August 26, 2010

Republication of UAB’s Sexual Harassment Policy

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Periodically, UAB republicizes existing policies so that new employees or new administrators will be kept informed of the policies and guidelines governing UAB. The version of the Sexual Harassment Policy printed here has been in effect since Jan. 27, 1999, and – as is required by the policy – is being recirculated to the UAB community in full as a reminder of its existence.

Sexual Harassment Policy Introduction:

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is firmly committed to providing an environment that is free of discrimination, including sexual harassment. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (1) submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic evaluation, (2) submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual, or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or of creating an intimidating or hostile working or educational environment. Such behavior may violate federal law and/or give rise to personal liability for the results of such behavior. Consequently, UAB prohibits all forms of sexual harassment and will investigate complaints thoroughly and with the utmost seriousness.

A violation of this policy may result in the taking of disciplinary action up to, and including, discharge.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace:

It is a violation of UAB policy for any employee, including faculty, to engage in sexual harassment in the workplace or in work-related situations. Employees who believe that they have been sexually harassed by a supervisor, co-worker, or other employee of UAB should report the incident promptly to the Human Resource Management Relations Office. Only Human Resource Management has the responsibility for coordinating and conducting an investigation of sexual harassment claims in the workplace and also for recommending corrective action to the UAB administration.

Sexual Harassment in the Instructional Setting:

UAB prohibits sexual harassment of students by the teaching staff or other employees of UAB.  For purposes of this policy, the term “teaching staff” means all those who teach at UAB and includes, but is not limited to, full-time faculty, part-time faculty, students functioning in teaching roles (such as graduate assistants), and academic administrators.

A student who believes that he or she has been sexually harassed should report the incident promptly to the vice president for Student Affairs.

Sexual harassment by a student is considered nonacademic misconduct, and the alleged student offender will be subject to the disciplinary process contained in the Direction: Student Handbook.

Sexual Harassment – General:

Full and prompt reporting is necessary for effective implementation of this policy, and UAB encourages such reporting. However, UAB’s duty to protect employees and students exists when UAB’s supervisory personnel know, or have reason to know, of unreported sexual harassment. Supervisors therefore are directed to take all appropriate steps to prevent sexual harassment in their areas of responsibility and to take corrective action, including disciplinary action, in response to inappropriate behavior which may constitute sexual harassment even in the absence of a complaint.

This policy seeks to encourage students, staff, and faculty to express freely and responsibly, through established procedure, complaints of sexual harassment. All such complaints shall be treated as confidential information and shall be disclosed only to those with a need to know as part of the investigatory and resolution process. Any act of interference, retaliation, or coercion by a UAB employee against a student or employee for using this policy interferes with such free expression and is itself a violation of this policy.


This policy will be published regularly in the UAB Reporter and in the Class Schedule. The policy will be included in revisions of handbooks relating to staff, faculty and students.

The vice president for Financial Affairs and Administration is responsible for implementation of this policy as it relates to sexual harassment in the workplace. The vice president for Student Affairs is responsible for implementation of this policy as it relates to sexual harassment in the instructional setting.