Types of Harassment

Quid Pro Quo Harassment

"Quid pro quo" is Latin for "something for something." It is a trade. When the trade is an exchange involving race, sex, gender identity and expression, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, sexual orientation, political affiliation, veteran status, disability or genetic information, it is impermissible. Most people relate quid pro quo to only sexual harassment. However, it can cross into other forms of harassment as well. 

Hostile Environment

A hostile work or learning environment is one in which the employer, an employee (administrative, faculty, staff), a student, a visitor, or a contractor, does or says something discriminatory that unreasonably interferes with an individual's work or educational experience or creates an intimidating or offensive environment based on that individual's race/ethnicity, color, sex, gender identity and expression, genetic information, religion, creed, national origin, age, sexual orientation, political affiliation, veteran status or disability. Hostile environment is determined by looking at all of the circumstances, including whether the alleged conduct is unwelcome and unsolicited, the frequency of the conduct, its severity, its pervasiveness, whether it is physically threatening or humiliating, and whether it unreasonably interferes with an employee's work performance or with a student's academic progress and access to the University's resources and opportunities. 


Federal law, state law and university policy prohibit retaliation against anyone who complains about harassment, is accused of harassment, or assists in an investigation. Any interference, coercion, restraint, or reprisal directed against any person opposing or complaining of harassment is prohibited and, if proven, subject to disciplinary action.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Prevention is the best tool to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers are encouraged to take steps necessary to prevent sexual harassment from occurring. They can do so by providing sexual harassment training to their employees and by establishing an effective complaint or grievance process and taking immediate and appropriate action when an employee complains. This form of discrimination may be inadvertent or intentional, and it can be obvious or subtle; regardless, it is unacceptable at Appalachian and, in many cases against the law.

Unlawful Harassment

Some behaviors that might be considered harassment are not unlawful or impermissible.