Sexual Harassment Policy

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University Policy Number 1202


Responsible Office:

Policy Procedure:

Related Law & Policy:


This policy applies to all George Mason University faculty, staff, students, university contractors, and visitors.


It is the policy of University to provide an academic and work environment free from sexual harassment.  Sexual harassment is contrary to the standards and mission of the University.  Sexual harassment is illegal and will not be tolerated. Each member of the University community has a responsibility to maintain an academic and work environment free from sexual harassment.  The University will take whatever action necessary to prevent, stop, correct, or discipline harassing behavior.  Same-sex sexual harassment violates this policy and is subject to discipline under the same procedures.*

Sexual harassment is defined by law as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, physical, or other form of expressive communication of a sexual nature, when submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions, or such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or sexually offensive work or academic environment.  Examples of behavior that may be considered sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Sexual assault

2. Explicitly or implicitly requiring submission to sexual advances as a condition or term of education or employment, i.e., grades, employment, promotion, letters of recommendation or other privileges

3. Repetitive sexual comments, questions, jokes, gestures or other forms of sexually explicit expression

Any student, faculty member, or staff employee, who believes he or she is the victim of sexual harassment, should report the incident promptly in the manner most comfortable to him or her. The Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Grievance Procedures, list the various ways to file a complaint.

Any employee who becomes aware of sexual harassment or other potentially discriminatory behavior, as detailed in University Policy 1201, must contact Compliance, Diversity, and Ethics.

Retaliation against an individual who has raised claims of illegal discrimination or has cooperated with an investigation of such claims is prohibited.


Compliance, Diversity, and Ethics is responsible for administering and monitoring George Mason University’s equal opportunity/affirmative action policies and procedures.


Inquiries about or complaints alleging violation of the University’s sexual harassment policy should be directed to Compliance, Diversity, and Ethics. Mason Hall D201, MS 2C2, Fairfax, VA 22030. Phone (703) 993-8730.


The policies herein are effective April 3, 2006.  This Administrative Policy shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, annually to become effective at the beginning of the University’s fiscal year, unless otherwise noted.


Senior Vice President


Date approved: April 20, 2006

Date of most recent review: October 8, 2012

* Note: Sexual harassment does not include verbal expression or written material that is relevant to course subject matter or curriculum and this policy shall not abridge academic freedom or George Mason University’s educational mission.