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Non-Discrimination Policy and Procedures

Summary of Key Provisions

This Policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of “protected classes.” Retaliation against any individual who files a complaint or participates in an investigation under this Policy is strictly prohibited. University programs, activities and facilities are available to all without regard to specific “protected classes” which include: race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected class.

Discrimination is unequal treatment based on a legally protected status that is sufficiently serious to unreasonably interfere with or limit an individual’s opportunity to participate in or benefit from a University program or activity, or that otherwise adversely affects a term or condition of the individual’s employment or education.

Harassment is is a form of Discrimination (as defined to the left) that encompasses unwelcome conduct based on a person’s protected status. With the exception of the circumstances listed below, Harassment is severe or pervasive conduct that negatively affects the particular individual and also would negatively affect a reasonable person under the same circumstances. 

Harassment in violation of this Policy depends on the totality of the circumstances, including the nature, frequency, and duration of the conduct in question, the location and context in which it occurs, and the status of the individuals involved. Harassing behaviors may include, but are not limited to, the following, when based on a person’s protected status and rises to the standard set forth above:

  • conduct, whether verbal, physical, written, graphic, or electronic that threatens, intimidates, offends, belittles, denigrates, or shows an aversion toward an individual or group;
  • epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping, jokes, or nicknames;
  • written, printed, or graphic material that contains offensive, denigrating, or demeaning comments, or pictures; and
  • the display of offensive, denigrating, or demeaning objects, e-mails, text messages, or cell phone pictures.

When one of the following three circumstances is present, Harassment based on a person’s protected status is not required to be severe or pervasive and may be established by showing that the alleged conduct was unwelcome and offensive:

  1. when submission to the conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment of an individual;
  2. when submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the individual; or
  3. based on the totality of the circumstances, the conduct unreasonably creates a working environment that a reasonable person would perceive to be abusive or hostile.

Retaliation refers to action that is taken against an individual because they reported Discrimination, filed a complaint of Discrimination, or participated in an investigation or proceeding concerning a Discrimination complaint.

Frequently Asked Questions

This policy applies to students, faculty, staff, visitors, trainees, volunteers, applicants, vendors and contractors.

Yes. Complaints should be made within 90 business days of the incident.

No. Generally, a complaint about a specific incident cannot also be addressed under more than one University Policy. Complainants must choose which policy they want to file a complaint under, i.e. Staff Grievance Policy, Student Arbitrary and Capricious Grading Policy, etc.

Individuals who believe they may have experienced violations of this Policy are encouraged to promptly file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct (OCRSM) within 90 days here.



Call 301-405-1142

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