1: unwelcome conduct of a
sexual nature 2: form of
sex discrimination 3: form
of employee misconduct
4: behavior which
interferes with work or
education of its victims, co-
workers, or fellow students
5: violation of state and
6: violation of rules and
regulations of University of
Florida 7: subjects
students or employees to
disciplinary action up to
and including dismissal or
expulsion 8: behavior
must be reported by
those in sup sory
/&: UNIVERSITY OF
It is an essential goal of the I, t.lier...' of Florida to maintain a
safe and comfortable workplace and academic environment for all
members of the Iiiit erI,,'i community Our policy is clear: sexual
harassment will not be tolerated at the I n. i ,.i and it should not
be ignored. No member of the ci,:.: i:ill community is permitted
to harass any other member or visitor
Sexual harassment is a violation offederal and state laws and
U'niiL-rrtiy riles andpolicy. Sexual harassment may occur in a
'arieh' of ihitmaih..i that c',: ,i,'l'v share : i inappropriate
introduction of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual
favors, or other verbal .,r phl,1 ici conduct of a sexual nature,
where sex would otherwise be irrelevant.
The University of Florida remains deeply committed to our
Policy on Sexual Harassment and I ask all members of the
University in,,: ,,', ,i' to carefully review andfollow this policy I
also invite each ofyou to attend thefrequently presented Sexual
Hiratissnmet Mini-Conferences to learn more about this important
issue. Please join me in supporting our collective effort to keep our
campusfreefrom harassment by complying with both the letter
and the spirit of our policy.
University of Fl ridi
This brochure describes the University ofFlorida'spolicies and
procedures on sexual harassment and amorous or sexual relationships
in the work or educational environment. It is intended to inform the
University community generally about sexual harassment and to assist
sexual harassment victims to understand, in practical terms, what they
can and should do to stop this behavior
f 1 4 INTRODUCTION & TABLE OF CONTENTS
2 4 WHAT IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
2 4 WHEN CAN SEXUAL HARASSMENT OCCUR?
3 4 EXAMPLES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
S 3 4 WHAT You CAN Do ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
4 4 RETALIATION IS PROHIBITED!
5 4 WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR REPORTING SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
5 < RESOLUTION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT PROBLEMS
6 4 WRITING A LETTER TO THE HARASSER
7 4 UNIVERSITY PROCEDURES FOR HANDLING SEXUAL HARASSMENT
7 4 TIMELY COMPLAINT
8 4 REVIEW PROCESS
8 4 SOME IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER
9 4 AMOROUS OR SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS IN THE WORKPLACE OR
10 4 WHERE YOU CAN GO FOR HELP
11 4 APPLICABLE LAWS
11 4 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
12 4 A SPECIAL NOTE TO STUDENTS AND FACULTY
IhimpolKri .u 1hidi. ihe University homepage at: http//wtow.aa.ufl.edu/aaaffact/harass/
WHAT IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
According to the Sex Discrimination Guidelines promulgated by the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment is a form of
?ex discrimin:iiion The guidelines define sexual harassment at 29 C. E R.,
Section 1604.11 as follows:
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or
Ph :,'wl ,ua'dul ,dfa sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
(1) submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term
or condition of an individual's employment or academic performance.
(2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the
basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual, or
job applicant, and between graduate assistant and student.
(3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with
an individual's worker academic performance or creating an intimidating,
hostile or offensive working or educational environment.
The basic premise of the sexual harassment policy is that a sexual element
must not be introduced into what should be a sex-neutral situation causing the
boundaries that normally exist between the professional role and the personal
relationship to become blurred.
WHEN CAN SEXUAL HARASSMENT OCCUR?
Sexual harassment can occur in all types of circumstances and
Between or among individuals of different sexes or of the same sex.
In relationships of unequal power (for example, between supervisor and
employee, faculty member and student, employee and job applicant, and
between graduate assistant and student) including when the person in
the less powerful position harasses a person in a more powerful position
In relationships of equal power (for example, between fellow employees
or fellow students).
EXAMPLES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Sexual harassment can take many forms, but it generally falls into three
categories: verbal, written/pictorial or physical. Defining characteristics of sexual
harassment are that the behavior is unwanted and tends to be repetitive in nature.
Some examples are:
Suggestive or inappropriate communications, notes, letters, e-mail or
other written materials
Suggestive or inappropriate photographs, videos, computer images, slides,
graphics, cartoons or drawings
Sexual innuendo, comments or remarks about a person's clothing, body
Suggestive or insulting sounds
Whistling in a suggestive manner
Humor and jokes about sex that denigrate either gender
Sexual propositions, invitations or pressure for sexual activity
Implied or overt sexual threats
Suggestive or obscene gestures
Patting, pinching or other inappropriate touching or brushing against
Attempted or actual kissing or fondling
Coerced sexual intercourse
Persons who engage in sexual harassment may be subject to civil or criminal
action in addition to University disciplinary action.
WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT
If you are being sexually harassed, remember that it is NOT YOUR FAULT. Be
informed about University policy, procedures and resources for dealing with
sexual harassment. The following list suggests some actions you can take:
Do not ignore sexual harassment; silence may be misunderstood as giv-
If possible, speak up when the incident occurs and tell the perpetrator in a
clear and firm manner to STOP the offensive behavior.
Consider communicating with the harasser by writing a letter detailing
your concerns and asking the person to STOP. (See the guidelines for
letter writing and a sample letter on page 6.)
Keep a written record, noting incidents) as they occur and any witness
who may be present. Keep any physical evidence (notes, letters, etc.) and
anything else that will corroborate your story.
Tell somebody. Talk to a trusted friend or colleague or a counselor.
University employees may also contact the Employee Assistance Re-
ferral Service at your University Personnel Services satellite office in
the following areas:
Health Center 392-3786
Physical Plant 392-2333
Education & General/Auxiliary 392-6615
Report the complaint to an appropriate supervisor or administrator un-
der the procedures described on pages 7-8 of this brochure.
RETALIATION IS PROHIBITED
The University has a strong commitment, as well as a legal obligation, to
maintain its classrooms and workplaces free from sexual harassment Each member
of the University community should support and help implement this policy.
Actions taken in retaliation for filing complaints of sexual harassment are
prohibited rga.irdless of whether the claim of sexual harassment is determined to
be valid or unfounded. If you feel you have suffered from reprisal in any form,
you should report that action to a supervisor or to a University administrator. Any
participant in an active review of a sexual complaint should immediately inform
.he re\ iewrr of the complaint of any retaliation Retaliatory behavior will not be
tolerated and persons who engage in such behavior are subject to disciplinary
action by the University that can result in sanctions up to and including termina-
.i.,n uf employ silent.
Examples of retaliatory actions include, but are not limited to: assigning
inappropriately low grades, giving deflated performance evaluations, employment
termination, punitive scheduling, inappropriately withholding support for
promotion and tenure, assigning inadequate and undesirable space and unde-
served demotion or punitive work assignments.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR REPORTING SEXUAL
The University's policy is to protect all members of the community. The
responsibility for reporting incidents of sexual harassment must rest with all
members of the University community.
Any co-worker or student who has knowledge of sexual harassment is
strongly encouraged to report it promptly.
Employees with supervisory responsibility who have knowledge of sexual
harassment are required to report the matter directly to a University offi-
cial. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action up to and includ-
ing termination from employment
Examples of supervisory employees include:
Administrators and Supervisors (Dean, Director, Chair, Coordinator, Unit
Head, Principal Investigators, etc.)
Faculty (Faculty are required to report when acting in supervisory capaci-
ties or within the faculty-student role.)
Students (Graduate Research and Teaching Assistants, Lab Technicians,
Resident Hall advisors, etc.)
This requirement for reporting incidents of sexual harassment applies to
situations where the relationship between the individuals involves a supervisory
role or responsibility (faculty-student, chair-faculty, foreman-worker, etc.).
Reporting peer-to-peer communication is not mandated.
RESOLUTION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT PROBLEMS
The law and University policy provide sanctions for any employee with
supervisory responsibility who fails to report incidents of sexual harassment. In
addition, there are sanctions for any person who files a false complaint of sexual
harassment or who takes retaliatory action against someone who files a sexual
Sexual harassment problems may be resolved:
1) By the parties themselves
2) By official University procedures:
Through the sexual harassment complaint process
Through grievance procedures
Through administrative hearings
3) By legal processes outside the University involving:
State or federal agencies (e.g., the Florida Commission on Human
Relations and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)
Civil court action
WRITING A LETTER TO THE HARASSER
People often feel powerless when experiencing sexual harassment and are
reluctant to confront the harasser personally. Writing a letter directly to the
harassr is an excellent alternative.
The letter should consist of three parts:
1) A factual account of what happened including details of dates and de-
scription of offending behaviors.
2) A description of how you feel about what occurred including specific
feelings and your personal thoughts and opinions.
3) A statement of what you want to happen next. Most writers want the be-
havior to stop, but if a remedy is necessary, it should be included here.
Mail a copy of the letter to the harasser using registered or certified mail. Be
sure to keep a copy of the letter for yourself. A sample letter follows:
Dear Dr. Jones, DATE
In the past month, you have made several comments to me
regarding my appearance. Last week this occurred in front of
several of the lab assistants, when you made a joke about small
breast size, and then said I didn't have to worry about that. Then
yesterday (June 9th), at the water fountain, you hugged me hard
and pushed yourself against me.
