Discrimination and harassment are prohibited on the basis of a person’s sex. For example, if a woman applied for a job on campus and was deemed the most qualified, yet was not hired because the hiring official was more comfortable working with men, the woman would have been discriminated against on the basis of her sex. Sex discrimination can occur when persons are excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, any University program or activity because of their sex.

Marital or Family Status

The prohibition on sex discrimination also covers discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. Also prohibited as sex discrimination is any act which is based on parental, family, or marital status and which is applied differently based on sex. For example, it would be discriminatory to refuse to hire a woman who has children to work the night shift, while hiring men with children and childless women.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. The harasser may be male or female, and could be a supervisor, instructor, co-worker, student, or someone outside the university. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical, verbal, graphic or written conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when it is sufficiently severe, pervasive or persistent so as to:

  1. interfere with or limit the ability of an individual to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs and activities or
  2. unreasonably interfere with an individual’s work or academic performance by creating an objectively intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment.

Whether the harassing conduct is considered severe, persistent or pervasive depends upon the context in which the behavior occurred. More information on sexual harassment.

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