University of Rochester

Equal Opportunity Home

Important Definitions

Equal Opportunity is the right of all persons to enter, study and advance in academic programs on the basis of merit, ability, and potential without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability or status as a veteran.

Equal Employment Opportunity is the right of all persons to work and to advance on the basis of merit, ability, and potential without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, religion, disability, age or status as a veteran.

Affirmative Action requires the employer to do more than ensure employment neutrality. As the phrase implies, Affirmative Action requires employers to make additional efforts to recruit, employ, and promote qualified members of groups formerly limited or excluded.

Discrimination is (1) any conduct (2) that adversely affects or impacts an individual’s or group’s ability to function and participate as a member of the University community (3) because of their age, color, disability, ethnicity, marital status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or other status protected by law, or because of their perceived or actual affiliation or association with such individuals or groups. Discrimination includes any behavior that is unlawful discrimination under applicable New York State and/or federal law.

Harassment is (1) any unwanted conduct (2) that is intended to cause or could reasonably be expected to cause an individual or group to feel intimidated, demeaned, abused or fear or have concern for their personal safety (3) because of their age, color, disability, ethnicity, marital status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or other status protected by law or because of their perceived or actual affiliation or association with individuals or groups identified by such characteristics and (4) that could reasonably be regarded as so severe, persistent, or pervasive as to disrupt the living, learning, and/or working environment of the individual or group. Harassment includes any behavior that is unlawful harassment under applicable New York State and/or federal law.