Policy Against Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment*
Worcester State University prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 mandates that no person on the basis of sex may be denied benefits or otherwise discriminated against in any program or activity of the University, including but not limited to admissions, academic offerings, extracurricular or collegiate athletic programs, research, housing or occupational training. Comparable prohibitions are extended to University employees by state and federal law.
Sexual harassment occurs in a variety of situations which share a common element: the inappropriate introduction of sexual attention or comments into the work or learning situation. Often sexual harassment involves relationships of unequal power and contains elements of coercion- as when compliance with requests for sexual favors becomes a criterion for granting work, study or grading benefits. However, sexual harassment may also involve relationships among equals, as when repeated sexual advances or demeaning verbal behaviors have a harmful effect on a person’s ability to study or work in the academic setting.
Sexual harassment constitutes sex discrimination as defined under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Chapters 151B and 151C of the Massachusetts General laws.
Sexual harassment may be described as unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical conduct and expressive behavior of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can involve a female and male or persons of the same gender when:
1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education;
2. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual;
3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance and/or creating an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning employment or educational environment.