Discriminatory harassment is a form of discrimination consisting of unwelcome verbal, written, graphic, or physical conduct that:
- Is directed at an individual or group of individuals on the basis of the individual or group of individuals’ actual or perceived protected status, or affiliation or association with person(s) within a protected status (as defined herein); and
- Is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to interfere with an individual’s employment, education or academic environment or participation in institution programs or activities and creates a working, learning, program or activity environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating, offensive or hostile.
To constitute prohibited harassment, the conduct must be both objectively and subjectively harassing in nature. Harassment may include, but is not limited to, verbal or physical attacks, threats, slurs or derogatory or offensive comments that meet the definition set forth herein. Harassment does not have to be targeted at a particular individual in order to create a harassing environment, nor must the conduct result in a tangible injury to be considered a violation of this policy. Whether the alleged conduct constitutes prohibited harassment depends on the totality of the particular circumstances, including the nature, frequency and duration of the conduct in question, the location and context in which it occurs and the status of the individuals involved.
To be considered discriminatory harassment, the complainant must allege that the harassment is based on one or more of the categories listed in these procedures depending on whether the complainant is a student or applying for admission to the University; an employee, or applying for employment at the University; or a visitor to campus.
For more information regarding discriminatory harassment, see:
UW-Madison Office for Equity and Diversity: Sexual Harassment
State of Wisconsin Division of Workforce Development: Harassment in the Workplace
UW Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Harassment and Sexual Harassment: Types of Harassment and Facts about Sexual Harassment
U.S. Department of Education: Sexual Harassment Resources, Dear Colleague Letter (2010), and Racial Incidents and Harassment Against Students