Definition: Religion and Creed Discrimination

The University may not discriminate in any aspect of the work or educational environment on the basis of religion or creed. Religion and creed can have the same or equivalent meaning. They include all religious and spiritual observances, practices, and sincerely held beliefs.

Definition: Race and Color Discrimination

Race discrimination is defined as unfair treatment of an individual based on characteristics traditionally associated with race, such as skin color, hair texture, and facial features. It also includes making decisions or taking adverse actions against an employee or student because of preconceived negative assumptions, biases, or judgments concerning race or color.

Definition: Public Assistance Status Discrimination

Discrimination against individuals based on their status with regard to public assistance is also prohibited.

“Status with regard to public assistance means the condition of being the recipient of federal, state, local assistance, including medical assistance, or being a tenant receiving federal, state, or local subsidies, including rental assistance or rent supplements.”

Minnesota Human Rights Act, Section 363A.03, Subd. 47.

Definition: National Origin Discrimination

As an international institution, the University is enhanced by its many students and employees who reflect a wide variety of national origins. No individual can be denied equal opportunity because of birthplace, ancestry, or cultural or linguistic characteristics common to a specific ethnic group or national origin.

Definition: Marital Status Discrimination

Discrimination on the basis of marital status is prohibited.

“Marital status means whether a person is single, married, remarried, divorced, separated, or a surviving spouse and, in employment cases, includes protection against discrimination on the basis of the identity, situation, actions, or beliefs of a spouse or former spouse.”

Minnesota Human Rights Act, Section 363A.03, Subd. 24.

Definition: Gender Discrimination

Making decisions on the basis of someone’s gender, or sex, is illegal under state and federal law. Both men and women are protected from discrimination.

In employment, this includes decisions related to hiring, wages, terminations, promotions, leaves, and benefits. In education, this includes decisions related to admissions and grading.

Definition: Disability Discrimination

The passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 brought increased attention to the employment and educational rights of persons with disabilities, rights that had existed in higher education institutions under previous laws as well, including the Minnesota Human Rights Act. The ADA and other related laws prohibit employers, units of government, and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities as employees, students, and users of public accommodations and services. 

Definition: Age Discrimination

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits age discrimination against older workers (persons 40 or older) in all aspects of employment. The Minnesota Human Rights Act more broadly protects all people over the age of 18 years from age discrimination as students and employees.

It is unlawful to discriminate against an employee or applicant on the basis of age with respect to any term or condition of employment including but not limited to hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments, and training.

Definition: Discrimination (Overview)

Equal opportunity means that every person has an equal chance to participate and succeed in employment or academic activities without discrimination based on membership in a protected class. Under state and federal law and University of Minnesota policy, individuals and groups are designated as protected class members by race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, and sexual orientation.

Definition: Affirmative Action

University policy requires the University to take specific steps to ensure that certain groups of people who have been discriminated against in the past are provided an equal opportunity to participate in employment, education, and all University-related benefits. The purpose of affirmative action is to remove the barriers that have excluded people from full participation.

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