Ifeel increasingly uncomfortable with this unwanted atten-
tion. Ifind that I am trying to avoid you and that lam embar-
rassed when I see you. Yesterday, after your hug, I was so upset that
I had difficulty concentrating on my work.
I would like to keep our relationship strictlyprofessional. I do
not want tlnw to touch me again or to make any more remarks
about my appearance.
UNIVERSITY PROCEDURES FOR HANDLING SEXUAL
When complaints or incidents of sexual harassment occur, they should be
brought to the attention of a dean or director. If the complaint or alleged
incident is directed toward a dean or director, it shall be brought to the
attention of the Provost. A review of the complaint shall be conducted.
Upon receipt of the complaint or alleged incident, the dean or director
shall advise the Vice Provost in the University's Affirmative Action Office
that the complaint has been received.
The dean or director or the respective designee shall proceed to review the
complaint of alleged incident. The accused shall be notified of the com-
plaint, afforded an opportunity to respond and notified of the outcome of
the review. The complainant and the accused may seek assistance through
the Employee Assistance Program.
The review of a complaint or incident shall include interviewing the com-
plainant, the accused and any pertinent witnesses and reviewing relevant
documentation. The dean or director shall work closely with the Vice
Provost during the review. The Vice Provost shall provide assistance to the
dean or director in conducting the review, in protecting the rights of all
parties, in following proper procedures and in providing appropriate no-
At any time during the review with the dean or director, the complainant
and the accused may agree to a resolution of the complaint. Notification
of the resolution will be given to the Vice Provost.
Upon prompt completion of the review, the dean or director shall deter-
mine whether or not sexual harassment has occurred and shall advise
the Vice Provost of the findings. The dean or director shall normally be
responsible for informing the complainant and the accused of the results
of the investigation and of any action proposed or taken.
If a finding of sexual harassment is made, a record will be filed in the
harasser's personnel evaluation file. The findings also shall be main-
tained by the Vice Provost. The dean or director shall take all reasonable
precautions to protect the complainant from reprisals.
If a finding of sexual harassment is not made, the findings of the review
shall be maintained by the Vice Provost in a file. The accused, at his or
her option, may request that the findings be placed in the personnel evalu-
The University of Florida encourages bringing complaints forward as soon
Some units have specialized internal procedures that are consistent with
the University's procedures as stated above.
As an alternative to the above process, individuals can use any of the pro-
cedures described on page 5-6. All of those procedures impose time limi-
tations for filing the complaint or grievance.
The University-appointed reviewer(s) of a complaint of sexual harassment
are authorized to conduct a thorough investigation regarding the complaint,
including interviewing witnesses and reviewing all evidence and documents. All
employees and students are to cooperate fully with such reviewer(s) during the
course of a review. It is a violation of this policy for any employee or student to
knowingly file a false complaint or to mislead, impede, impair, obstruct, disrupt or
delay the progress of such a review or to attempt the same. Such a violation of this
policy is punishable by appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termina-
tion from employment and/or expulsion from the university.
SOME IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER
Ifyou have been sexually harassed you should:
Keep any physical evidence (notes, letters, etc.) and identify any witnesses
who will be able to corroborate your complaint.
Seek, if needed, additional information about the sexual harassment re-
porting process from the resources listed on page 10.
Seek counseling, if needed.
University employees may contact the
Employee Assistance Referral Program at 392-1072. i . 10- 11.)
Students may contact the
University Counseling Center (392-1575),
Student Mental Health Service/CARE (392-1161), or the
Office for Student Services (392-1261).
See pages 10-11 for a complete list of resources.
Discuss your complaint with any of the resources listed on page 10-11.
Report it to a dean or appropriate University administrator who will ex-
plain the review process and will initiate any action needed.
Be prepared to review the facts of the complaint and to provide any evi-
dence you may have during the review phase.
Understand that: the accused will be notified of the complaint and
interview, and upon conclusion of the review you will be advised of the results.
Report any reprisal or retaliatory actions taken against you because of
reporting sexual harassment to a dean or University administrator.
The complaint will be handled as confidentially as practicable. A confi-
dential record of the results of the review will be maintained by the Uni-
versity in which the identity of witnesses to a complaint of sexual harass-
ment are exempt from the public records act pursuant to the provisions of
Section 240.253, Florida Statutes.
AMOROUS OR SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS IN THE
WORK EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT
The University of Florida's educational mission is promoted by professional-
ism in employee-employee and employee-student relationships. In this context,
the term "employee" includes all full-time and part-time University personnel
who have faculty appointments, Administrative and Professional employees,
University Support Personnel System employees, as well as graduate teaching and
research assistants, graders, coaches, fellows, residents, student employees and
Other Personnel Service employees.
Professionalism is fostered by an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. Trust
and respect are diminished when those in positions of authority abuse that authority or
place themselves in a situation of perceived or actual conflict of interest.
