Sexual Harassment Policy

Policy Statement and Nondiscrimination Notice:

The University at Albany (“University”) is committed to fostering a diverse community of outstanding faculty, staff, and students, as well as ensuring equal educational opportunity, employment, and access to services, programs, and activities, without regard to an individual's race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, or criminal conviction. Employees, students, applicants or other members of the University community (including but not limited to vendors, visitors, and guests) may not be subjected to harassment that is prohibited by law, or treated adversely or retaliated against based upon a protected characteristic. 

The electronic version of the Nondiscrimination Notice may be found at: http://www.albany.edu/general-counsel/48741.php.

Definitions:

Sex discrimination includes, but is not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and cyber-stalking.

Sexual Harassment in the Employment Setting is defined as:

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when any of the following occurs:

● Submission to such conduct is made a term or condition of an individual’s continued employment, promotion, or other condition of employment. 

● Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting an employee or job applicant.

● Such conduct is intended to interfere, or results in interference, with an employee’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

Sexual Harassment in the Educational Setting is defined as:

Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.  Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.  Sexual harassment of denies or limits, on the basis of sex, the person’s ability to participate in or to receive benefits, services, or opportunities in the educational program and/or employment. 

Harassment on the Basis of Protected Characteristic(s) other than Sex/Gender

Harassment based on race, color, age, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, genetics, veteran status or other protected characteristics is oral, written, graphic or physical conduct relating to an individual's protected characteristics that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to interfere with or limit the ability of an individual to participate in or benefit from the educational institution’s programs or activities.

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct encompasses a wide range of behavior for sexual purposes against another person’s will and/or at the expense of another.  Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking of a sexual nature, cyber-stalking of a sexual nature, and/or any conduct of a sexual nature that is non- consensual, or has the effect of threatening or intimidating another person.

Dating Violence  (relationship violence, domestic violence, or intimate partner abuse.) A pattern of coercive behaviors that serve to exercise control and power in an intimate relationship. The coercive and abusive behaviors can be physical, sexual, psychological, verbal and/or emotional in nature. Intimate partner abuse can occur in relationships of the same or different genders; between current or former intimate partners who have dated, lived together, or been married.

Stalking

A course of conduct by a stranger or acquaintance directed at a specific person that directly or indirectly distresses, intimidates or threatens and places a reasonable person in fear. Stalking also includes incidents where electronic media such as the internet, pagers, cell phones, or other similar devices are used to pursue, intimidate or threaten and place a reasonable person in fear. 

Rape, Sexual Violence, Sexual Assault and Sexual Exploitation

Sexual Assault I—By a stranger or acquaintance, sexual intercourse or any sexual penetration, however slight, of another person’s oral, anal, or genital opening with any object (an object includes but is not limited to parts of a person’s body) where active consent was not established. Where the victim purported to give consent, but the accused used force, threat, intimidation, or the victim’s mental or physical helplessness, the charge of Sexual Assault I also applies. Mental or physical helplessness would include, but not be limited to, sleep, as well as the inability to consent due to excessive alcohol or drug use or consumption. 

Sexual Assault II—By a stranger or acquaintance, touching a person’s intimate parts (defined as genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks), whether directly or through clothing, where active consent was not established. Sexual Assault II also includes forcing an unwilling person to touch another’s intimate parts. Where the victim purported to give consent, but the accused used force, threat, intimidation, or the victim’s mental or physical helplessness, the charge of Sexual Assault II also applies. Mental or physical helplessness would include, but not be limited to, sleep, as well as the inability to consent due to excessive alcohol or drug use or consumption. 

Sexual Exploitation—Nonconsensual, abusive sexual behavior that does not otherwise constitute Sexual Assault I, Sexual Assault II or Sexual Harassment. Examples include but are not limited to: intentional, nonconsensual tampering with or removal of condoms or other methods of birth control and STI prevention prior to or during sexual contact in a manner that significantly increases the likelihood of STI contraction and/or pregnancy by the non-consenting party; nonconsensual video or audio taping of sexual activity; allowing others to watch consensual or nonconsensual sexual activity without the consent of a sexual partner; observing others engaged in dressing/undressing or in sexual acts without their knowledge or consent; trafficking people to be sold for sex; and inducing incapacitation with the intent to sexually assault another person.  

Confidentiality:

The University is committed to protecting the confidentiality of the victims, and will work closely will victims to obtain confidential assistance regarding any incident of sexual harassment. Given this commitment to confidentiality, during any portion of the complaint procedures, the parties shall not either record, either by audio or video, the meetings, interviews, interrogations or any portion of the process. 

Retaliation:

University policy and state law prohibit retaliation against any individual who opposes sexual harassment, files a complaint, or assists or participates in any manner in an investigation or proceeding conducted by the University or an external agency. Violation of this policy is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Sexual harassment, in any form, will not be tolerated. If you have any questions about UAlbany's policy against sexual harassment, or the procedure for filing a complaint, you may contact the ODI at (518) 956-8110.