Non-Discrimination

Towson University is committed to providing equal educational and employment opportunities that are free from discrimination and harassment.

Non-Discrimination Policy Statement

The university is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer. This policy prohibits discrimination on the grounds protected under Federal and Maryland law and Board of Regents policies. To the extent protected by law, University programs, activities and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, and religion.

The university complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, and other applicable federal and state regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. The Rehabilitation Act and the ADA require that no qualified person shall, solely by reason of disability, be denied access to, participation in, or the benefits of, any program or activity operated by the university.

Discrimination occurs when a person experiences an adverse employment action, because of their protected class and the action is not because of a bonafide occupational qualification.

It should be noted that there are times when an individual may feel harassed, discriminated against, subjected to a hostile environment, treated unfairly or differently from other people, but there is no relationship between said behavior and a protected class.

Towson University’s Policy on Prohibiting Discrimination (06-01.00) is consistent with federal and state law in prohibiting discrimination.

All University community members are subject to this policy. The Office of Institutional Equity coordinates Towson University’s compliance with responding to reports of discrimination by providing outreach, resources, and investigations.

Statements that Must Be Present on Either Employment Related Publications or Invitations

EEO STATEMENT

Towson University's EEO Statement must appear on all employment-related publications:

Towson University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and has a strong institutional commitment to diversity. Women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT

Towson University's Non-Discrimination Statement must appear on all publications, except publications related to employment.

Towson University’s policies, programs and activities comply with federal and state laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression and veteran status.

ADA Coordinator's Office

A referral point for disability related information, services and resources; provides consultation on policy reviews and facilities planning; conducts workshops and trainings on disability related topics; serves as a clearing house for disability related complaints; and develops disability related initiatives.

Statement for All invitations and Events on Campus

Towson University performances, sporting events and other campus activities must have the following statement affixed to the end of the above non-discrimination statement in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act:

If you wish to request an ADA accommodation, please telephone 410-704-0203 or send an email to .

Definitions

Discrimination

Discrimination is unequal treatment based on a legally protected status that is sufficiently serious to interfere with or limit an individual's opportunity to participate in or benefit from a University program or activity, or that otherwise adversely affects a term or condition of the individual's working, learning and living environment at the University.

Harassment

Harassment is a form of discrimination that encompasses unwelcome conduct based on a person's protected status. Harassment is severe and/or pervasive conduct that negatively affects the particular individual and also would negatively affect a reasonable person under the same circumstances. Harassment in violation of this Policy depends on the totality of the 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. Harassment may include, but is not limited to, the following, when based on a person's protected status:

  • Conduct, whether verbal, physical, written, graphic, or electronic that threatens, intimidates, offends, belittles, denigrates, or shows an aversion toward an individual or group;
  • Epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping, jokes, or nicknames;
  • Written, printed, or graphic material that contains offensive, denigrating, or demeaning comments, or pictures; and
  • The display of offensive, denigrating, or demeaning objects, e-mails, text messages, or cell phone pictures. 
Retaliation

Retaliation refers to action that is taken against an individual because they reported discrimination, filed a complaint of discrimination, or participated in an investigation or proceeding concerning a discrimination complaint.

PROTECTED CLASSES

Race

Race discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because they is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features). 

Race discrimination also can involve treating someone unfavorably because the person is married to (or associated with) a person of a certain race.

Color

Color discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of skin color complexion.

Color discrimination also can involve treating someone unfavorably because the person is married to (or associated with) a person of a certain color.

National Origin

National origin discrimination involves treating people (applicants or employees) unfavorably because they are from a particular country or part of the world, because of ethnicity or accent, or because they appear to be of a certain ethnic background (even if they are not).

National origin discrimination also can involve treating people unfavorably because they are married to (or associated with) a person of a certain national origin.

Religion

Religious discrimination involves treating a person unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs. The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs.

Religious discrimination can also involve treating someone differently because that person is married to (or associated with) an individual of a particular religion.

Sex 

Sex discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of that person's sex.

Discrimination against an individual because of gender identity, including transgender status, or because of sexual orientation is discrimination because of sex in violation of Title VII.

Disability

Means, with respect to an individual, (A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual; (B) a record of such an impairment; or (C) being regarded as having such an impairment.

Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. A major life activity also includes the operation of a major bodily function.

Age (40 and older)

Age discrimination involves treating an applicant or employee less favorably because of their age.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older.

Sexual Orientation

Sexual orientation is the identification, perception, or status of an individual as to homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality.

Gender

Gender refers to either of the sexes, especially when considered with reference to social and cultural difference rather than biological ones. The term is also used more broadly to denote a range of identities that do not correspond to established ideas of male and female.

Gender Identity 

Gender identity is a person's internal sense of being male, female, and some combination of male and female, or neither male nor female. It is one's personal experience of one's own gender. Gender identity can correlate with assigned sex at birth, or can differ from it completely.

Gender Expression

Gender expression is the way in which a person expresses their gender. These expressions can conform with socially sanctioned ideas of what is appropriate, but sometimes they don't.

Citizenship Status

You may not treat individuals differently based on citizenship or immigration status. U.S. citizens, recent permanent residents, temporary residents, asylees and refugees are protected from citizenship status discrimination. Exceptions: permanent residents who do not apply for naturalization within six months of eligibility are not protected from citizenship status discrimination. Citizenship status discrimination which is otherwise required to comply with law, regulation, executive order, or government contract is permissibly by law.

 Genetic Information 

Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), which prohibits genetic information discrimination in employment, took effect on November 21, 2009.

Under Title II of GINA, it is illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants because of genetic information. Title II of GINA prohibits the use of genetic information in making employment decisions, restricts employers and other entities covered by Title II (employment agencies, labor organizations and joint labor-management training and apprenticeship programs - referred to as "covered entities") from requesting, requiring or purchasing genetic information, and strictly limits the disclosure of genetic information.

Veteran Status/ Military Service

Discrimination based on your status as a protected veteran generally occurs when an employer treats you, as an employee or job applicant, unfavorably because you belong to one of the categories of protected veterans covered under Section 4212.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy discrimination involves treating a woman (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.

Homelessness

A homeless individual is defined in section 330(h)(5)(A) as “an individual who lacks housing (without regard to whether the individual is a member of a family), including an individual whose primary residence during the night is a supervised public or private facility (e.g., shelters) that provides temporary living accommodations, and an individual who is a resident in transitional housing.” A homeless person is an individual without permanent housing who may live on the streets; stay in a shelter, mission, single room occupancy facilities, abandoned building or vehicle; or in any other unstable or non-permanent situations. [Section 330 of the Public Health Service Art (42 U.S.C., 254b)]