POLICY STATEMENT ON HARASSMENT
It is the policy of Georgetown University to prohibit harassment on the basis of age, color, disability, family responsibilities, gender identity and expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, personal appearance, political affiliation, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, source of income, veteran’s status or other factor prohibited by federal and/or District of Columbia law.
This policy on Harassment will be widely disseminated to members of the University community, and will be consistently enforced. The policy will be reexamined, updated as appropriate, and distributed regularly to all students, faculty, and staff. All employees are responsible for completing training provided by the University to prevent harassment and promote a respectful community.
1. Sexual Harassment
For the purposes of this policy, sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic advancement; or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for making an employment or academic decision affecting an individual; or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual's work or educational performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for work or learning.
Sexual harassment may occur between persons of the same or opposite gender.
Sexual harassment subverts the University's mission, diminishes the dignity of both perpetrator and victim, and threatens permanent damage to the careers, educational experience, and well-being of our students, faculty and staff.
Sexual harassment is especially serious when it occurs between teachers and students or supervisors and subordinates. In such situations, sexual harassment unfairly exploits the power inherent in a faculty member's or supervisor's position. Although sexual harassment often occurs when one person takes advantage of a position of authority over another, the University recognizes that sexual harassment may also occur between people of equivalent status. This includes peer sexual harassment. Regardless of the form it may take, the University will not tolerate conduct of a sexual nature that creates an unacceptable working or educational environment.
2. HARASSMENT OTHER THAN SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Harassment, other than sexual harassment, is verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion to an individual because of age, color, disability, family responsibilities, gender identity and expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, personal appearance, political affiliation, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, source of income, veteran’s status or any basis prohibited by federal and/or District of Columbia law, when such conduct has the purpose or effect of: unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance; creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational or work environment; or otherwise adversely affecting an individual’s academic or employment opportunities.
Harassment may include, but is not limited to: verbal abuse or ridicule, including slurs, epithets, and stereotyping; offensive jokes and comments; threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts, and displaying or distributing offensive materials, writings, graffiti, or pictures.
3. NATIONAL ORIGIN AND ACCENT HARASSMENT
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has taken the position that harassment of employees on the basis of their national origin or their accent or manner of speaking is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended. Under EEOC guidelines, ethnic slurs and other verbal or physical conduct relating to an employee’s national origin, surname, skin color or accent would constitute unlawful harassment when such conduct:
- has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment;
- has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the employee’s work performance; or
- has the purpose or effect of adversely affecting his or her employment opportunities.
Procedure for Complaints
Any member of the University community who believes that conduct that violates this policy has occurred, or who has questions concerning this policy, is encouraged to contact the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action immediately. This Office is staffed with trained counselors, and administers both a confidential mediation process and a confidential grievance procedure. A full description of the Grievance Procedures may be obtained from the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action.
In addition, the University recognizes that supervisors bear a particularly important responsibility to deter harassment. Supervisors who learn of conduct that may violate this policy should immediately contact the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action, and, as appropriate, inform their own supervisors.
In accordance with the guidelines of the EEOC, all complaints will be investigated impartially, and appropriate corrective action will be taken, including discipline for inappropriate conduct. Complaints will be handled confidentially, except as necessary for investigation and resolution.
This policy prohibits retaliation, harassment, or other adverse action against an individual for making a complaint, assisting in an investigation, opposing harassment or otherwise exercising rights protected by law. It further prohibits taking any adverse academic or employment related action against an individual based on an unsubstantiated allegation or rumor of harassment.