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Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation

Discrimination, Harassment & Retaliation

Discrimination and harassment can directly or indirectly impact an individual's ability to work and study. It is the policy of the University to maintain an academic and work environment free of discrimination and discriminatory harassment for all students and employees. The University takes all reports of discrimination seriously and investigates each complaint thoroughly. 

Additionally, the University prohibits retaliation taken against a student or employee that has or is believed to have opposed conduct believed to constitute discrimination that which the University prohibits; filing a complaint about such practices; or testifying or participating in an investigation related to a discrimination complaint. Retaliation includes adverse actions that are reasonably likely to deter an individual from opposing conduct or filing a complaint about such practices.

This policy of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation applies to all programs, activities, employment practices and operations of the University. This includes the conduct of all students and employees arising out of their employment or educational or academic status, as well as the conduct of all guests, visitors, vendors, contractors, subcontractors, and others who do business with CSUSB. 

Prohibited Discrimination and Harassment Against Students:

No student may be discriminated or harassed against on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, ancestry, disability, pregnancy, marital or parental status, or any other category protected by law as defined in CSU Policy. The provision includes access admission to, or participation in, or the benefits of, any service, program, course, or facility.

Prohibited Discrimination and Harassment Against Employees:

No employee may be discriminated or harassed against on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, ancestry, disability, pregnancy, marital or parental status, genetic information, arrest record, conviction record, military service, veteran status, use or nonuse of lawful products off the employer's premises during nonworking hours, declining to attend a meeting or participate in any communication about religious matters or political matters, or any other category protected by law as defined in CSU Policy . This provision includes employment-related actions, such as recruitment, interviewing, testing, screening, selection, placement, classification, evaluation, transfer, promotion, training, compensation, fringe benefits, layoffs, and /or dismissal.


What is Discrimination?

Discrimination is treatment of an individual or class of individuals which denies opportunity, participation, or benefit on any of the identified grounds.

Discrimination Prohibited by Law and by CSUSB:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Ancestry
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender/Gender Identity
  • Age
  • Marital Status
  • Pregnancy
  • Disabled Veterans
  • Covered Veterans
  • Sexual Orientation (Real or Perceived)
  • Religion
  • Medical Condition
  • Physical or Mental Disability
  • Retaliation against individuals who have exercised their rights under these laws.

Examples of Discrimination

The following are examples of behavior that could be interpreted as prohibited discrimination. Please know that these examples meant to be illustrative only and are not an inclusive list.

  • Lack of access or equally effective access to academic programs or electronic or information technology.
  • Verbiage that could be interpreted as being offensive, such as comments about someone's race, sex, gender/gender identity, ancestry, color, age, physical or mental disability, mental status, religion, sexual preference, or veteran status.
  • Not allowing a student or employee the time away from class or work to observe a religious holiday, or not allowing him or her to make up the time of work lost due to observance of religious holiday.
  • Screening a person out of a job on the basis of age.
  • Treating a student or employee or peer differently because of her/his race.
  • Constantly commenting or kidding about someone's ancestry.
  • Not providing assistance to an employee or student because of a physical or mental disability when you provide this assistance to everyone else.
  • Not being sensitive to others' needs because of their gender.
  • Not listening to, or not taking seriously, suggestions or ideas from someone because of her/his gender.
  • Not giving credit to someone for a well-done effort because of her/his race.
  • Not considering someone for a position because of her or his covered military service.


What is Harassment?

Harassment is unwelcome and/or offensive conduct on the basis of any protected status, which include race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, physical disability, mental disability, or medical condition, and:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual's employment, grade or academic progress;
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis or threatened to be used as the basis for employment or academic standing or assessments affecting an individual; or
  3. Such conduct is so severe or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, is an environment that could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the individual, and is in fact considered by the individual, as intimidating, hostile or offensive.

What is a Hostile Environment?

A hostile environment may exist when such conduct is persistent and/or pervasive and when it unreasonably interferes with an individual's ability to participate, learn, and/or work. Factors considered in determining whether an environment is hostile include whether the conduct was:

  • Verbal or physical or both
  • A single incident or a pattern of behavior;
  • Perceived to be hostile or offensive to a reasonable person;
  • Exercised by an individual in a position of authority; and/or
  • Directed to one or more individuals or class of individuals

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that is specifically addressed by legislatures and courts, and is one of the most prevalent forms of discrimination. There may be sexual harassment by those of the same sex as well as by those of the opposite sex.

"Sex" includes, but is not limited to: the victim's actual sex; the harasser's perception of the victim's sex; the harasser's perception of the victim's identity, appearance, or behavior, whether or not that identity, appearance, or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with victim's sex at birth.

Examples of Harassment

The following are examples of behavior that could be interpreted as harassment. Please know that these examples meant to be illustrative only and are not an inclusive list.

  • Written communications, such as sending inappropriate jokes or comments in print or by electronically;
  • Verbal communications, such as making graphic or degrading comments about an individual and/or his/her body or personal characteristics, or using epithets, derogatory comments or slurs;
  • Physical acts, such as unwanted touching, physical interference, or event assault;
  • Visual acts or displays, such as derogatory cartoons, drawings, or posters, or inappropriate gestures;
  • Making unwelcome sexual advances or propositions, or offering benefits or giving preferential treatment in exchange for sexual favors;
  • Making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to unwelcome conduct.


Prohibited Retaliation/Reprisal for filing a complaint of discrimination or harassment, for opposing prohibited discrimination or harassment, or for testifying, assisting or participating in any manner in any complaint proceeding is not tolerated and constitutes separate grounds for complaint.


You may file a formal complaint to:

  • David Hou, Executive Director of Institutional Equity & Compliance
    Office: (909) 537-5669

  • Dr. Kevin Grisham, Associate Provost (Interim) for Faculty Affairs and Development
    Office: 909-537-5522

Questions may also be addressed to:

  • Office for Civil Rights
    San Francisco Office U.S. Department of Education
    50 United Nations Plaza
    San Francisco, CA 94102 
    Telephone: (415) 486-5555 Facsimile: (415) 486-5570