What is harassment?

Harassment is verbal, written, or physical conduct that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating or hostile work, educational, or living environment. CU Boulder policy prohibits discrimination and harassment based on protected class identity. The Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) addresses discrimination and harassment based on protected class identity.

What is protected class?

Race, color, national origin, pregnancy, sex, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and its expression, veteran status, and political affiliation/philosophy are protected class identities based on university policy.

Find information on protected class definitions at CU Boulder.

What about harassment not based on protected class?

Mistreatment or other harassing behaviors that are not based on a protected class identity cannot be addressed by OIEC, but that doesn't mean the behavior isn't a problem. There are other campus resources that can offer support and additional guidance on addressing concerns. Students and staff can also contact the Chair or Director of a department if the concern relates to a faculty member.

What is discrimination?

Discrimination occurs when an individual suffers an adverse consequence on the basis of a protected class identity. An adverse consequence is when someone is deprived of or denied a material benefit (money, a job, resources).

  • Examples can include:
    • Denial of admission to an academic program
    • Not being funded for a project
    • Not being promoted or hired for a job

When is someone required to report?

All employees who have the authority to hire, promote, discipline, evaluate, grade, formally advise, or direct faculty, staff, or students are considered "responsible employees" and are required to report concerns disclosed to them that involve prohibited behaviors addressed by OIEC.

  • A responsible employee who becomes aware of sexual misconduct (including sexual assault, exploitation and harassment, intimate partner abuse, and stalking), discrimination, or harassment involving any member of the CU community must report it to OIEC.
  • This applies whether the member of our community is the person who was subjected to the misconduct or the person accused of the misconduct.
  • This applies regardless of where or when an incident occurred, including if it occurred off campus and/or before they were a member of the campus community.
  • This applies regardless of how the information was conveyed to a responsible employee (whether spoken, written, or through a third party).

The purpose of mandatory reporting is to ensure safety, offer support and resources (such as the Office of Victim Assistance), understand the scope of the concern, and get the behavior to stop.

When in doubt, contact OIEC for further guidance at 303-492-2127 or report at cureport@colorado.edu.