Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Policy on Equal Opportunity; Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment, Policy on Other Forms Of Harassment; Policy Prohibiting Retaliation

Individuals and Conduct Covered

These policies apply to all of Jefferson’s students, employees, faculty and applicants. All such individuals are both protected under and restricted by these policies.

Conduct prohibited by these policies is unacceptable in any academic, clinical or workplace setting or in any work-related setting outside the workplace, such as during off-site presentations or seminars, clinical rotations, class meetings, extra-curricular activities, or social activities related to TJU or with TJU students.

Policy on Equal Opportunity

Thomas Jefferson University is committed to providing equal educational and employment opportunities for all persons without regard to race, color, national or ethnic origin, marital status, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, veteran’s status or any other protected characteristic. The consideration of factors unrelated to a person's ability, qualifications and performance is inconsistent with this policy. Any person having inquiries or complaints concerning Thomas Jefferson University’s compliance with Title VI, Title IX, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Americans with Disabilities Act, or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is directed to contact their Student Affairs Dean or Human Resources – Employee Relations, who have been designated by Thomas Jefferson University to coordinate the institution's efforts to comply with the these laws.  Any person may also contact the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 20202, or the Director, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region Three, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, regarding the University’s compliance with the equal opportunity laws.

Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, and will not be tolerated. The following behaviors are prohibited, whether conducted by a man or a woman:

  • To threaten or insinuate, expressly or implicitly, that any student is required to submit to sexual advances or to provide sexual favors in order to participate in a University program or activity
  • To make any educational decision or take any action based on a student’s submission to or refusal to submit to sexual advance.
  • To engage in unwelcome sexually-oriented or otherwise hostile conduct which has the purpose or effect of interfering unreasonably with another person’s work or academic performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile, abusive or offensive environment. Such an environment can be created by a University employee, another student, or even someone visiting the University, such as a student or employee from another school.

Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and overt behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different sex. Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include, but are not limited to: unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual’s body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; leering, catcalls or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; display or circulation in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature.

It is important to remember that these prohibitions apply not only to oral and written communications, but also to e-mail, voice mail and Internet communications and searches.

It is no defense to inappropriate behavior that there was no bad intent, that it was only a joke, or that it was not directed at any particular person.

Policy on Other Forms of Harassment

Harassment based on any other protected status is equally prohibited and will not be tolerated. Under this policy, harassment is verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his or her age, race, color, religion, creed, sexual preference or orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, military status, veteran status, handicap or disability or any other characteristic protected by law or that of his/her relatives, friends or associates.

Harassing conduct includes, but is not limited to: epithets, slurs or stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes and display or circulation in the academic, clinical or work environment of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group.

It is important to remember that these prohibitions apply not only to oral and written communications, but also to e-mail, voice mail and Internet communications and searches.

It is no defense to inappropriate behavior that there was no bad intent, that it was only a joke or that it was not directed at any particular person.

Retaliation is Prohibited

Jefferson prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports discrimination or harassment or participates in an investigation of such reports. Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or discrimination or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment or discrimination itself, will be subject to disciplinary action.  This means that management will neither engage in nor tolerate retaliation of any kind against an employee who makes a complaint, serves as a witness or otherwise participates in the investigatory process.

What to Do If You Feel You Have Been Subjected to Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation

In some situations, a person may not realize that his or her behavior is unwelcome and/or offensive to you. Therefore, you are encouraged to tell the offending party that his or her conduct is unwelcome and/or offensive and request that the conduct stop. If this informal approach proves ineffective, or if it is one with which a person feels uncomfortable, for whatever reason, please follow the procedure set forth below. No student, employee or faculty member is required to directly confront the individual who has made him or her uncomfortable.

If you believe that you may have been discriminated against, harassed by or retaliated in violation of this policy, you should report the alleged violation immediately to the appropriate Title IX Coordinator, Assistant Provost Jennifer Fogerty, at 215-503-6335 (for Jefferson Colleges of Health Professions, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Population Health), Senior Associate Dean Charles Pohl at 215-203-6988, (for Sidney Kimmel Medical College) or  Dean Gerald Grunwald at 215-503-4191 (for Jefferson College of Life Sciences).  You also have the option to report the incident to your School Dean, Student Affairs Dean, your Course or Clerkship Director, Human Resources, Employee Relations, or you can call the Jefferson Alert Line at 833-ONE-CODE (833-663-2633) or Please speak with whichever person you feel the most comfortable, whatever your reasons. All complaints will be investigated promptly, and the existence and nature of your complaint will be disclosed only to the extent necessary to make a prompt and thorough investigation or as may be necessary to take appropriate corrective measures.  Further information on reporting and procedures in cases of sexual misconduct can be found in the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Sanctions for Violations of These Policies

Any student, employee, agent or non-employee who, after appropriate investigation, has been found to have unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or retaliated against another person, or to have engaged in inappropriate behavior inconsistent with this policy (even if not unlawful), will be subject to appropriate disciplinary and/or corrective action, up to and including termination of his or her relationship with Jefferson, or dismissal.

[1] This policy is adopted from TJU Policy No. 102.18.  It is restated here, with modification, to apply to TJU students.  

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(215) 503-6335
(215) 503-2787


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