Sexual Harassment Policy

The IRLAB Sexual Harassment Policy applies to: faculty, staff, student employees, students, and volunteers. The University administration, faculty, staff, student employees, and volunteers are responsible for assuring that the University maintains an environment for work and study free from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is unlawful and impedes the realization of the University’s mission of distinction in education, scholarship, and service. Sexual harassment violates the dignity of individuals and will not be tolerated. The University community seeks to eliminate sexual harassment through education and by encouraging faculty, staff, student employees, and volunteers to report concerns or complaints. Prompt corrective measures will be taken to stop sexual harassment whenever it occurs.

Policy Guidelines

  1. Definitions
    • Discrimination: Discrimination is the denial or exclusion of an individual or group of individuals from participation in or receiving the benefits of any program or activity of the University. Discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, national origin, age, disability, veteran’s status, genetic information or protected activity (e.g. opposition to prohibited discrimination or participation in the statutory complaint process, etc.) is prohibited. Examples may include exclusion from employment, benefits, or access to academic programs and opportunities.
    • Harassment: In general, harassment is unwelcome verbal or physical conduct, based upon race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, national origin, age, disability, status as a military veteran, genetic information or protected activity (e.g., opposition to prohibited discrimination or participation in the statutory complaint process), that unreasonably interferes with the person’s work or educational performance or creates an intimidating or hostile work or educational environment. Examples may include, but are not limited to, epithets, slurs, jokes or other verbal, graphic or physical conduct.
    • Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature including sexual violence. Sexual violence is defined as sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent (see definition of consent below). A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence and are defined as follows:
      1. Sexual Assault and/or Battery: Any attempted or actual act of nonconsensual sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal intercourse, or any intrusion, however slight, of any part of a person’s body or of any other object into the oral, genital or anal openings of another person’s body. This includes forcible or non-forcible sex offenses under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation:
        1. Rape – The carnal knowledge of a person without the consent of the victim including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacitation;
        2. Fondling – The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification without the consent of the victim including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacitation;
        3. Non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law;
        4. Non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent (In Italy the legal age of statutory consent is 14. However, individuals as young as 13 years old are able to consent to have sex with a partner who is 18 years old or younger.).
      2. Sexual Coercion: The act of using pressure through threats, alcohol or drugs, or force to have sexual contact with someone against his or her will. Persistent attempts to have sexual contact with someone who has already refused is a type of sexual coercion.
      3. Sexual Misconduct: Any other nonconsensual conduct of a sexual nature including but not limited to touching, fondling, kissing, groping, indecent exposure, sex-based cyber-harassment, peeping or other voyeurism, forcing others to view sexual activity, and/or the non-consensual photography, video or audio taping of sexual activity.
      4. Dating/Relationship Violence: Dating/Relationship Violence is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim where the existence of such relationship shall be based on a) the length of the relationship, b) the type of the relationship, and c) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. This includes sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
      5. Domestic Violence: A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by:
        1. A current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
        2. A person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
        3. A person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner.
        4. A person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred; or
        5. Any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.
        6. Stalking: Stalking is defined as a course of conduct1 directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person2 to –
          1. fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or
          2. suffer substantial emotional distress
        7. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature when it meets any of the following:
          • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic status.
          • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual.
          • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for working, learning, or living on campus. Sexual harassment can occur between any individuals associated with the University, e.g., an employee and a supervisor; coworkers; faculty members; a faculty, staff member, or student and a customer, vendor, or contractor; students; or a student and a faculty member.
        8. Examples of Sexual Harassment. Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
          • Some incidents of physical assault.
          • Direct or implied threats that submission to sexual advances will be a condition of employment, work status, promotion, grades, or letters of recommendation.
          • Direct propositions of a sexual nature and/or subtle pressure for sexual activity that is unwanted and unreasonably interferes with a person’s work or academic environment.
          • A pattern of conduct that unreasonably interferes with the work or academic environment (not legitimately related to the subject matter of a course) including:
            1. Sexual comments or inappropriate references to gender.
            2. Sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes regardless of the means of communication (oral, written, electronic, etc.).
            3. Unwanted touching, patting, hugging, brushing against a person’s body, or staring.
            4. Inquiries and commentaries about sexual activity, experience, or orientation.
            5. The display of inappropriate sexually oriented materials in a location where others can view them.