HRM-009: Preventing and Addressing Discrimination and Harassment

Date: 04/08/2008 Status: Final
Last Revised: 09/03/2019
Applies To: Academic Division, the Medical Center, and the College at Wise. Specifically, present and former employees of the University, students, applicants for admission or employment, and participants in University programs or activities (includes customers for services, vendors, contractors, and volunteers).
Table of Contents:

Policy Statement

Reason for Policy:

The University is committed to providing a workplace and educational environment, programs, and activities free of discrimination and harassment. This policy does not allow curtailment or censorship of constitutionally protected expression.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Complaint:

    Allegation(s) of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation, filed in good faith and in accordance with EOCR's Preventing and Addressing Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Complaint Procedures.

  • Discrimination:

    Inequitable treatment by the University of a person based on one or more of that person's protected characteristics or statuses, excepting any treatment permitted or required by law.

    • Protected Characteristics/Statuses:

      Age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information.

  • Harassment:

    Unwelcome conduct directed against a person based on one or more of that person’s protected characteristics or statuses, which conduct is so severe or pervasive that it interferes with an individual’s employment, academic performance or participation in University programs or activities, and creates a working, learning, program or activity environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating, hostile or offensive.

  • Supervisor:

    Any person who has authority to undertake or recommend tangible employment decisions affecting an employee or academic decisions affecting a student; or to direct an employee’s work activities or a student’s academic activities. Examples include faculty members to whom work-study students report and team lead workers who, from time to time, monitor other employees’ performance or direct their work.

  • University:

    As used throughout this Policy, “University” refers to the University of Virginia, including its Medical Center and the College at Wise.

Policy Statement:

The University will not tolerate discrimination or harassment in the workplace, academic setting or in its programs or activities based on age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, or family medical or genetic information. This policy is intended to be consistent with applicable federal and state laws and state and University policies. The Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights (EOCR) is responsible for enforcing this policy on behalf of the University and has complaint procedures available to do so.

Effective March 30, 2015, this Policy does not address sexual assault, sexual exploitation, intimate partner violence, stalking, or sexual or gender-based harassment. Those categories of prohibited conduct are now governed by HRM-041: Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence (“Title IX policy”), which also establishes separate procedures that outline reporting options and explain how the University assesses, investigates and resolves reports of such prohibited conduct against students (Appendix A) and employees (Appendix B). The Title IX policy and related procedures supersede any conflicting information contained in this Policy or the PADHR Complaint Procedures with respect to the conduct the Title IX policy specifically prohibits.

All members of management, supervisors, faculty and University, classified and Medical Center staff are responsible for successfully completing the University’s non-discrimination, anti-harassment, and anti-retaliation training at least every two years.

In addition, supervisors are responsible for:

  • knowing and understanding this Policy;
  • explaining this Policy to persons under their supervision;
  • taking appropriate action to prevent discrimination and harassment;
  • being receptive to concerns and complaints of discrimination and/or harassment;
  • taking appropriate action (in consultation with EOCR) when they become aware of potential violations of this policy; and
  • following up with persons who make complaints of discrimination or harassment to assure them that their complaints were investigated and to determine whether any remedial actions were successful.

Supervisors who do not fully perform their responsibilities under this Policy will be rated unfavorably on their performance evaluations and may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.


A complaint may be filed with EOCR by any present or former employee of the University, student, applicant for admission or employment, or participant in a University program or activity, who believes (s)he has been discriminated against or harassed in violation of this Policy. Any such complaint must be filed within 300 calendar days of the incident.

This Policy as well as the EOCR Preventing and Addressing Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Complaint Procedures and Complaint Form & are accessible online and in printed materials. In addition, this policy is presented in online and live training offered by EOCR.

Related Information:

HRM-010: Preventing and Addressing Retaliation

EOCR policies are published throughout the University in printed materials such as EOCR brochures and University catalogs and recruiting materials (student and personnel).
Translation of this policy in Chinese, Spanish, or Korean, refer to the EOCR website page on Language Diversity.

Policy Background:

This policy is based on federal and state laws, including Executive Order 11246, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, the Virginia Human Rights Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, as well as state policy, including the Governor’s Executive Order One, the Commonwealth’s Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) Policy 1.60 - Standards of Conduct, DHRM Policy 2.05 - Equal Employment Opportunity, and DHRM Policy 2.30 - Workplace Harassment.

Major Category: Human Resource Management
Next Scheduled Review: 09/03/2022
Approved by, Date: Policy Review Committee, 04/08/2008
Revision History: Updated 9/3/19; Added contact offices 1/17/19; Updated definition 9/3/15; Updated 10/22/14, 8/29/11; 1/6/11; Consolidates provisions of the University's existing Non-Discrimination Policy (revised and approved October 25, 2001, November 14, 2002), Equal Employment Opportunity Policy (date unknown) and Policy on Discriminatory Harassment (revised as of 2003).
Supersedes (previous policy):
Policy on Discriminatory Harassment revised as of 2003.