We should not be held back from pursuing our full talents, from contributing what we could contribute to the society, because we fit into a certain mold ― because we belong to a group that historically has been the object of discrimination.
The Equity Office and Title IX facilitates the community's compliance with the following policies and procedures. To help you understand your options and rights, we have also created simplified versions of our reporting and investigation procedures.
Definitions of covered misconduct are provided in the policies. However, our office addresses even climate concerns, which are those instances of inappropriate conduct which may not rise to the level of a policy violation, but which nonetheless compromise the collegiality and inclusiveness of our community environment. When left to fester, climate concerns often develop into bigger problems and actual violations. We encourage you to come and talk with us about your options if you feel concerned about any treatment you or someone else is experiencing.
We provide, upon request, information about professional development training for personnel involved in the Procedures for Complaints of Sex- and Gender-Based Misconduct Under Title IX.
These are summary definitions of key terms addressed in the Unlawful Harassment and Sex- and Gender-Based Misconduct Policies. Please consult those policies for full information. You can read examples of conduct which potentially fall within the categories of misconduct defined below in the policies as well as on this website under What We Do, Specific Examples of Reported Concerns.
Retaliation is a concern frequently expressed to the Equity and Title IX Office by persons afraid to share information about problematic conduct, generally either as a victim or bystander. We assure you that Caltech strictly prohibits retaliation. We take steps to prevent and address retaliation. Retaliation is defined as overt or covert acts of reprisal, interference, discrimination, intimidation, or harassment against an individual or group for exercising their rights under federal and state laws and Caltech's policies. Caltech strictly prohibits retaliation. If you believe you are experiencing retaliation for any reason related to unlawful discrimination or harassment on the basis of any protected characteristic, including race, sex and gender, please contact us immediately for assistance.
Discrimination is treating people differently based on individual characteristics protected under state or federal law, such as race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender, gender, sexual orientation, and physical or mental disability. Policies and practices may also be found discriminatory if they unfavorably impact individuals with a certain protected characteristic. The full list of protected characteristics is provided in the Unlawful Harassment Policy, under Policies.
Unlawful harassment is a form of misconduct that includes unwelcome physical, verbal or nonverbal conduct that results in a person feeling intimidated, threatened, humiliated, or demeaned, and is likely to interfere with an individual's work or education, or adversely affects an individual's living conditions.
Harassment in any form, based on any protected characteristics (e.g., race, religion, color, sex, age, sexual orientation) is unlawful and is strictly prohibited at all times. The full list of protected characteristics, as well as examples of conduct that may constitute unlawful harassment, are provided in the Unlawful Harassment Policy, under Policies. Unlawful harassment includes sexual harassment and gender-based harassment.
Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Quid pro quo: submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or education or submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for decisions affecting that individual's employment or academic terms or status; or
- Hostile environment: Such conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual's work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or academic environment. An individual may experience sexual harassment even if the offensive conduct was not aimed directly at them.
This is harassment based on an individual's actual or perceived sex, gender, gender identity, or gender expression, including harassing or bullying conduct based on the individual's gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transition, or nonconformity with sex stereotypes.
Sexual misconduct includes sexual conduct that occurs by force or threat of force or without affirmative consent, including when the person is under the age of 18, asleep, unconscious, or otherwise incapacitated by drugs or alcohol. Sexual misconduct includes sexual assault, nonconsensual sexual contact, and sexual exploitation.
Affirmative Consent is a crucial component of Caltech's Sex- and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy. You must have someone's affirmative, conscious, ongoing, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity before engaging in that activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that they have affirmative consent. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. Consent can be revoked at any time. Someone who is under the age of 18, asleep, unconscious, or otherwise incapacitated by drugs or alcohol, is legally incapable of consenting to sexual activity.
Relationship violence includes, but is not limited to, physical, sexual, emotional, economic and/or psychological actions or threat of actions, including threatening to reveal personal or confidential information (including, but not limited to, information regarding one's gender identity or sexual orientation), that are intimidating, frightening, terrorizing, or threatening. Relationship violence includes threats of harm to one's family members, friends, or self-harm. Relationship violence can consist of a single act or pattern of behavior. Dating violence and domestic violence are types of relationship violence.
Stalking is a course of conduct, including of a sexual or romantic nature or motivation, directed at an individual that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress. Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with the person's property.