POLICY CONCERNING CONSENSUAL ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS
April 17, 2001
NOTE: See also the following related policies:
UAB Equal Opportunity and Discriminatory Harassment Policy
Section 3.7 "Nepotism Policy" in the Faculty Handbook and Policies.
Section 4.20 "Nepotism" in the You & UAB Handbook for Faculty and Staff
Whether the relationship is student/teacher or employee/employer, the work or academic relationship must be, and must remain, professional at all times. Romantic or sexual relationships between supervisors and subordinates may create an appearance of impropriety which is contrary to the interests of UAB. Even though a relationship may have been entirely consensual at its inception, a significant power differential exists when one party to the relationship has the authority to influence the academic progress or employment of the other party. Such relationships are particularly vulnerable to exploitation as well as to claims of exploitation.
For purposes of this policy, the term supervisor includes any employee, faculty member, or other person in a position to supervise, grade, evaluate, or influence the academic progress or employment of a student or employee. The term subordinate refers to any employee (including faculty), student, or other person who is supervised, graded, or evaluated by another person.
This policy does not apply to employees who are married to each other or who are living in the same household; those situations are addressed by the Nepotism Policy.
It is the policy of the University of Alabama at Birmingham that employees (including faculty) may not engage in consensual romantic or sexual relationships when one party to the relationship is a supervisor who supervises, evaluates, or grades the other party.
Compliance and Disciplinary Action
It is the responsibility of the parties involved in such a consensual romantic or sexual relationship to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure immediate compliance with this policy. Compliance may be achieved in a number of ways including, but not limited to, (1) voluntary transfer or reassignment of one party so that the supervisor/subordinate relationship or the student/teacher relationship no longer exists or (2) termination of the romantic relationship.
Failure to comply with this policy will result in the taking of disciplinary action appropriate to the circumstances up to, and including, discharge or termination for cause for faculty employees.
The Vice President for Financial Affairs and Administration is responsible for implementation of this policy as it relates to the workplace. The Provost is responsible for implementation of this policy as it relates to the instructional setting.