Office of Institutional Equity

Types of Discrimination Complaints Handled

The following is an overview of the various types of discrimination that is prohibited by federal laws: 

  • Age                                                                        
  • Disability
  • Equal Pay/Compensation
  • Genetic Information
  • Harassment
  • National Origin
  • Pregnancy
  • Race/Color
  • Religion
  • Retaliation
  • Sex
  • Sexual Harassment

In accordance with the University of Texas System Board of Regents' Rules and Regulations, no person shall

be subject to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation regarding admissions, employment, or access to programs, facilities, or services.


Age Discrimination occurs when an individual's age becomes a factor in the deciding who is hired,

fired, promoted, or a recipient of job benefits and/or training. Discrimination occurs when the recipient

of the discrimination is aged 40 or older.


Disability discrimination occurs when an employer covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, as

amended, treats a qualified individual with a disability (employee or applicant) unfavorably because of

the disability, has a history of a disability, is related to an individual with a disability or because the

individual is believed to have an impairment that is not temporary.

Equal Pay/Compensation and Sex Discrimination

Men and women in the same workplace must be given equal pay for equal work. The duties and

responsibilities (not job titles) are used to determine if the jobs are substantially equal. The Equal Pay

Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act cover all forms of pay, including wages, bonuses, overtime pay,

life insurance, vacation and holiday pay, hotel accommodations, travel expense reimbursements, and


Genetic Information

Discrimination based on an individual's genetic information (family medical history, genetic tests, or

 disease/disorder) occurs when any aspect of the employment decisions are based upon this

information. The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury are responsible

for enforcing Title I of GINA while the EEOC has responsibility for Title II of GINA, since this section

deals with genetic discrimination in employment.    


Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy),

national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It becomes unlawful when in order to

continue your employment, you must endure the offensive conduct, or the conduct is severe or 

pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating,

hostile, or abusive. 

National Origin 

National Origin discrimination occurs when applicants or employees are treated unfavorably because

they are from a particular country or part of the world, because of ethnicity or accent, because they

appear to be of a specific ethnic background, or they are married to or affiliated with a person of a

specific national origin. National origin discrimination can occur when the individual discriminated

 upon and the individual inflicting the discrimination are of the same national origin. 


Pregnancy discrimination occurs when a female applicant or employee is treated unfavorably because

of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth in any aspect of the

employment relationship, including hiring, firing, salary, type of job assignment, promotion, training,

insurance, or other terms or condition of employment.


Race discrimination occurs when an individual is treated unfavorably because they are of a certain race

or because of personal characteristics or traits that are associated with race, including but not limited

to hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features.Color discrimination occurs when and individual is

treated unfavorably because of their skin color complexion.Discrimination occurs when the individual

discriminated upon and the individual inflicting the discriminatory behavior are of the same race or  color. 


Religious discrimination occurs when an individual (applicant or employee) is treated unfavorably due

to their religious beliefs or because they are married to or affiliated with an individual of a particular

religion. The law protects individuals who belong to traditional organized religions as well as

individuals that have genuine religious, ethical or moral beliefs.


The law prohibits "retaliation" (specific actions such as firing, demoting, harassing) against an

individual (applicant or employee) because they filed a charge of discrimination, complained and/or

participated in an employment discrimination proceeding (investigation or lawsuit) to their employer

when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, wages, types of work assignments,

promotion, benefits, training, and any other term or condition of employment.


Sex discrimination consists of treating an applicant or employee unfavorably because of the individual's

 sex. It can also be due to the connection or affiliation of the individual with an organization or group that

is associated with people of a specific sex. Additionally, an individual who is transgender, lesbian, gay,

or bisexual may be subjected to gender identity discrimination if they experience an adverse

employment action due to their non-conformance with sex-stereotypes.


Sexual Harassment

Harassment includes sexual harassment or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors,

and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Harassment does not have to be of a

sexual nature and can consist of offensive remarks about a person's sex. Harassment is illegal when

the person is subjected to frequent or severe comments or actions that create a hostile or offensive

work environment or if an adverse employment decision takes place.