Glossary of Terms

The following is a list of terms/words used on this site, and their meanings.


Discrimination is inequitable treatment of a person based on one or more of that person’s protected statuses, excepting any treatment permitted or required by law.


Harassment is a form of prohibited discrimination. Harassment is unwelcome conduct, based on one or more of a person’s protected statuses, that is serious enough to interfere with an individual’s employment, education, or participation in programs and activities, or creates an objectively intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment.

Hostile Environment (Harassment)

Hostile Environment: Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct—which may or may not be sexual in nature—that, because of its severity and/or persistence, interferes significantly with an individual’s work or education or creates an environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.

Protected Status

Protected Statuses include age, color, disability, ethnic or national origin, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, parental status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and veteran status.

Quid Pro Quo (Harassment)

Quid Pro Quo: If a person uses a position of authority to engage in unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • submission to that conduct is a condition of an individual’s employment or education or
  • submission or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for decisions affecting an individual’s employment or education.

Title IX

Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex (which includes sexual harassment and sexual violence) in an educational institution’s programs or activities.

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