Human Resources:  Sexual Harassment

SEXUAL HARASSMENT PREVENTION
Sexual harassment prevention is important because of the negative impact that sexual harassment can have on you and the University. Schreiner University is committed to a work environment free of sexual harassment. It is important that you learn about sexual harassment and what you can do to prevent it.

What will you learn on this page?man woman symbol

  • Definition of sexual harassment
  • Two types of sexual harassment
  • Schreiner University's Policy
  • Forms to File a Complaint
  • Quiz/ Quiz Answers 


DEFINITION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

In Generalwhat is sexual harassment?
In 1977 the courts first recognized the concept of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a type of sexual discrimination that involves the unwelcome introduction of sexualized conduct into the workplace. It was first recognized under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (enforced by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (enforced by the office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education). Today, sexual harassment is also recognized as a violation of the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act.

Two Types of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment generally falls into two categories: quid pro quo and hostile environment.

Quid pro quodistressed woman
Quid pro quo (Latin meaning "this for that") sexual harassment involve cases where a supervisor or other manager is requesting sexual favors in exchange for providing job benefits or a supervisor or other manager is threatening denial of job benefits to gain sexual favors.

Some elements of quid pro quo sexual harassment include:

  • The employee was subjected to unwelcome conduct.
  • The harassment complain was based upon sex.
  • Submission to the unwelcome conduct was a condition to receiving or not taking away job benefits.
  • Harassment by employer or agent of employer.e unwelcome conduct was a condition to receiving or not taking away job benefits.

Hostile Environment Harassmentman and woman in office
Unwelcome sexual comments or conduct that unreasonably interferes with an employee's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. Also, unwelcome sexual comments or conduct that unreasonably limits a student's ability to participate in or benefit from his/her education or that creates a hostile or abusive educational environment.

Anyone might commit this type of harassment - a supervisor, co-worker, faculty, residential advisor, student, non-employee.  

Standards governing whether unwelcome sexual conduct creates an unlawful hostile environment:

  • The key issues are frequency and severity: the more severe the conduct, the less frequent it must be to create a hostile environment; the less severe, the more frequent it must be. Both objective and subjective standards apply: How would a "reasonable person" have reacted in the complainant's position? How did the complainant react?
  • Nothing tangible about the individual's job or education need be affected. Severe psychological harm is not necessary to establish a violation.

SU crestSchreiner University's Policy on Sexual Harassment
All employees must be familiar with Schreiner's sexual harassment policy. It is important that you read the sexual harassment policy carefully and become aware of your responsibilities under it. Schreiner is committed to maintaining a work environment free of sexual harassment. Any form of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior should be reported immediately pursuant to the University's sexual harassment policy. All reports will be handled as confidentially as possible and no employee will be retaliated against for filing a complaint or report. Please note the Sexual Harassment Committee Members are there to assist anyone with a complaint.

Click here for the Schreiner University Sexual Harassment Policy    

How To File A Complaint
SU Employees click here for Sexual Harassment Complaint Form

Quizwoman and man in office

1. Facts: Jack is the supervisor of Mary at a large company. Jack told Mary that she would receive a raise if she would sleep with him. Mary is upset and very angry about the way Jack is treating her. Mary goes to the human resource department to complain about her treatment.  

Question: Is this sexual harassment? If so, what type? __ No __ Yes, Hostile Work Environment __ Yes, Quid Pro Quo

2. Facts: Danny works in a department where Sharon is his supervisor. Sharon has been rubbing against Danny and flirting with him. Danny is offended but afraid to report Sharon.

Question: Should Danny refrain from reporting Sharon because she is his supervisor?__Yes, Danny should avoid any trouble with his supervisor. __No, Danny should not be afraid of retaliation by his supervisor and should report the conduct immediately.

3. Facts: Cary received an A for the semester without turning in a single assignment. Everyone knew he was sleeping with Professor Leslie.

Question: Is this sexual harassment? __ yes __ no

4. Facts: Pam is a work study student with the chemistry department. Her boss, the office manager, pesters her for dates. She turns him down. He continues to ask her out, leaves notes on her desk and makes it uncomfortable for her to come to work.

Question: Is this sexual harassment? __ yes __ no

5. Facts: Gordon couldn't believe what he was hearing. The university was cutting the funding for the men's wrestling team so the women could play softball.

Question: Is this sexual harassment? __ yes __ no

6. Facts: When Jenny led class discussion for History 302, several of her male classmates from the back of the classroom made sexually suggestive remarks and pointed and leered at her breasts.

Question: Is this sexual harassment? __ yes __ no

Quiz Answers:man and woman

1. Correct Answer. Quid pro quo sexual harassment could be involved in this fact situation because Jack's conduct was unwelcome and based on sex, and because he conditioned receipt of a job benefit on Mary's submission to his unwelcome conduct.

2. Correct Answer. No, Danny should not be afraid of retaliation by his supervisor and should report the conduct immediately. Danny's employer should not allow Sharon to retaliate against him for reporting Sharon's conduct. It is important that any retaliation or threat of retaliation be reported to the appropriate party designated in the policy.

3. Correct Answer. No. This is an example of sexual favoritism, UNLESS Cary was coerced or threatened into the sexual relationship with Leslie. But the institution could be vulnerable if other students perceive that only by sleeping with Leslie can they get a high grade, or if the relationship goes sour and Cary charges sexual harassment and/or retaliation by Leslie (should his grade get lowered, legitimately or not).

4. Correct Answer. Yes. Repeated unwelcome behavior such as this could constitute hostile environment sexual harassment for which the institution could be found liable.

5. Correct Answer. No. This may be a case of sexual discrimination because Title IX but it is not sexual harassment.

6. Correct Answer. Yes. But no liability may attach to the institution if the instructor acts quickly and effectively to stop the harassment and counsel and discipline the offenders. If not, the institution could be found in violation of Title IX for permitting a hostile environment to exist.

©