer. (Tap on any picture to make the answer disappear.)

YES

Shelly and began continue to engage in these conversations where others who may be offended by them can hear.

NO

The conversations are between Shelly and began. Lucy is just nosy.

Non-Employee Harassment

Non-employee harassment occurs when the harassment is committed by someone who is not an employee of the university. For example, harassment by vendors, contracting entities, patients or visitors is NOT excusable behavior. Harassment on the job by a non-employee CAN lead to sexual harassment charges, just as sexual harassment by an employee would, e.g. a patient making unwanted sexual advances or derogatory comments to a medical student providing care.

Rose

This is Rose

Rose is a nurse in one of the university's clinics. One of the patients who is seen regularly in the clinic makes unwelcome sexual comments to Rose, insisting that she "run away" with him, that he was "visualizing her naked" and suggesting that she have sex with him. These comments have been made both in person when the patient was in the clinic and over the phone. The patient continues to make the comments despite the fact that Rose emphatically tells him that such comments are inappropriate and unwelcome. Could patient's actions be considered sexual harassment? Hover your mouse over or tap your finger on the box below to see the right answer. (Tap on any picture to make the answer disappear.)

YES

This could be non-employee sexual harassment.

NO

Sexual harassment can only be committed by one employee against another.

Retaliation

Retaliation is an adverse action (e.g. demotion, unsatisfactory evaluation) taken against an individual for complaining about sexual harassment.

Retaliating against an employee or student for reporting actions that violate federal and state laws and regulations and/or university policy is illegal under federal law and prohibited by CM-53-section E. Whistle blower/Non-Retaliation policy.

Brian

Meet Brian

Brian’s supervisor called him into her office, and told him that if he wanted a raise this year, he should plan to spend the night with her. Brian refused, and filed a complaint with Human Resources. One week after Brian filed a sexual harassment complaint, Brian’s boss told him he was going to be demoted. She said the reason would state that he was insubordinate, but that Brian knew the real reason he was being demoted. Could Brian be experiencing retaliation? Hover your mouse over or tap your finger on the box below to see the right answer. (Tap on any picture to make the answer disappear.)

YES

It appears Brian’s supervisor may be punishing him for his complaint of sexual harassment.

NO

There is no evidence to suggest Brian’s supervisor is retaliating against him.

What if I am a Victim of Sexual Harassment?

What if I am a Witness of Sexual Harassment?

If you witness harassment occurring, you have both the right and the responsibility to report the harassment. You should follow the same steps as discussed above for sexual harassment victims.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible. Supervisors and others in the chain of command may need to be informed in order to take appropriate action.

DO NOT discuss sexual harassment complaints or investigations with those in the workplace who do not need to know.

LSUHSC-NO Policy

LSUHSC-NO does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, sex, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, or veteran's status in its programs and activities and provides equal access to its programs and activities.

Sexual harassment of any kind will not be tolerated. Any accusation(s) of sexual harassment, which are found to be valid, may subject the harassing individual(s) involved to either severe disciplinary action or termination of employment or enrollment.

Important Things to Remember

Sexual Harassment Laws & Regulations

University Policies and Procedures

LSU Publications

Getting Help

If you have any questions, please contact Human Resource Management by:

Or, LSUHSC-NO's Title IX Coordinator: