Improving Sexual Harassment Protections: An Examination of the Legal Compliance of U.S. University Sexual Harassment Policies

Charlie Penrod
Marcelline Fusilier

DOI: 10.2190/WR.15.2.c


One way in which employees are protected from sexually harassing behavior is through the dissemination of effective workplace sexual harassment policies. The adequacy of U.S. state university sexual harassment policies was examined nationwide. Sexual harassment is a worldwide problem that lingers despite the presence of sexual harassment laws requiring employers to design effective sexual harassment policies. U.S. university policies were examined in light of the rules set forth in two American court decisions: Faragher v. City of Boca Raton (1998) and Clark v. UPS (2005). The results of the study supported predictions that universities generally have promulgated sexual harassment policies and have disseminated them online. However, universities have not adequately included several important anti-harassment provisions in their policies. In fact, more than half of the sexual harassment policies were missing at least one recommended element. Recommendations are discussed with a view to exploiting these inadequacies.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.