Human Resource Administration

80 Lower College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

urihr@ucs.uri.edu – 401.874.2416 - 401.874.5741 (fax)

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Date: October, 1989 (revised)

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

I. PURPOSE:

To establish a procedure at the University of Rhode Island which affirms that women and men are to be treated by all (administrators, faculty, staff, and students) with respect and dignity. Any form of sexual harassment contradicts this policy.

 II. DEFINITION:

 By sexual harassment, it is meant that any unsolicited non-reciprocal behavior which asserts a person sex role over his/her function as an employee, student, or peer. It includes any unwanted sexual behavior, comments, suggestions, or physical contact imposed upon an individual or a group by any other(s).

III. POLICY:

1. In addition to violating the University’s Policy of Conduct, sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and is prohibited by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act as amended and Title IX of the 1972 Amendments to the Higher Education Act.

2. The University will take prompt action to correct instances of sexual harassment, such as, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when: (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of instruction, employment or otherwise full participation in University life; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for evaluation in making academic or personnel decisions affecting an individual; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive University environment.

3. The incident should be reported to the Assistant Vice President for Human Resource Administration or the Affirmative Action office within 10 days of the occurrence, who shall take prompt action to investigate and redress sexual harassment, and any retaliation against persons who bring complaints of sexual harassment is prohibited and will render a decision within 30 days.

All persons who feel that they may have been victims of or witness to sexual harassment are encouraged to seek redress through their collective bargaining agreement, through the grievance procedure for non-union employees (as outlined in Section 3.11 of the University Human Resource Administration Manual), through the University Student Judicial System, or by following the

the relative administrative process of the University. For appropriate reason(s) one may skip any level in the process. The University official to whom the report has been made shall promptly attempt to resolve the complaint or, if formal action is necessary, shall obtain a written complaint, arrange for a hearing(s) to be held and for a decision to be rendered. This will be done,

under most circumstances, within 30 days of the receipt of the complaint. All University Officials receiving reports of sexual harassment shall report the same (in a manner so as not to identify the complainant or alleged harasser if the complainant so requests) to the Special Assistant to the President for Affirmative Action.

The University recognized that some person may, for a variety of reasons, be reluctant to follow the procedures outlined above without the advice and counsel of a sympathetic disinterested party. The following resources are available to provide assistance and information to anyone concerned about an incident(s) of sexual harassment:

    • Office of the President (874-2444)
    •  Director, Affirmative Action Equal Opportunity and Diversity (874-2442)
    • URI Counseling Center (874-2288)
    • Student Senate Affirmative Action Office (874-2261)
    • University Ombudsman (874-2863)
    • Office of Student Life (874-2101)
    • Women’s Center (874-2097)
    • Director of Health Services (874-2246)
    • College of Continuing Education – Department of Student Services/Counseling (277-3820) Assistant Dean (277-3814)

4. If formal charges are brought against an employee, the complaint must be reduced to writing and signed by the complainant.

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