Discrimination and Harassment

Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment

Yale University is committed to maintaining a non-discriminatory learning and working environment for students, faculty, and staff.  As described in Yale’s Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment,  Yale prohibits discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. These forms of conduct undermine Yale’s mission and its commitment to diversity, equity, and belonging. Yale adopts its Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment with a commitment to preventing and addressing discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, consistent with Connecticut and federal law. Read the complete policy.

You may report discrimination, harassment, or retaliation using the Office of Institutional Equity and Accessibility Reporting Form. Upon submission, an OIEA staff member will contact you. You are also welcomed to reach out to our office by email, phone: (203) 432-0849, or by visiting us at W.L. Harkness Hall, 3rd Floor, Room 303, 100 Wall Street, New Haven CT 06511.

Additionally, the university offers a variety of resources that may be helpful in resolving an individual’s concerns by determining an appropriate and supportive course of action. The Discrimination and Harassment Resource Coordinators (formerly Dean’s Designees) and the Title IX Coordinators specifically have been charged by the university with receiving and responding to concerns about discrimination, harassment, and retaliation under the Policy.

Definitions

Discrimination

Discrimination means treating an individual adversely in University admissions or in the conduct of educational programs or employment based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, disability, status as a special disabled veteran, veteran of the Vietnam era or other covered veteran, or membership in any other protected classes as set forth in Connecticut and federal law (“protected characteristics”).

Harassment

Harassment means subjecting an individual to objectively offensive, unwelcome conduct based on any of the protected characteristics, when such conduct (i) is severe, persistent, or pervasive and (ii) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s work, academic performance or participation in university activities or creates an intimidating or hostile environment.  Harassment may be found in a single severe episode, as well as in persistent behavior. Harassment is evaluated using a “reasonable person” standard.

For more information specific to sexual and/or gender-based harassment and other forms of sexual misconduct, refer to the Yale Sexual Misconduct Policies and Related Definitions.

Retaliation

Retaliation means any adverse action taken against a person who has reported a concern, filed a complaint, and/or participated in an investigation pursuant to this Policy. Retaliation includes conduct that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging in activity protected under this Policy. Retaliation may be present even where there is a finding of “no responsibility” on the underlying allegations of discrimination or harassment. Retaliation does not mean good faith actions lawfully pursued in response to a report of discrimination or harassment. In determining whether an act constitutes retaliation, the context of the act will be considered, including the individual’s exercise of free expression in accordance with Yale’s free expression policies.

OIEA General Procedures

Initial Discussion

After reporting to OIEA a staff member will generally begin with a discussion with the individual bringing forward a concern. This discussion will assist both OIEA and the individual in determining the appropriate university resources and options for resolution.

Resources and Informal Resolution

OIEA staff may assist with providing supportive resources to individuals with concerns. This may include assisting with the resolution of concerns without the need for an investigation.

OIEA Investigations

In some cases, further investigation of concerns is warranted. OIEA first considers whether the matter falls within OIEA’s jurisdiction (i.e. whether the concern is related to discrimination or harassment based on a protected characteristic, or related retaliation). If not, OIEA will provide the individual(s) bringing forward concern(s) with available resources, but will not investigate the matter further. However, OIEA may, in its discretion, refer the report to appropriate university offices for further review.

If OIEA determines that the facts as presented could constitute a violation of the university Policy Against Discrimination or Harassment and the matter is unable otherwise to be resolved, OIEA may proceed to conduct an investigation. OIEA will determine appropriate investigative steps, which may include interviewing parties and/or witnesses and obtaining and reviewing relevant documents or other materials.

Following an investigation, OIEA will discuss its findings and recommendations with the parties and other appropriate individuals and offices. Actions taken after an investigation may include, but are not limited to, providing resources and accommodations to impacted parties, implementing various remedial measures, such as training, facilitated dialogue and communication between impacted parties, and referral for possible additional investigation or discipline.  For faculty, discipline would proceed through the Faculty Standards of Conduct procedure; for staff, disciplinary matters would proceed through Human Resources; and for students, discipline would proceed through the relevant school student disciplinary procedure. 

View OIEA’s general procedures.

Equal Opportunity Statement

The university is committed to basing judgments concerning the admission, education, and employment of individuals upon their qualifications and abilities and affirmatively seeks to attract to its faculty, staff, and student body qualified persons of diverse backgrounds. In accordance with this policy and as delineated by federal and Connecticut law, Yale does not discriminate in admissions, educational programs, or employment against any individual on account of that individual’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, disability, status as a special disabled veteran, veteran of the Vietnam era or other covered veteran.

University policy is committed to affirmative action under law in employment of women, minority group members, individuals with disabilities, special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam era, and other covered veterans.

Inquiries concerning this policy may be referred to Valarie Stanley, Senior Director of the Office of Institutional Equity and Accessibility, 221 Whitney Avenue; 3rd Floor, 203-432-0849.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from sex discrimination in educational programs and activities at institutions that receive federal financial assistance. Questions regarding sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and Title IX may be referred to the university’s Title IX Coordinator, Stephanie Spangler, at 203.432.4446 or at titleix@yale.edu. Inquiries may also be made to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 8th Floor, 5 Post Office Square, Boston MA 02109-3921; tel. 617.289.0111, fax 617.289.0150, TDD 800.877.8339, or ocr.boston@ed.gov.

View Yale’s Sexual Misconduct Policies and related definitions.