Sexual Harassment Policy
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga recognizes that harassment in the University on the basis of sex is a violation of Section 703 of Title VII. For this reason, the University is adding this statement and the following guidelines to the Faculty Handbook, the University Personnel Policy Manual and the Student Handbook.
Sexual advances by any UTC employee (faculty or staff member) toward another employee or student which become a condition of employment or affect the academic relationship constitute an unlawful practice. Unsolicited or unwelcome physical or verbal behavior of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect of creating an atmosphere of intimidation is a violation of Title VII.
In the case of such harassment, an employee or student has the right to pursue the EEO grievance procedure for redress. The affirmative action officer should be contacted for this procedure.
Guidelines: Sexual harassment in the workplace has long been recognized by EEOC as violation of Section 703 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. Sexual harassment in the workplace is gender-based discrimination which violates Title VII and constitutes an unlawful employment practice. Additional cases involving issues of sexual harassment are being litigated now both by EEOC and private parties.
The question of whether a particular action or incident establishes a purely personal, non-employment related relationship requires a factual determination. In making such a determination, the case record as a whole, as well as the totality of the circumstances, such as the nature of the sexual advances and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred, will be examined. The determination of the legality of a particular action will be made from the facts, on a case by case basis, because the same behavior may constitute sexual harassment in one context but not in another.
Sexual harassment, like racial harassment, generates a psychologically harmful atmosphere. Employees and students are guaranteed a working and learning environment free of discriminatory intimidation, whether racial or sexual.
Therefore, UTC has an affirmative duty to maintain an atmosphere free of sexual harassment and intimidation. The best way to achieve such an environment is to prevent sexual harassment from occurring at all, by utilizing all possible methods to alert the employees and students to the problem and to stress that sexual harassment, in any form, will not be tolerated.
Policy on Sexist Language
It is the policy at UTC to avoid the use of sexist words and terms in all official correspondence and publications. Every reasonable attempt should be made to comply with this policy and to assist in making UTC a model for real as well as perceived equal treatment in organizational communications. The following serves as a guideline for all written materials.
Avoid sexist words and terms. Do not avoid them, however, at the expense of correct grammar. Almost all sexist language problems—especially "he or she" constructions—can be eliminated by careful writing or rewriting.
Non-sexist and grammatically wrong:
After a student applies, they are admitted...
Correct but awkward:
After a student applies, he or she is admitted...
Rewritten, problem avoided:
After students apply, they are admitted...
After applying, a student is admitted...
When possible, use chair instead of chairman, chairwoman, chairperson, etc.
The use of non-academic titles (Ms., Mr., Miss, etc.) should be avoided, if possible, and replaced with Professor or Dr. For a female, if such a title is necessary, use Ms. When marital status is known and the individual in question has expressed a preference, use the appropriate designation.