Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy System Administration Policy
CITATION: System Administration Policy
DATE APPROVED: February 17, 1993
BACKGROUND: The ethics policy of the U.T. System includes specific provisions regarding sexual harassment and sexual misconduct (Regents' Rules, Part One, Chapter III, Section 4.8). Component institutions of the U.T. System have adopted policies concerning sexual harassment. The following policy of the U.T. System Administration is similar to component policies on the same subject. Sexual harassment, as defined in Section 39.03 of the Texas Penal Code, is a crime punishable as a Class A misdemeanor.
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Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy
I. STATEMENT OF POLICY
The University of Texas System Administration is committed to the principle that the working environment of its employees should be free from inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual misconduct and sexual harassment are unprofessional behaviors and employees who engage in such conduct will be subject to disciplinary action, including termination.
II. SCOPE OF POLICY
This policy applies to all U. T. System Administration employees. It applies not only to unwelcome conduct that violates state and federal laws concerning sexual harassment but also to inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature. An employee may be subject to disciplinary action for sexual misconduct even if that conduct does not constitute a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, Vernon's Texas Codes Annotated, Labor Code, Chapter 21.
- Sexual Misconduct. Sexual misconduct includes sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed towards a U.T. System employee or job applicant.
- Sexual Harassment. Sexual harassment, as prohibited by state and federal laws, is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment;
- submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for evaluation in making personnel decisions affecting that individual; or
- such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.
- Examples. Examples of behavior that could be considered sexual misconduct or sexual harassment include but are not limited to:
- physical contact of a sexual nature including touching, patting, hugging, or brushing against a person's body;
- explicit or implicit propositions or offers to engage in sexual activity;
- comments of a sexual nature including sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes or anecdotes; remarks of a sexual nature about a person's clothing or body; remarks about sexual activity; speculation about sexual experience;
- exposure to sexually oriented graffiti, pictures, posters, or materials; and/or
- physical interference with or restriction of an individual's movements
IV. COMPLAINT PROCEDURES
- The U. T. System encourages any person who believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual misconduct or sexual harassment to immediately report the incident to the appropriate supervisor or to the appropriate System Human Resources representative in the U. T. System Human Resources Office. In no case will an employee be required to report such behavior to the person accused of the misconduct.
- In order to initiate the investigation process, the complainant must submit a written statement setting out the details of the misconduct that is the subject of the complaint. A supervisor who receives a complaint with a written statement shall immediately notify the appropriate System Human Resources representative.
B. Complaint Investigation
- All complaints that are supported by a written statement will be investigated by the appropriate supervisor and the appropriate System Personnel Office representative. To the extent permitted by law, complaints will remain confidential and information about them will be provided only to those persons who need to know in order to achieve a timely resolution of the complaint.
- Prior to interviewing persons thought to have information relevant to the complaint, the appropriate System Personnel Office representative or the appropriate supervisor shall provide the accused employee a copy of the complaint and allow the accused employee a reasonable time to respond in writing.
- Any persons thought to have information relevant to the complaint shall be interviewed and such interviews shall be appropriately documented. Other acceptable methods for gathering information include but are not limited to visual inspection of offensive materials and follow-up interviews as necessary.
- The investigation of a complaint will be concluded as soon as possible but in any event within thirty (30) days of receipt of the complaint.
- Upon completion of the investigation, the appropriate System Personnel Office representative and the supervisor will prepare a written report of their investigation and submit the report to the Director of the U. T. System Personnel Office. The report shall include: a recommendation as to whether disciplinary action should or should not be pursued against the accused individual; a proposed disciplinary penalty, if disciplinary action is recommended; and the basis for the recommended action.
Trennis L. Jones, Director
System Personnel Office
Vernon's Texas Codes Annotated, Labor Code, Chapter 21
42 United States Code, Section 2000e, et. seq.
29 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1604.11