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Prohibited Discrimination & Harassment Policy

Responsible Officer: Executive Director of Global Diversity & Inclusion

Responsible Office: Office of Equity & Compliance

Origination Date: October 26, 2011



Draft Policy – Still undergoing review and subject to final approval

pursuant to Portland State University’s Policy on Policies




I. Policy Statement

Portland State University’s faculty, staff, and students are responsible for maintaining an

environment for work and study free from prohibited discrimination and harassment.

II. Reason for Policy/Purpose

Portland State University is committed to providing all students, faculty and staff an equal

opportunity in education and employment and an environment free from discrimination and


III. Applicability

This policy applies to all students (including undergraduate and graduate), faculty, staff,

applicants for employment or admission, volunteers and members of the PSU community,

including but not limited to contractors and vendors.

IV. Definitions

1. Discrimination:

Discrimination means unreasonably treating an individual or group of individuals differently based on “Protected Class” which includes age, disability, national origin, race, marital status, veteran status, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, or any other basis protected by federal, state or local law, or in the use of Workers’ Compensation, Federal Family Medical Leave Act or the Oregon Medical Leave Act and any other category covered by law.

2. Discriminatory Harassment:

Discriminatory harassment means verbal or physical conduct by a student, faculty or staff based on a Protected Class or Protected Classes that is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with or limits a student, faculty or staff member’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s educational and/or employment opportunities, programs or activities. Discriminatory harassment includes Sexual Harassment.

3. Sexual Harassment:

Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

• Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic experience; or

• Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment, salary, or other benefit changes affecting an employee or academic decisions affecting a student; or

• Such conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual's work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

Examples of inappropriate behavior include: sexual or derogatory comments; grabbing or touching parts of the body; and sending letters, notes, cartoons, e-mails or audio messages of a sexually suggestive nature. Sexual harassment does not refer to occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature.

4. Retaliation:

Retaliation means any adverse treatment (beyond a petty slight or a trivial annoyance) that is based on a retaliatory motive and is reasonably likely to deter the protected activity (e.g., filing a discrimination or discriminatory harassment complaint or participating in an investigation, conduct hearing or an attempt at resolution, etc.).

V. Policy / Procedures

1.0 Policy. Discrimination or harassment based on a Protected Class or Protected Classes is

strictly prohibited by PSU.


2.0 Reporting Prohibited Discrimination or Harassment. Portland State University

encourages anyone who believes that he or she has experienced or witnessed discrimination or discriminatory harassment to come forward promptly. While discrimination or discriminatory harassment may sometimes be resolved by addressing the issue with the individual(s) involved, when such a course of action is not possible or appropriate, concerns or issues should be brought to the attention of:


  • •A supervisor or department head most directly concerned, excluding the person accused of the prohibited discrimination or discriminatory harassment; 


  • • Any academic or administrative official of Portland State University including but not limited to, the President, Vice President, University Counsel, the Provost, Vice Provost, Dean, Chair or a Director;


  • The Office of Equity & Compliance;


  • The Office of the Dean of Student Life;


  • • PSU’s Title IX Coordinator; or


  • •Campus Public Safety.



2.1 Required Reporting to the Office of Equity & Compliance or the Office of the Dean of Student Life: Any supervisor, manager, faculty member, or other University Official (University Official includes but is not limited to individuals with oversight responsibility for students or employees or with the titleof Director higher) who becomes aware of an incident that may constitute discrimination or discriminatory harassment is required to promptly notify the Office of Equity & Compliance or the Office of the Dean of Student Life. If you are unsure of whether you would be required to report, you can contact Portland State University’s Office of General Counsel.


    3.0 Initiating a Complaint.


    3.1. Complaints Against Students. The Office of the Dean of Student Life

    administers the University’s Student Code of Conduct, which describes and provides a

    process for addressing inappropriate student behavior. Complaints regarding a student’s

    conduct may be reported to the Office of the Dean of Student Life by completing and

    submitting a Student Conduct Complaint Form.


    3.2. Complaints Against Faculty Members. The Office of Equity & Compliance

    conducts prompt and thorough investigations involving allegations of prohibited

    discrimination and harassment. Complaints against a faculty member may be reported to

    the Office of Equity & Compliance by completing and submitting an online complaint


    3.3. Complaints Against Staff Members. The Office of Equity & Compliance

    conducts prompt and thorough investigations involving allegations of prohibited

    discrimination and harassment. Complaints against a staff member may be reported to

    the Office of Equity & Compliance by completing and submitting an online complaint


    3.4. Complaints Against Others. For complaints or questions about any other

    member of the PSU community, contact the Office of Equity & Compliance.


    4.0 Privacy and Confidentiality. To the extent possible, Portland State University will protect the

    privacy and confidentiality of all parties in connection with reports of discrimination and

    discriminatory harassment. It may become necessary, however, to disclose information during

    the course of an investigation or attempt at resolution on a need- or right-to-know basis.


    5.0 Investigation of the Complaint. The Office of Dean of Student Life and the Office of Equity

    & Compliance conduct prompt, thorough and neutral investigations of any complaint of

    discrimination and/or discriminatory harassment. The individual who files the complaint

    alleging discrimination and/or discriminatory harassment is known as the Complainant. The

    investigation may involve meeting with the parties and other appropriate university officials;

    allowing the person whose actions are the subject of the complaint, known as the Respondent,

    an opportunity to respond to the allegations; interviewing relevant witnesses, and reviewing

    relevant documentation. A determination will then be made if a violation of this policy has

    occurred. Corrective action(s) may be determined for students by the Student Code of Conduct

    and for employees and staff by their respective supervisor. Both the complainant and the

    respondent will be notified of the results of the investigation in writing.


    6.0 Corrective Action. Where prohibited discrimination or discriminatory harassment is found,

    steps will be taken to ensure that the discrimination or discriminatory harassment stops

    immediately and to reasonably prevent its reoccurrence. Appropriate corrective measures will

    be implemented and may range from training, counseling, verbal or written reprimands,

    suspensions, or other action, up to and including dismissal/termination of the relationship with

    Portland State University, in accordance with established Portland State University policies and

    procedures, collective bargaining agreements, and the Student Code of Conduct.


    7.0 Non-Retaliation. No person shall retaliate against an individual for reporting discrimination or

    harassment, filing a complaint, participating in an investigation, participating in resolution of a

    complaint or any other activity protected under this policy, regardless of the outcome of the

    concern or complaint.

    Any act of retaliation or reprisal violates this policy and will be treated as a separate matter.

    Anyone found to have retaliated against anyone making use of this policy or procedures related

    to this policy will be subject to corrective action(s) or appropriate disciplinary action, up to and

    including severance of any relationship with Portland State University.


    VI. Links To Related Forms

    1. Student Conduct Complaint Form

    2. To file an online complaint of prohibited discrimination click here


    VII. Links To Related Policies, Procedures and Information

    1. Portland State University Policies, Procedures, and Collective Bargaining

    Agreements may be found on the Human Resources website;

    2. Student Code of Conduct Procedure may be found on the Dean of Student Life

    website; and

    3. The Office of Equity of Compliance procedures may be found on the Global Office of

    Diversity & Inclusion website.


    VIII. Contacts

    Questions regarding this Policy should be directed to the Office of Equity & Compliance at

    (503) 725-5919.


    IX. History/Revision Dates

    Origination Date: October 26, 2011

    Last Amended Date: n/a

    Next Review Date: October 26, 2016