What is Harassment?

Harassment is verbal or written abuse, racial or gender slurs, physical intimidation, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome advances, or the demand for favors.

Sexual and racial harassment are common forms of harassment and are illegal under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The concept of sexual harassment causes much confusion and is often associated with the harassment of women by men. However, men also experience sexual harassment. A working definition of sexual harassment is the unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • submission to such conduct is a condition for employment, promotion, grades, or academic status
  • submission to, or rejection of, such conduct is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting an individual
  • such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering unreasonably with the individual's work or academic performance, or creates an offensive, hostile, or intimidating working or learning environment.

Harassment - whether sexual, racial, or ethnic - is detrimental to us all. People who are harassed cannot perform well and harassers are wasting their talents on negative activities. Harassment is also illegal.