1. Why is the University of Miami concerned with sexual harassment?
  2. What type of conduct may be involved in sexual harassment?
  3. When does unwelcome sexual conduct becomes sexual harassment?
  4. Who is protected from sexual harassment?
  5. In what type of situations can sexual harassment occur?
  6. How does one determine that sexual harassment has occurred?
  7. What should I do in case of sexual harassment?
  8. If a person complains about sexual harassment, what protection does the person have against the harassing party?
  9. If a complaint of unlawful harassment is brought against me, what can happen to me?
  10. Is sexual harassment the only type of harassment prohibited by law or University of Miami policy?

1. Why is the University of Miami concerned with sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is prohibited by federal and state law and by the University of Miami. It creates an unacceptable educational and working environment and hurts individuals emotionally and physically. Sexual harassment is morally and ethically reprehensible and, in most cases, it is a misuse of power.

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2. What type of conduct may be involved in sexual harassment?

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature, including, but not limited to sexual jokes, innuendos, display of sexually suggestive objects, or any unnecessary, unwanted physical conduct.

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3. When does unwelcome sexual conduct becomes sexual harassment?

When submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic performance or when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment.

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4. Who is protected from sexual harassment?

All individuals are protected from sexual harassment. The University of Miami Sexual Harassment Policy also specifically includes sexual orientation as a protected category. Thus, harassment on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited.

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5. In what type of situations can sexual harassment occur?

The law recognizes that sexual harassment may occur between individuals of the opposite sex or between individuals of the same sex. Sexual harassment most commonly occurs in situations where there is a power relationship such as supervisor/supervisee and teacher/student. It also occurs in situations involving co-workers or between students.

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6. How does one determine that sexual harassment has occurred?

In order to determine whether sexual harassment has occurred, it is necessary to look at the frequency of conduct, presence of a pattern, presence of physical threats and degree of interference. The conduct must be both objectively and subjectively offensive.

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7. What should be done in cases of sexual harassment?

Any conduct of sexual harassment should be reported to Workplace Equity and Performance as soon as possible. If it is within your control and/or authority to stop the conduct, do so immediately. If you are not sure that a particular situation amounts to harassment, call Workplace Equity and Performance for advice. The University of Miami has the obligation to respond to complaints of sexual harassment promptly and appropriately and it is in the best interest of all involved to deal with occurrences of sexual harassment as soon as possible.

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8. If a person complains about sexual harassment, what protection does the person have against the harassing party?

Retaliation is prohibited by law. Thus the University of Miami will take appropriate action to prevent retaliation and to insure that all parties, including the complainant are protected from further harm.

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9. If a complaint of unlawful harassment is brought against me, what can happen to me?

A fair and impartial investigation will be conducted by Workplace Equity and Performance under established University of Miami policies. If the allegations are substantiated and the conduct amounts to unlawful harassment, appropriate discipline will be imposed pursuant to the University’s disciplinary procedures.

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10.Is sexual harassment the only type of harassment prohibited by law at the University of Miami?

No; harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability and veteran status is also prohibited by law. Harassment on the basis of sexual orientation is also prohibited by University of Miami policy.

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