Summary publication

Sexual Harassment and Educational Institutions:
A Guide to the Federal Sex Discrimination Act
(1996)

Educational  institutions have important dual responsibilities under the Sex Discrimination Act because they are both employers and providers of education. They are places of learning for students and workplaces for staff. Institutions need to ensure that the teaching, learning and and working environment of employees and students are free from sexual harassment. Institutions risk liability if they fail to ensure that all reasonable precautions have been taken to prevent harassment from occuring.

These guidelines, published in 1996 to assist educational institutions to understand and fulfill their obligations under the SDA. They address the complex legal and jurisdictional issues that arise for the different sectors of education under the federal law and provide practical advice on developing policies and handling complaints.

The guidelines are an essential resource for anyone who is responsible for addressing sexual harassment and requires a detailed knowledge of the principles that apply in the area. This includes equal opportunity officers, equity officers, harassment contact officers, women's officers, school principals, teachers, union officials and managers.