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Prohibiting Sexual Harassment Policy

(Approved by President Turner on June 16, 1998)

Introduction

Sexual harassment threatens the well being of the entire institution and is a deterrent to a conducive learning environment. The University of Baltimore will not tolerate sexual harassment, which is both illegal and a form of gender discrimination. Sexual harassment by University of Baltimore faculty, students, staff, volunteers, and contractors is expressly prohibited. With this policy in place, the University places its community on notice that sexual harassment within the University workplace and within University educational programs will not be condoned and will not be allowed to interfere with the mission of the University of Baltimore. Persons found to be in violation of this Policy will be subject to disciplinary action and/or other appropriate sanctions. Sexual harassment undermines the University's mission, weakens the dignity of both harasser and victim and may threaten the careers, educational experience, and well being of students, faculty and staff.

While the University is mindful of the principles of academic freedom and is committed to protecting the expressions of ideas, the University will not tolerate conduct which is unprofessional or discriminatory.

The University can prevent sexual harassment in its workplace and educational programs only if the members of its community are willing to come forward with complaints. Therefore, every employee of the University of Baltimore has an affirmative duty to immediately report to the Associate Director of Human Resources for Affirmative Action any behavior, which he or she believes is in violation of this Policy. Additionally, students and volunteers are strongly encouraged to forward all complaints of sexual harassment to the Associate Director of Human Resources for Affirmative Action.

Policy prohibiting sexual harassment

The University of Baltimore prohibits sexual harassment in the University's work place and educational programs. Sexual harassment by University faculty, staff, students, volunteers and contractors is expressly prohibited. The University is committed to cultivating and maintaining a work place and educational environment that reflects respect for the dignity of each member of its community, and is free of sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment is a form of illegal gender discrimination, and is always a serious issue. Sexual harassment between faculty and students or subordinates exploits the unequal power structure inherent in these professional relationships and will not be tolerated by the University. Sexual harassment may occur between people of the same or different genders.

In order to deter sexual harassment at the University of Baltimore and to impose sanctions when it occurs, this policy is in effect. In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment, the University of Baltimore will look at the records as a whole and at the totality of the circumstances, such as the nature of the sexual advances and context in which the alleged incidents occurred. The determination of the legality of a particular action will be made from all of the facts, on a case by case basis. In assessing whether a particular act constitutes sexual harassment prohibited under this Policy, the standard shall be the perspective of a reasonable person with the University of Baltimore Community. The rules of common sense and reason shall prevail.

Sanctions against University faculty and staff for sexual harassment may range from reprimand to termination, depending on the severity of the conduct and the circumstances of the particular case. Likewise, sanctions against students and volunteers at the University of Baltimore for sexual harassment may include suspension or expulsion from University programs.

For the purpose of this Policy, the University adapts to the academic setting the sexual harassment definitions promulgated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education (OCR). Unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors, and other behavior of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment by the University of Baltimore or an individual's participation in a University of Baltimore program; or
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual; or
  • Such conduct by an employee, by a student, or by a third party is sufficiently severe, persistent or persuasive to:
    • Limit an individual's ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity;
    • Create a hostile or abusive educational environment; or
    • Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance, or of creating an intimidating hostile, or offensive work environment at the University of Baltimore.

Sexual harassment is prohibited by both Sate and Federal laws, and may constitute violations of the criminal and civil laws of Maryland and the United States. Complaints of sexual harassment may be processed internally through the University's formal or informal procedures. Also, complaints may also be processed externally by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Human Relations.

Retaliation by University faculty, staff and students against a person who makes a complaint of sexual harassment is expressly prohibited. If an individual is found to have engaged in retaliation in violation of this policy, he or she will be subject to disciplinary action and possible termination. Any individual who has been a victim of sexual harassment or retaliation shall immediately report such conduct to the Associate Director of Human Resources for Affirmative Action.

Allegations of sexual harassment are extremely serious, with potential for great harm to all persons if ill conceived or without foundation. The University is committed to protecting the rights of the alleged harasser as well as those of the complainant. Therefore, it is also a violation of the Policy for an individual to file an untruthful or bad faith claim of sexual harassment. Members of the University Community should not be discouraged from filing legitimate complaints of sexual harassment. However, an individual found to have filed an untruthful or bad faith complaint is in violation of this Policy and will be subject to disciplinary action and possible termination.

Complaints of sexual harassment or other behavior in violation of this Policy shall be promptly brought to the attention of the University's Associate Director of Human Resources for Affirmative Action. The University's informal and formal procedures for filing complaints of sexual harassment are described in University of Baltimore's Procedures for Filing Complaints of Sexual Harassment. A copy of this document is available in each Departmental Office, as well as in the Office of Human Resources, and on reserve in the University Libraries: Langsdale and Law Library. The University's Associate Director of Human Resources for Affirmative Action is available to answer any and all questions about the University policy and procedures.