Sexual Harassment 

Sexual harassment (SH) is a form of gender discrimination, and can be defined as unwelcome sexual attention or behavior which negatively affects the work or learning environment. Sexual harassment is a violation of the law and University policy.

For additional information on SH regarding your options and support resources, please see UC Davis Sexual Violence website and/or a printable brochure with a summary of the information.

Fall leaves floating in dark water
We encourage you to review the website on what to do if you are accused of SV. This website outlines campus services available to help you understand your rights and the investigation and adjudication processes

Definition of Sexual Harassment 

Sexual Harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors, and other unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  •  Quid Pro Quo (Policy Definition) 
  • A person’s submission to such conduct is implicitly or explicitly made the basis for employment decisions, academic evaluation, grades or advancement, or other decisions affecting participation in a University program, activity, or service; 
  • Hostile Environment (Policy Definition)
  • Such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably denies, adversely limits, or interferes with a person’s participation in or benefit from the education, employment or other programs, activities or services of the University, and creates an environment that a reasonable person would find to be intimidating or offensive.

What Does Sexual Harassment Look Like?

  • Quid Pro Quo
  • — An employee or student’s benefits, grades, promotions, or reviews are tied to sexual activity
    — Power difference (Example: A supervisor offers to promote an employee in exchange for sexual favors)
  • Hostile Environment
  • In some instances of sexual harassment, there is behavior of a sexual nature in the workplace or learning environment which creates an intimidating, offensive or hostile environment that disrupts people's ability to do their job or learn. 

    This behavior may occur between peers or between people with unequal power. Some examples of this type of behavior include:
    — Sexual jokes and innuendo, including email, texting and social media
    — Unwanted, repeated requests for dates
    — Suggestive looks, gestures and sounds
    — Sexual touching
    — Posters, screensavers, or other visuals