A conflict of interest is created when an individual evaluates or supervises
another individual with whom he or she has an amorous or sexual relationship.
Such relationships, even when consensual, may be exploitative, and they imperil
the integrity of the work or educational environment. They also may lead to
charges of sexual harassment. Thus, the University discourages amorous or
sexual relationships between employees and students. The University requires the
resolution of any conflict of interest created by these relationships.
Whenever a conflict of interest situation arises or is foreseen, the employee in
a position of authority must resolve any potential conflict of interest by taking
necessary steps, including removing himself or herself from evaluative decisions
concerning the other individual. If he or she is unable to resolve personally the
conflict of interest, he or she is required to inform the immediate supervisor
promptly and seek advice and counsel in dealing with the conflict. The employee,
along with the supervisor, is responsible for taking steps to ensure unbiased
S supervision or evaluation of the employee or student. Failure to resolve potential
or actual conflict of interest situations as described in this policy may result in
S disciplinary action.
Faculty have a significant role in academic personnel matters affecting their
colleagues. Faculty who engage in amorous or sexual relationships with other
faculty may place themselves in a conflict of interest situation. When this occurs,
a faculty member must be sensitive to how the relationship may affect or
influence academic personnel decisions. Faculty must make every effort to resolve
an, situation involving a conflict of interest.
WHERE YOU CAN GO FOR HELP
Ifyou it liet. i ,.:,- have been sexually harassed or need help in filing a
Vice Provost, 145 Tigert Hall -Phone: 392-6004
Inquiries and requestsfor assistance may also be directed to:
Students Faculty and Staff
Faculty Members Supervisors
Department Chairpersons Department Chairpersons
Assistant or Associate Deans Assistant or Associate Deans or
Deans or Directors Directors
Deans or Directors
Dean Of Students
392-1261 Office of Academic Affairs
Office of Academic Affairs
For confidential Counseling Services:
University Counseling Center
Student Mental Health
Employee Assistance Referral Program at the Inikersit Personnel
Employee Relations Department provides free cordidential counseling
services and confidential referral services- l0-10 2
Counseling services may be available through the \ -rius programs
covered by the employees' insurance programs.
For General Information:
(note: to access this site, the address must be TYPED into the web
UF Counseling Center:
Call 392-1683 and ask for NEXUS Tape 812. Transcripts of
NEXUS tapes can be found online at:
http//www. union, ufl. edu/nexus/index.htm.
Victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the
Victim Advocate Program at the University Police Department:
392-1111 (after hours and Emergency)
Sexual harassment is a violation of federal and state laws.
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sex discrimination is
prohibited in employment. Guidelines were issued by the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission in 1980, stipulating sexual harassment in the work-
place as a violation of Title VII.
Under Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972, sex may not be
the basis for exclusion from participation, denial of benefits, or discrimination in
any educational program or activity.
The Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, Chapter 760 of Florida Statutes,
prohibits sex discrimination in employment. In addition, University rules and
employee collective bargaining agreements also prohibit sexual harassment.
The University of Florida's Sexual Harassment policy was first written and
disseminated in the late 1970's and has been revised periodically. This edition of the
University's policies and procedures on sexual harassment was developed by the 1999
Task Force on Sexual Harassment appointed by the Office of Academic Affairs.
A SPECIAL NOTE TO STUDENTS AND FACULTY
Students who have experienced sexual harassment or who have
friends who have been harassed may find it helpful to discuss the
situation with someone. The persons listed in this brochure as
information resources are ready to assist students.
It would be impossible to correct the problem of harassment on
campus unless incidents of sexual harassment were reported. Research
indicates that relatively few people engage in harassment, but some
tend to harass repeatedly. Promptly rpi r.i rig harassment incidents
enables the University to identify and deal with sexual harassment.
Faculty members have.power by virtue of their Mll iri r, in the
classroom, as academic advisors and in other faculty-student relation-
ships. Faculty members, therefore, must be careful not to abuse or
appear to abuse their power. A situation may be perceived very
differently by the parties involved because of the "power" situation. A
student may find it difficult and also threatening to refuse a "request"
from a faculty member, however casual the request. Faculty members
should be sensitive to the fact that a student may not feel comfortable in
telling a faculty member that he/she does not wish to pursue a more
personal, as opposed to academic, relationship because of the faculty
Because faculty members care about students on a personal
academic basis, they sometimes attempt to make students and staff
feel comfortable at the University by being casual and friendly with
them. Such relationships are important and offer support that can
lead to academic growth. It is when the relationship focuses on
amorous or sexual, rather than academic, aspects that there is
danger of sexual harassment or the perception of sexual harass-
Particular sensitivity may exist when a faculty member,
regardless of intention, suggests that a class, tutorial or advisement session
be held at a time or place other than the assigned time or location.
Conducting academic activities by mixing social and academic environ-
ments in homes or other assigned locations may be awkward.
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