Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation
The CSU’s Interim Policy prohibits Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Exploitation, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Retaliation as described below.
The definitions of Prohibited Conduct below should be used for alleged misconduct that occurs on or after January 1, 2022. The definitions that should be used for alleged misconduct that occurred prior to January 1, 2022, are those in the policy in place at the time of the alleged misconduct.
Discrimination is an Adverse Action against a Complainant because of their Protected Status.
- Adverse Action means an action engaged in by the Respondent that has a substantial and material
adverse effect on the Complainant's ability to participate in a university program,
activity, or employment. Minor or trivial actions or conduct not reasonably likely
to do more than anger or upset a Complainant does not constitute an Adverse Action.
An adverse employment action is any conduct or employment action that is reasonably
likely to impair an employee's job performance or prospects for advancement or promotion.
- If Adverse Action is taken because of a Complainant's Protected Status, that means that the Complainant's Protected Status
is a substantial motivating reason (but not necessarily the only reason) for the Adverse
Action. Protected Status includes age, disability (physical or mental), gender (or
sex), genetic information, gender identity (including transgender), gender expression,
marital status, medical condition, nationality, race or ethnicity (including color,
caste, or ancestry), religion or religious creed, sexual orientation, and ethnic background.
- An allegation that an Employee is receiving unequal pay because of their Protected Status (for example, under the California Equal Pay Act) constitutes a Discrimination Complaint under this policy.
Harassment means unwelcome verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct engaged in because of an individual Complainant's Protected Status. If a Complainant is harassed because of their Protected Status, that means that the Complainant's Protected Status is a substantial motivating reason (but not necessarily the only reason) for the conduct. Harassment may occur when:
- Submitting to, or rejecting, the verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct is explicitly
or implicitly a basis for:
- Decisions that adversely affect or threaten employment, or which are being presented as a term or condition of the Complainant's employment; or
- Decisions that affect or threaten the Complainant's academic status or progress,
or access to benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or
through the university.
- The conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive so that its effect, whether intended
or not, could be considered by a reasonable person under similar circumstances and
with similar identities, and is in fact considered by the Complainant as creating
an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or educational environment that denies
or substantially limits an individual's ability to participate in or benefit from
employment and/or educational, services, activities, or other privileges provided
by the CSU.
Harassment includes, but is not limited to, verbal harassment (e.g., epithets, derogatory comments, or slurs), physical harassment (e.g., assault, impeding or blocking movement, or any physical interference with normal work or movement), and visual forms of harassment (e.g., derogatory posters, cartoons, drawings, symbols, or gestures.). Single, isolated incidents will typically be insufficient to rise to the level of harassment.
Retaliation means that a substantial motivating reason for an Adverse Action taken against a person was because the person has or is believed to have:
- Exercised their rights under this policy,
- Reported or opposed conduct which was reasonably and in good faith believed to be in violation of this policy,
- Assisted or participated in an investigation/proceeding under this policy, regardless of whether the Complaint was substantiated,
- Assisted someone in reporting or opposing a violation of this policy or assisted someone in reporting or opposing Retaliation under this policy.
Adverse Action means an action engaged in by the Respondent that has a substantial and material adverse effect on the Complainant's ability to participate in a university program, activity, or employment. Minor or trivial actions or conduct not reasonably likely to do more than anger or upset a Complainant does not constitute an Adverse Action. Retaliation may occur whether or not there is a power or authority differential between the individuals involved.
There are certain provisions of the Policy that apply only to certain sex discrimination complaints and do not apply to Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation (DHR) Complaints.
The Title IX Coordinator is the designated administrator to receive reports of Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Exploitation, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and associated Retaliation.
The DHR Administrator is the designated administrator to receive reports of all other misconduct prohibited by the Policy.