FAQs on Discrimination and Harassment
Q. What is employment discrimination?
A. Discrimination occurs when an employee is treated less favorably with regard to the terms and conditions of his or her employment because the employee possesses, or is perceived to possess, an attribute belonging to a particular group or category of people. Discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran is unlawful.
Q. What should I do if I believe that I am the subject of unlawful employment discrimination?
A. You should contact Office of Equity and Diversity for assistance.
Q. How is harassment related to discrimination?
A. Harassment is a form of discrimination and may be defined as unwelcome conduct that has the purpose or effect of creating a hostile or intimidating environment that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the working conditions of a reasonable person.
Q. What is sexual harassment?
A. Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects a person's employment or education, unreasonably interferes with a person's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment. It is a form of gender discrimination and violates both federal and State law.
Q. What constitutes a hostile work environment?
A. A hostile work environment may exist when verbal or nonverbal behavior in the workplace:
- focuses on the sexuality of another person or occurs because of the person's gender;
- is unwanted or unwelcome; and is severe or pervasive enough to affect the employee's work environment.
Examples of this type of harassment include but are not limited to off-color jokes or teasing. derogatory comments of a sexual nature, sexual innuendoes, inappropriate touching, sexual assault/rape, staring, leering, facial expressions of a sexual nature, or posters, cartoons, drawings, or pictures of a sexual nature.
Q. What should I do if I feel that I am being sexually harassed?
A. If you believe you have been sexually harassed, you may contact a manager or supervisor, your Equity and Diversity Officer for information and assistance with informal and formal options for resolving your complaint.
Q. Who can be contacted for more information about these policies?