Discrimination, Harassment, & Retaliation

What's Covered On This Page:

Prohibited Conduct | Definitions

Related Pages:

Ombuds OfficePregnancy & Parenting | Trans@Humboldt


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 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 Cal Poly Humboldt.

If you or someone you know has experienced discrimination, harassment, or other inappropriate behavior due to your gender, sex, or protected statuses, you have options for support and accountability through the Title IX and DHR Prevention Office. Our office is available to listen, answer questions, provide clarification on the policies, and receive reports.

Need to report an incident?

Additional details and information about the reporting process and options are located under the "Reporting Process" tab on our website.

Prohibited Conduct

The CSU prohibits a number of behaviors; the full list can be found in the CSU Nondiscrimination Policy. Discrimination (based on a protected status) and harassment (based on a protected status) are two of those items. Our office will provide you with options, connections to confidential support advisors, and supportive measures (such as priority access to counseling on campus, classroom accommodations, etc.), even if something doesn't  meet the defintions referenced below. Do not hesitate to reach out to our office if you have any questions on if something "counts" under the policy, or if you are looking for support for something you've experienced. Read on to learn more about what could constitute discrimination or harassment.


Click on this link to view all of the CSU Nondiscrimination Policy Prohibited Conduct definitions. Capitalized terms used in the policy are described in Article VII. B. 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. For any questions regarding what definitions apply, how the definitions are applied, or any other policy-related questions, you can reach out to our office by contacting one of our team members. Our office contact information can be found at this link.


Discrimination is (an) Adverse Action(s) 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.


Harassment means unwelcome verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct engaged in because of an individual Complainant's Protected Status. 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.

Protected Statuses

Definitions of the statuses listed below can be found at this linkProtected 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
  • Veteran or Military Status

Rights & Options for Students and Employees Reporting Discrimination, Harassment, and/or Retaliation