What Are Other Types of Prohibited Harassment?

In addition to sexual harassment, offensive conduct on the basis of 1 or more of the other listed protected categories (race, religion, color, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, disability, status as a protected veteran, pregnancy or marital status, or any other unlawful basis) may constitute prohibited harassment. Under this policy, harassment is defined as unwelcome words, conduct or actions based on any protected category that are sufficiently severe, pervasive or persistent and have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with work or academic performance, denying or limiting the ability to participate in or receive benefits, services or opportunities in the university’s programs, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment.

Harassment does not include behavior of a reasonably socially acceptable nature. However, some behavior which is appropriate in a social setting may not be appropriate in the workplace or academic environment. It is not always easy to define precisely what conduct constitutes harassment; however, examples of conduct which may constitute harassment include, but are not limited to

  • epithets, slurs, quips or negative stereotyping that relate to any protected category;
  • threatening, intimidating or hostile acts that relate to any protected category;
  • written or graphic material (including graffiti) that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group because of actual or perceived membership in any protected category, and that is placed on walls, bulletin boards or elsewhere on university premises, or circulated or displayed in the workplace;
  • teasing, joking, pranks or other forms of "humor" that are demeaning or hostile with regard to any protected category; or
  • the use or display of offensive or discriminatory materials without reasonable educational justification. In the educational setting, judgment must be used in determining the appropriate content when the presentation of academic material is required.