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Definitions of Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment as Defined by the 2010 Sexual Harassment Policy

Comments or conduct of a sexual nature and/or abusive conduct based on gender, gender identity, sex (including pregnancy and breast feeding) or sexual orientation directed at an individual or group of individuals by a person or persons of the same or opposite sex, who knows or ought reasonably to know that such comments or conduct is unwelcome and/or unwanted.

Comments or conduct constitute sexual harassment when:

a. submission to such comments or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, academic status, academic accreditation, or
b. submission to or rejection of such comments or conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment, or for academic performance, status or accreditation decisions affecting such individual, or
c. such comments or conduct interferes with, or adversely affects, directly or indirectly, an individual's work or academic environment or performance, or
d. such comments or conduct calls attention to the gender, gender identity, sex (including pregnancy and breast feeding) or sexual orientation of an individual or individuals in a manner that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work/study environment).

Sexual Harassment includes but is not limited to:

  • unwelcome sexual invitations or requests;
  • demands for sexual favours;
  • unnecessary touching or patting of a person's body;
  • leering at a person's body;
  • unwelcome and repeated innuendos or taunting about a person's gender, gender identity, sex (including pregnancy and breast feeding) or sexual orientation;
  • unwelcome remarks or verbal abuse of a sexual nature;
  • visual displays of sexual images perceived to be degrading or offensive;
  • unwelcome remarks or verbal abuse based on gender, gender identity, sex (including pregnancy and breast feeding) or sexual orientation which are demeaning or degrading;
  • threats of a sexual nature;
  • sexual assault and;
  • any other unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

Sexual harassment may occur during a single incident, or a series of single incidents. Whether or not a single incident constitutes sexual harassment will depend on the nature and type of incident(s).

Sexual harassment may occur between individuals of the same sex or between the sexes.

Sexual harassment may occur in the course of work or study or participation in University-sponsored organizations, activities and programs, whether they occur on-campus or off-campus. Under this Policy any inappropriate social interactions in the course of study or work may be considered as sexual harassment whether it happens on campus or away from campus. Examples of off-campus settings, include, but are not limited to, field trips, athletic team road trips, conferences or training events, and work or study-related social functions whether or not they are official University functions.

Sexual Harassment is contrary to the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Act, 2010, and may be contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada.

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