Title IX for Employees

It is unlawful to subject another individual, regardless of his/her gender or gender identity, to sex discrimination, which includes sexual harassment.  Fresno State does not discriminate on the basis of sex, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation in its employment practices, or in the education programs and activities it conducts in accordance with the Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as well as Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The University does not tolerate— and prohibits under CSU Executive Order 1089 through its "Policies and Procedures for Addressing Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation for University Faculty, Staff & Student Assistants” —the sexual discrimination of anyone on its campus and within the jurisdiction of the University by an employee. 

Sexual harassment is any unwelcome and/or uninvited verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, directed towards a person because of his or her sex or perceived sex that has the intent or effect, due to its severity and/or persistence, of unreasonably interfering with an individual or group's educational or work performance or that creates a hostile work, educational, or living environment. It is important to note that harassment can occur regardless of the relationship, position, or respective sex of the parties.

Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or admission to or participation in an academic program or University-related activity; or
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for decisions affecting an individual's employment with the University or a student’s academic standing; or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's performance on the job or in school; or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or study environment for an individual or group of individuals.

Sexual harassment may include unwelcome physical contact, visual displays of degrading sexual images, transmitting sexually suggestive conduct to or about coworkers to others, remarks of a sexual nature, or turning discussions inappropriately to sexual topics.   An act of sexual violence—any physical sexual act attempted or perpetrated against a person without his or her consent—constitutes sexual harassment, in addition to being a crime. 

Bringing a Complaint of Harassment, Discrimination or Retaliation

Any employee who believes he or she, or any other individual on campus, has been the subject of illegal sex discrimination or harassment in violation of University policy should immediately notify the Campus Title IX Coordinator, Janice A. Parten .

An employee may also make a report to his or her supervisor.  

In accordance with the California State University’s Executive Order 1074 , if any University employee becomes aware of a possible instance of sex discrimination or harassment, including sexual violence, committed against a student by anyone else, he or she must report this information to the Title IX Coordinator, except where the privilege of confidentiality is recognized under state law (i.e. between a patient and psychologist during a counseling session).

The University takes every complaint seriously, and the cooperation of employees in the investigative process is critical to promoting the safety and respect of each member of the University community.  Any attempt by a faculty member, employee, or student to penalize, intimidate, or retaliate in any way against a person who makes a report of or who is otherwise involved in a report of discrimination or harassment is illegal, and will be promptly addressed in accordance with Fresno State’s discipline process.  Correspondingly, any individual who knowingly files a false report of discrimination, retaliation or harassment violates University policy, and will be subject to appropriate discipline.

Consensual Relationships and Sexual Harassment

Actual or apparent authority that employees may have over a student or another employee is a primary consideration in determining if certain types of conduct constitute sexual harassment. This can be so even if the individual subject to the employee’s authority has accepted the conduct, shows no sign of being harassed, or fails to file a complaint of harassment.  Consensual relationships are considered sexual harassment when they are found to compromise Fresno State’s educational mission. See Fresno State’s policy on consensual relationships for more information.  Complaints of sexual harassment of students, including alleged consensual relationships, will be carefully evaluated in the context of the unique relationship and responsibility that faculty, administrators and other Fresno State employees have to students.

Academic Freedom and Sexual Harassment

Fresno State recognizes and respects the freedom of its employees and students in classroom discussion, in academic research and in the publication of related results.  Campus community members are encouraged to candidly and openly express their views and opinions during discussions in appropriate academic settings, including the classroom. However, the University also acknowledges the right of individuals to be free from injury caused by illegal harassment and the need to balance this right against the freedom of speech in the University’s academic community. Harassment is differentiated from behavior that, even though upsetting, could be considered reasonable and/or necessary to the carrying out of certain instructional, advisory, or supervisory responsibilities.   As such, in determining whether alleged conduct constitutes harassment, the University will examine all of the relevant information available, including the nature of the conduct and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.