Rhodes College is committed to providing a working environment that is free from harassment based on race, sex, color, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national origin, military service, or any other protected status, including sexual harassment. Harassment is unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated. It is a form of misconduct that undermines the institutional mission of the College.
“Sexual harassment” is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment; (2) submission or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for making employment decisions affecting such individual; or (3) the conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not-so-subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include, but are not limited to, requests for a sexual relationship or to perform sexual acts; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual’s body, sexual prowess, or sexual deficiencies; leering, whistling, or touching; obscene comments or gestures; display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, emails, text messages, or content on social media; and other physical, verbal, or visual conduct of a sexual nature.
Other Forms of Harassment
Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited. Under this policy, harassment is verbal, written or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of their race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age disability, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law and that a) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment; b) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance; or c) otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities.
Harassing conduct includes epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; denigrating jokes; and written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual in the workplace, including through electronic means such as e-mail, phones, or social media (including voice messages, tweets, blogs, social networking sites, or other means).
Employees who witness, learn about or are subject to harassing behavior should report it to their supervisor, or, if the employee is uncomfortable reporting to the supervisor, to one of the following:
Chief Human Resources Officer
West Campus – HR 128
Dr. Katherine Bassard
300 Halliburton Tower
Investigating and Addressing Harassment
The College promptly investigates all reports of harassment and is committed to taking necessary actions to address each instance of harassment (sexual or otherwise). Upon receipt of a report of harassment, Rhodes will conduct a prompt and thorough investigation. Complaints will be kept confidential to the extent practicable, consistent with the need to conduct an investigation and, if warranted, implement corrective action. No one will be penalized or retaliated against for making a harassment complaint in good faith or assisting in an investigation. The College will take appropriate corrective action, when justified, to remedy all violations, including disciplinary action in accordance with the section on Employee Discipline and Termination.
Harassment under Title IX
Employees who experience sexual harassment may also have rights under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act. For more information, contact the Title IX Coordinator, one of the Deputy Title IX Coordinators, or review the Title IX policy in the Rhodes Student Handbook.