Harassment and Discrimination
Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, gender (including gender identity and gender expression, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, veteran status, age, height and weight, marital status, disability or genetic information.
Harassment becomes unlawful where
- enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or
the conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or objectively and subjectively offensive as to substantially or effectively disrupt or undermine a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from a University program or activity.
Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and/or verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or objectively and subjectively offensive as to substantially or effectively disrupt or undermine a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from a University program or activity. It could be based on power differentials (quid pro quo) where submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of instruction, employment or participation in any University activity, or creates a hostile environment.
Discrimination is the unequal or unfair treatment of a person on the basis of that person's race, color, religion, gender (including gender identity and gender expression, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, veteran status, age, height and weight, marital status, disability or genetic information. Discrimination can occur when persons are excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, any University program or activity because of their protected status.
Examples of Prohibited Practices
- Retaliation against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in an investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices
- Denying employment opportunities to a person because of marriage to, or association with, an individual of a particular race, religion, national origin, or an individual with a disability.
- Giving a higher grade to a student who submits to sexual advances.
The University is committed to ensuring that its learning and working environments are free from all forms of discrimination and harassment. The University strictly prohibits and will not tolerate reprisals or retaliation against persons due to their assertion of their protected civil rights, including the filing of internal complaints of discrimination, filing complaints with federal or state civil rights enforcement agencies, or participation in an investigation of such a complaint (e.g., serving as a witness). Retaliation against anyone who is a victim, files a claim/complaint, who is named as a respondent, or who participates in the investigation and/or resolution of a case, regardless of the outcome of the case, is expressly prohibited and could lead to discipline and possible dismissal. Retaliation exists when action is taken against a participant (whether a complainant, witness, respondent, or investigator) which affects their employment, academic/student, or business status which is motivated in whole or in part by their participation in the process. Retaliation for filing a complaint or participating in the complaint process may be found regardless of whether or not the underlying complaint is found to have merit. Individuals who believe they are experiencing this form of retaliation are strongly encouraged to contact the appropriate University office, including the Office of Institutional Equity, the Director of Human Resources, or the Dean of Students Office.