Human Resources Manual

Policy No.: 5-14 This policy applies to:
Policy Name: Consensual Relationships Non-exempt staff
Effective Date: 08/01/04   Exempt staff
Revised:   Faculty

Policy

Loyola University New Orleans strongly discourages romantic or sexual relationships between:

  • any supervisor (faculty or staff) and his or her employee (an employee, faculty or staff, who reports directly or indirectly to that person),
  • any staff employee and any Loyola student,
  • any faculty member and any Loyola student

Such relationships may give rise to the perception by others that there is favoritism or bias in employment or educational decisions affecting the employee or student. Moreover, given the uneven balance of power within such relationships, consent by the staff member or student is suspect and may be viewed by others or, at a later date, by the staff member or student as having been given as the result of coercion or intimidation. The atmosphere created by such appearances of bias or favoritism undermines the spirit of trust and mutual respect that is essential to a healthy University environment.

Perception of intimidation, coercion or exploitation can lead to charges of sexual harassment. In other such cases, the burden of proving sexual harassment rests with the accuser. But, when charges of harassment are brought by the subordinate employee or student during or subsequent to a relationship, and the supervisor or faculty member claims that the relationship was consented to by the employee or student, the burden is on the supervisor or faculty member to prove that the relationship was consensual and voluntary.

Procedure

If any Loyola staff or faculty member enters into a consensual relationship which is romantic or sexual in nature with one of his or her employees (an employee who reports directly or indirectly to him or her), or if one of the parties is in a supervisory capacity in the same department in which the other party works, the parties must notify the Vice President of their division.

If any Loyola staff or faculty member enters into a consensual relationship with a student that is romantic or sexual in nature, the parties must notify the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Although the parties may feel that what they do off campus is their business and not the business of Loyola, because of potential issues regarding "quid pro quo" harassment, Loyola has made this a mandatory requirement.

Once the relationship is made known to a Loyola Vice President, he or she will review the situation with the Title IX Officer or HR Director in light of all the facts and will determine whether steps need to be taken to eliminate risk or perception of favoritism.