Anti-Harassment Policy

Policy No: 
1.7
Type of Policy: 
Administrative
Effective Date: 
April 2004
Last Revised: 
July 2016
Review Date: 
July 2019
Policy Owner: 
Human Resources
Contact Name: 
Eric White
Contact Title: 
Workforce Strategy
Contact Email: 
eric.white@ohr.gatech.edu
Policy Statement: 

Discriminatory harassment of any person or group of persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status is prohibited. Any employee, student, student organization, or person privileged to work or to study at the Georgia Institute of Technology who violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action: for employees, up to and including termination; and for others, up to and including permanent exclusion from the Institute.

This policy applies to every member of the Institute community. Faculty, students, and staff at all levels are responsible for maintaining an appropriate environment for study and work. This includes conducting themselves in a professional manner. Toward this end, the Georgia Institute of Technology supports the principle that harassment represents a failure in professional and ethical behavior that will not be condoned.

This policy and procedure is intended to facilitate an atmosphere in which, faculty staff, and students have the right to raise the issue of discriminatory harassment without fear of retaliation and to ensure that violations are fully remedied. No member of the Georgia Tech Community will be retaliated against for making a good faith report of alleged harassment or for participating in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing.

Georgia Tech is committed to providing its staff, faculty, and students the opportunity to pursue excellence in their academic and professional endeavors. This opportunity can exist only when each member of our community is assured an atmosphere of mutual respect. The free and open exchange of ideas is fundamental to the Institute’s purpose. It is not the Institute’s intent in promulgating this policy to inhibit free speech or the free communication of ideas by members of the academic community.

Policy Terms: 

Discriminatory harassment – unwelcome verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct directed against any person or group, based upon race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status that has the purpose or effect of creating an objectively hostile working or academic environment. A hostile environment is created when harassment is so severe, pervasive, or persistent as to unreasonably interfere with or limit an individual’s employment or educational opportunities.

Harassment must be distinguished from behavior which, even though unpleasant or disconcerting, is appropriate to the carrying out of certain instructional, advisory, or supervisory responsibilities.

Sexual harassment – Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made either implicitly or explicitly as a term or condition of an individual’s employment or status in a course, program, or activity;
  2. Submission or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for condition of an individual’s employment or status in a course, program, or activity;
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect:
    • a. of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s work or education performance;
    • b. of creating an objectively intimidating, hostile, or offensive working and/or learning environment; or
    • c. of unreasonably interfering with or limiting one’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity.

Both men and women, as well as, persons of the same gender may be either the initiators or victims of sexual harassment.

Procedures: 

Complaints of Sexual Misconduct

Complaints of Sexual Misconduct (which includes, but is not limited to, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, and stalking) are addressed pursuant to the policies and procedures of the Board of Regents Sexual Misconduct Policy. Additional procedures for complaints of sexual misconduct by students are contained in the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Complaints of Discriminatory Harassment

1. Any member of the Institute community who believes that he or she has been the victim of discriminatory harassment other than sexual misconduct (the Complainant) should promptly report the matter to the appropriate institute officials within the offices designated to handle such complaints. The complaint should be brought within 60 calendar days of the most recent alleged harassing act.

2. For incidents involving faculty and staff, the Office of Human Resources – Performance and Talent Management team should be contacted. The Dean of Students Office should be contacted for incidents involving students or student claims.

3. The initial discussion between the Complainant and the Appropriate Institute Official will be handled with sensitivity and discretion. The Appropriate Institute Official will inquire into all reports of alleged sexual harassment brought to his or her attention.

4. During the initial meeting with the Appropriate Institute Official, a written summary of the complaint will be made and should be signed by the Complainant.

5. The Appropriate Institute Official will inform the alleged offender ("Respondent") of the allegation and of the identity of the Complainant, will provide him or her with a written summary of the Complaint and will proceed as set forth in the following section.

Resolution of a Complaint

1. When a complaint is submitted, the Appropriate Institute Official will discuss the matter with the parties promptly, will notify the appropriate Dean or Vice President of the charge, and may initiate whatever steps he or she deems appropriate to affect an informal resolution of the complaint acceptable to both parties within 15 calendar days of a reported incident. If an informal resolution is reached, it will be documented in writing, approved by the Senior Director Human Resources or the Dean of Students, as appropriate, and signed by the Complainant and the Respondent.

2. If an informal resolution satisfactory to the Parties is not reached within 15 calendar days after an incident is reported, or if in the sole discretion of the Appropriate Institute Official, an informal resolution is not possible; the Appropriate Institute Official will proceed with a full investigation. A report of the investigation results along with a recommendation for resolution of the Complaint and/or disciplinary action will be made to the Associate Vice President for the Office of Human Resources and/or the Dean within 60 days of the date the investigation was initiated in the ODM. The Associate Vice President for Human Resources or the Dean of Students will initiate prompt remedial or corrective action where warranted.

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