Last Revised: June 2003
A. Sexual Harassment is Illegal under Federal and State Law
The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) is committed to providing a place of work and learning free of sexual harassment. Where sexual harassment is found to have occurred, the NSHE will act to stop the harassment, to prevent its recurrence, and to discipline those responsible in accordance with the NSHE Code or, in the case of classified employees, the Nevada Administrative Code. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination; it is illegal.
No employee or student, either in the workplace or in the academic environment, should be subject to unwelcome verbal or physical conduct that is sexual in nature. Sexual harassment does not refer to occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature. It refers to behavior of a sexual nature that is not welcome, that is personally offensive, and that interferes with performance.
It is expected that students, faculty and staff will treat one another with respect.
B. Policy Applicability and Sanctions
All students, faculty, staff, and other members of the campus community are subject to this policy. Individuals who violate this policy are subject to discipline up to and including termination and/or expulsion, in accordance with the NSHE Code or, in the case of classified employees, the Nevada Administrative Code. Other, lesser sanctions may be imposed, depending on the circumstances.
This policy is not intended to and does not infringe upon academic freedom in teaching or research as established in the NSHE Code, Chapter 2.
All employees shall be given a copy of this policy and each institution's Human Resources Office shall maintain documentation that each employee received the policy. New employees shall be given a copy of this policy at the time of hire and each institution's Human Resources Office shall maintain documentation that each new employee received this policy.
Each institution shall include this policy and complaint procedure in its general catalog.
Each institution shall have an on-going sexual harassment training program for employees.
D. Sexual Harassment Defined
Under this policy, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
Sexual harassment may take many forms - subtle and indirect, or blatant and overt. For example:
Determining what constitutes sexual harassment under this policy will be accomplished on a case by case basis and depends upon the specific facts and the context in which the conduct occurs. Some conduct may be inappropriate, unprofessional, and/or subject to disciplinary action, but would not fall under the definition of sexual harassment. The specific action taken, if any, in a particular instance depends on the nature and gravity of the conduct reported, and may include disciplinary processes as stated above.
Examples of unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that may constitute sexual harassment may, but do not necessarily include, and are not limited to:
Even one incident, if it is sufficiently serious, may constitute sexual harassment. One incident, however, does not usually constitute sexual harassment.
The Chancellor and each president shall designate no fewer than two administrators to receive complaints of alleged sexual harassment. The administrators designated to receive the complaints may include the following: (1) the Human Resources Officer at the institution; (2) the Affirmative Action Program Officer; or (3) any other officer designated by the president. If the Human Resources Officer or the Affirmative Action Program Officer or another officer designated by the president, is not the individual who initially receives the complaint of alleged sexual harassment, then the individual receiving the complaint must immediately follow the complaint to either the Human Resources Officer or the Affirmative Action Program Officer.
An individual filing a complaint of alleged sexual harassment shall have the opportunity to select an independent advisor for assistance, support, and advice and shall be notified of this opportunity by the Human Resources Officer or the Affirmative Action Program Officer, or by their designee. It shall be the choice of the individual filing the complaint to utilize or not utilize the independent advisor. The independent advisor may be brought into the process at any time at the request of the alleged victim. The means and manner by which an individual advisor shall be made available shall be determined by each institution or unit.
Supervisor's Responsibilities: Every supervisor has responsibility to take reasonable steps intended to prevent acts of sexual harassment, which include, but are not limited to:
If a supervisor receives a complaint of alleged sexual harassment, or observes or becomes aware of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment, the supervisor must immediately contact one of the individuals identified above to forward the complaint, to discuss it and/or to report the action taken.
Failure to take the above action to prevent the occurrence of or stop known harassment may be grounds for disciplinary action.
Complaints of sexual harassment must be filed within one hundred eighty (180) calendar days after the discovery of the alleged act of sexual harassment with the supervisor, department chair, dean, or one of the administrators listed above and/or designated by the president to receive complaints of alleged sexual harassment. Complaints of prohibited conduct, including sexual harassment, filed with an institution's administrative officer pursuant to NSHE Code Chapter 6, Section 6.8.1, are not subject to this 180 day filing requirement.
F. Prompt Attention
Complaints of sexual harassment are taken seriously and will be dealt with promptly. Where sexual harassment is found to have occurred, the NSHE institution or unit where it occurred will act to stop the harassment, to prevent its recurrence, and to discipline those responsible.
The NSHE recognizes that confidentiality is important. However, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. The administrators, faculty or staff responsible for implementing this policy will respect the privacy of individuals reporting or accused of sexual harassment to the extent reasonably possible and will maintain confidentiality to the extent possible. Examples of situations where confidentiality cannot be maintained include, but are not limited to, necessary disclosures during an investigation, circumstances where the NSHE is required by law to disclose information (such as in response to legal process), or when an individual is in harm's way.
Retaliation against an individual who in good faith complains of alleged sexual harassment or provides information in an investigation about behavior that may violate this policy is against the law, will not be tolerated, and may be grounds for discipline. Retaliation in violation of this policy may result in discipline up to and including termination and/or expulsion. Any employee or student bringing a sexual harassment complaint or assisting in the investigation of such a complaint will not be adversely affected in terms and conditions of employment and/or academic standing, nor discriminated against, terminated, or expelled because of the complaint. Intentionally providing false information is also grounds for discipline.
"Retaliation" may include, but is not limited to, such conduct as:
I. Relationship to Freedom of Expression
The NSHE is committed to the principles of free inquiry and free expression. Vigorous discussion and debate are fundamental rights and this policy is not intended to stifle teaching methods or freedom of expression. Sexual harassment, however, is neither legally protected expression nor the proper exercise of academic freedom; it compromises the integrity of institutions, the tradition of intellectual freedom and the trust placed in the institutions by their members.