Discrimination, discriminatory harassment, and retaliation are defined by the University of Wisconsin System Regent Policy Document 14-6 “Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation” (RPD 14-6).
Discrimination is conduct that adversely affects any aspect of an individual’s employment, education, or participation in an institution’s activities or programs, or has the effect of denying equal privileges or treatment to an individual on the basis of one more characteristics of that individual’s protected status or category as defined herein.
Discriminatory harassment is a form of discrimination consisting of unwelcome verbal, written, graphic, or physical conduct that:
- Is directed at an individual or group of individuals on the basis of the individual or group of individuals’ actual or perceived protected status, or affiliation or association with person(s) within a protected status; and
- Is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to interfere with an individual’s employment, education or academic environment or participation in institution programs or activities and creates a working, learning, program or activity environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating, offensive or hostile.
To constitute prohibited harassment, the conduct must be both objectively and subjectively harassing in nature. Harassment may include, but is not limited to, verbal or physical attacks, threats, slurs or derogatory or offensive comments that meet the definition set forth herein. Harassment does not have to be targeted at a particular individual in order to create a harassing environment, nor must the conduct result in a tangible injury to be considered a violation of this policy. Whether the alleged conduct constitutes prohibited harassment depends on the totality of the particular circumstances, including the nature, frequency and duration of the conduct in question, the location and context in which it occurs and the status of the individuals involved.
To be considered discriminatory harassment, the complainant must allege that the harassment is based on one or more of the categories listed in these procedures depending on whether the complainant is a student or applying for admission to the University; an employee, or applying for employment at the University; or a visitor to campus.
Retaliation is defined as adverse action taken against an individual in response to, motivated by or in connection with an individual’s complaint of discrimination or discriminatory harassment, participation in an investigation of such complaint and/or opposition of discrimination or discriminatory harassment in the educational or workplace setting.
Additionally, Students, employees, and visitors/participants in UW-Madison programs are prohibited from using UW-Madison technology (computers, email systems, voice mail systems, and webpages) in a manner that would violate RPD 14-6.