CUNY Board Policy Against Sexual Harassment

The Board of Trustees of the City University of New York has adopted the following policy (January 25, 1982, Cal. No. 5.A.):

It is the policy of The City University of New York to prohibit harassment of employees or students on the basis of sex. This policy is related to and is in conformity with the equal employment opportunity policy of the University to recruit, employ, retain and promote employees without regard to sex, age, race, color or creed. Prompt investigation of allegations will be made on a confidential basis to ascertain the veracity of complaints and appropriate corrective action will be taken.

It is a violation of policy for any member of the University community to engage in sexual harassment. It is a violation of policy for any member of the University community to take action against an individual for reporting sexual harassment.

Policy Guidelines

A. Definition:

For purposes of this policy, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or written communications 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 academic standing,
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual, or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

B. Responsibilities:

  • The President of each college is responsible for overseeing compliance with the implementation of this policy.
  • Each dean, director, department chairperson, administrator or other person with supervisory responsibility is responsible within his/her area of jurisdiction for the implementation and dissemination of this policy.

C. Procedures:

  • Students claiming harassment on the basis of sex shall report such harassment to the Dean of Students. Upon receipt of such complaint, the Dean shall make an informal confidential investigation and report his or her findings to the President with appropriate recommendations. The Dean shall consult with the Campus Title IX Coordinator in this process.
  • Employees covered by collective bargaining agreements which include gender discrimination as a ground for grievance, shall utilize the grievance procedure provided in their respective agreements.
  • Employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement or covered by an agreement which does not include gender discrimination as a ground for grievance, shall utilize the following procedure:
    • Each college president shall appoint a panel of at least three persons to handle complaints arising in the college; an appropriate announcement of the formation of the panel and its membership should be disseminated to the college community.
    • Individuals who believe that they have been harassed on the basis of sex should communicate with a member of the panel. The panel member should be available for consultation and assistance and should attempt to resolve the problem in a manner which is fair and equitable and which is consistent with this University policy.
    • The initial effort by a panel member in response to a complaint shall be made on an informal basis and every effort shall be made to insure the privacy of both the complainant and the accused.
    • If no informal resolution of the allegations is achieved, the panel member shall promptly submit written report with recommendations to the President.
  • Following receipt of the report, the President may take such further action as he/she deems necessary, including the initiation of disciplinary proceedings.
  • Allegations of sexual harassment under C.1 and C.3 above should be made within 30 days of the date of alleged occurrence, except for extenuating circumstances.
  • The University Offices of Faculty and Staff Relations and Legal Affairs are available to assist the colleges in the implementation of these procedures.


The policy is in accordance with guidelines of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which recommend that employers adopt policy guidelines expressing strong disapproval of sexual harassment and develop appropriate investigative procedures and sanctions for improper conduct. These guidelines make such principles applicable to all members of the University community.

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