Discrimination and Harassment

Hostile Environment

Oral, written, graphic, or physical behavior that creates an environment that is hostile.  Includes but is not limited to unwelcome conduct that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance, participation in a university sponsored activity, or that creates an intimidating or threatening environment.  The behavior is directed at a person because of their race, sex, age, color, national origin, religion, disability genetic information, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, pregnancy, or veteran status.

Sexual Harassment

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.


Federal and state law and university policy prohibit any form of retaliation against a person who files a discrimination complaint in good faith. Disciplinary action may be taken against any person who files a discrimination complaint in bad faith, or who maliciously or knowingly files false spurious, or frivolous claims charges.

Discrimination by type as defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

  • Race - Treating someone unfavorably because he/she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race, such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features.
  • Color - Treating someone unfavorably because of skin color or complexion; because the person is married to (or associated with a person of a certain race or color; or a person's connection with a race-based organization or group that is generally associated with people of a certain color.
  • National or Ethnic Origin- Treating people unfavorably because they are from a particular country or part of the world; because of ethnicity or accent; or because they appear to be of a certain ethnic background (even if they are not).
  • Religion - Treating a person unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs; because that person is married to (or associated with) an individual of a particular religion; or because of his or her connection with a religious organization or group.
  • Sex - Treating someone unfavorably because of that person’s sex.
  • Age- Treating someone less favorably because their age is over 40.
  • Disability - Treating a qualified individual with a disability unfavorably because they have a disability.
  • Veteran Status - Treating job applicant or employees unfavorably because of military status. Federal contractors and subcontractors (those who receive government funds) are required to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified Vietnam era veterans who served on active duty during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign or badge has been authorized.
  • Sexual Orientation - Treating someone unfavorably because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity; or because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, pansexual or polysexual.
  • Gender Identity - A person’s sense of identification with either the male or female sex, as  manifested in appearance, behavior, and other aspects of the person’s life.
  • Genetic Information - Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), prohibits genetic information discrimination in employment.  GINA prohibits the use of genetic information in making employment decisions, requesting, requiring or purchasing genetic information, and strictly limits the disclosure of genetic information.
  • Peer Harassment - Harassment of students by other students is addressed by certain provisions in the Student Handbook under the Code of Student Conduct and is administered by the Office of Student Life.

The Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Form allows you to provide additional information regarding your complaint. Completed forms should be sent to the  Employee Relations Office in Human Resources.