The US Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights ( OCR) enforces Title IX and considers sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual misconduct as forms of sex/gender discrimination. It requires that all incidents of sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual misconduct be viewed as discrimination and be investigated.
Discrimination is the unequal treatment of a person based on that person’s gender. This prohibition covers any term or condition of employment, academic program, student service, activity, benefit or opportunity provided by UMKC.
Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of instruction, employment, or participation in any University activity;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for evaluation in making academic or personnel decisions affecting an individual;
- Such conduct must be sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive and objectively offensive that it interferes with or limits an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from the employment or educational environment.
In determining whether the alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment, consideration shall be given to the record as a whole and to the totality of circumstances, including the nature and frequency of the conduct and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.
Sexual Assault is defined by the criminal statutes of Missouri as a crime involving forced or coerced sexual penetration (first and third degree) or sexual contact (second and fourth degree).
Sexual assault can occur either forcibly (against a person’s will) or when a person cannot give consent.
In certain situations, a person does not have the capacity to agree to participate in consensual sex.
Examples include individuals who are under the age of consent, or individuals who are mentally or physically incapacitated (e.g., unconscious, too intoxicated to consent, asleep, etc.). Anyone engaging in sexual contact with someone who is unable to give consent may be committing sexual assault.
Depending on the particular circumstances, sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual assault may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Physical assaults of a sexual nature, such as rape, sexual battery, molestation, or attempts to commit these assaults; and intentional physical conduct that is sexual in nature such as touching, pinching, patting, grabbing, poking, or brushing against another individual’s body.
- Offering or implying an employment-related reward (such as a promotion, raise, or different work assignment) or an education-related reward (such as a better grade, a letter of recommendation, favorable treatment in the classroom, assistance in obtaining employment, grants or fellowships, or admission to any educational program or activity) in exchange for sexual favors or submission to sexual conduct.
- Threatening or taking a negative employment action (such as termination, demotion, denial of an employee benefit or privilege, or change in working conditions) or negative educational action (such as giving an unfair grade, withholding a letter of recommendation, or withholding assistance with any educational activity) or intentionally making the individual’s job or academic work more difficult because sexual conduct is rejected.
- The use or display in the classroom or workplace, including electronic, of pornographic or sexually harassing materials such as posters, photos, cartoons or graffiti without pedagogical justification.
- Unwelcome sexual advances, repeated propositions or requests for a sexual relationship to an individual who has previously indicated that such conduct is unwelcome, or sexual gestures, noises, remarks, jokes, questions, or comments about a person’s sexuality or sexual experience. Such conduct between peers must be sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an educational or working environment that is hostile or abusive. A single incident involving severe misconduct may rise to the level of harassment.
You may contact the Title IX coordinator or any of the Deputy Coordinators to get the assistance you need regarding sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual misconduct.
Detailed information about how and where to file a complaint of sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual assault can be found on the UMKC Title IX Compliance Page.