HR / Labor Relations
Legal and Compliance
Sexual Harassment Response and Prevention Statement
October 09, 2018
This policy item applies to:
While all SUNY campuses have long maintained programs which apply evidence-based approaches to preventing and responding to sexual harassment and other forms of sex-based discrimination, such best practices should be uniformly applied at all SUNY campuses, allowing SUNY to leverage its power as the most comprehensive system of higher education in the country to speak with one voice in combating all forms of sexual harassment.
All State-operated campuses and community colleges shall adopt the uniform Sexual Harassment Policy Statement below to notify their respective community members of SUNY’s no tolerance policy for behavior that violates the sexual harassment policy. Campuses and System Administration must ensure that appropriate investigation is made into complaints of sexual harassment and that discipline is imposed for such behavior in accordance with each entity’s policies and processes.
SUNY will coordinate with the State to present annual, mandatory training to System Administration and all campuses for employees, and annual training for students, on preventing and addressing sexual harassment and sex discrimination, including knowledge of whom to contact with questions regarding this policy and how to report violations of this policy. In addition, all SUNY campuses shall maintain records to ensure compliance with annual training, reporting and alternative supervision requirements.
SUNY Sexual Harassment Response and Prevention Policy Statement
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which is unlawful in the workplace under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and the New York State Human Rights Law. Under Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, sexual harassment also is prohibited in the provision of educational services and protects students and employees from sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment is prohibited and will not be tolerated at SUNY. The University has implemented measures to address and prevent sexual harassment and is taking additional affirmative steps to increase awareness of, and sensitivity to, all forms of sexual harassment in order to maintain a workplace and learning environment free of its harmful effects.
Sexual harassment is a form of workplace discrimination and employee misconduct, as well as a form of discrimination in the academic setting, and all employees and students are entitled to work and learn in a campus environment that prevents sexual harassment. All employees and students have a legal right to a workplace and a campus free from sexual harassment, and employees and students can enforce this right by filing a complaint internally with the University, or with a government agency, or in court under federal or state anti-discrimination laws, as detailed in the University’s Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure.
In accordance with applicable law, sexual harassment is generally described as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
Sexual harassment can include physical touching, verbal comments, non-verbal conduct such as leering or inappropriate written or electronic communications, or a combination of these things. Examples of sexual harassment may include, but are not limited to:
Such behavior can constitute sexual harassment regardless of the sex, gender, sexual orientation, self-identified or perceived sex, gender expression, status of being transgender, or gender identity of any of the persons involved. Sexual harassment is considered a form of employee and student misconduct which may lead to disciplinary action. Further, supervisors and managers will be subject to discipline for failing to report suspected sexual harassment or otherwise knowingly allowing sexual harassment to continue. Employees and students who believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment may use the University’s Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure for more details on how to have their allegations reviewed, including a link to a complaint form.
Retaliation against a person who files a complaint, serves as a witness, or assists or participates in any manner in this procedure, is unlawful, is strictly prohibited and may result in disciplinary action. Retaliation is an adverse action taken against an individual as a result of complaining about or provides information regarding unlawful discrimination or harassment, exercising a legal right, and/or participating in a complaint investigation as a third-party witness. Adverse action includes being discharged, disciplined, discriminated against, or otherwise subject to adverse action because the individual reports an incident of sexual harassment, provides information, or otherwise assists in any investigation of a sexual harassment complaint. Participants who experience retaliation should contact the campus AAO, and may file a complaint pursuant to these procedures.
SUNY campuses and System Administration shall take the necessary steps to ensure that this Sexual Harassment Response and Prevention Policy Statement is distributed, implemented, and enforced in accordance with their respective policies.
There are no definitions relevant to this policy.
Form A - Charge of Discrimination
State University of New York Board of Trustees Resolution 18- , adopted October 9, 2018.
This document was adopted in October 2018 pursuant to Labor Law §201-g, which requires every employer in the State of New York to adopt a sexual harassment prevention policy that meets or exceeds enumerated minimum standards in order to prevent and combat sexual harassment in the workplace.
There are no appendices relevant to this policy.