University Employee Sexual Harassment Policies

  • Marcelline Fusilier
  • Charlie Penrod


The purpose of the study was to investigate the quality and online availability of policies for employee sexual harassment prevention. The availability and characteristics of employee sexual harassment policies were compared across the following types of colleges and universities: (a) government sponsored state nonprofit, (b) private nonprofit, and (c) private for-profit. Web sites of 496 U.S. colleges and universities were searched. Available policies were collected and coded for whether they included the following: (a) mandatory supervisory reporting of harassment, (b) availability of informal and formal complaint procedures, and (c) availability of multiple reporting options to ensure harassing supervisors can be bypassed. Each school web site was also searched for discussion of the availability of sexual harassment training for employees. Results suggested that only 23 % of for-profit universities made their policies publicly available on their web sites versus 99 % of state universities. Seventy percent of available university harassment policies/web sites were deficient on one or more of the characteristics studied. Based on these findings, it appears that universities should increase both the quality and accessibility of their sexual harassment policies as well as the availability of anti-harassment training.


Sexual harassment Employee harassment policies Universities Employee protection 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Business and EconomicsAmerican University of KuwaitSafatKuwait
  2. 2.Legal Studies ProgramUniversity of West FloridaPensacolaUSA

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