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Frequently Asked Questions


Information about complaint resolution by UCR's Office of Civil Rights, under the UC Anti-Discrimination Policy and UCR's Anti-Discrimination Complaint Resolution Procedure

  • What is a discrimination complaint or report?

    A discrimination complaint is an allegation or report that a student, employee, or other member of the UCR community--or someone seeking to become a member (an applicant for employment or admission)--  experienced discrimination, harassment or discriminatory retaliation at UCR (or in one of its programs or activities).  The University prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion (including religious dress and grooming practices), sex, gender, gender expression, gender identity, gender transition status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), genetic information (including family medical history), ancestry, marital status, age (40 and over), sexual orientation, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services, including protected veterans. 

    UCR prohibits retaliation for bringing a complaint of discrimination or harassment or for engaging in any other protected activity (such as opposing discrimination or supporting someone else in their filing of a complaint or participating in an investigation). 

    Sexual violence is a form of sex-based discrimination and is also addressed by UCR's Office of Civil Rights under the UC Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy.  Visit the Title IX@UCR website for more information.  

  • How do I file a discrimination/harassment complaint or make a report?

    We encourage you to contact the Office of Civil Rights directly, by reporting online. You may report anonymously.  You can also contact the office:

    • By phone at (951) 827-7070
    • By emailing titleix@ucr.edu
    • In person by visiting Sky Hall | Room 365 (scheduling an appointment in advance is recommended)

    You may also report through the systemwide online form

    Employees may have additional reporting options through either their respective personnel program policies or collective bargaining unit grievance procedures. 

    You may also elect to file a discrimination/harassment complaint with a State or Federal agency. If you are interested in filing a complaint with an agency you will need to contact the agency directly to inquire about agency complaint filing procedures and your options and protections under state or federal law. More information about external reporting options is available on our office website. Office of Civil Rights | Compliance (ucr.edu)

  • What policies and procedures apply?

    Complaints are governed by the UC Anti-Discrimination Policy and UCR Anti-Discrimination Complaint Resolution Procedure.  The UC Policy defines the expectations for behavior, and establishes what conduct is prohibited.  The procedure describes how complaints are processed.

    This policy and procedure were approved in February and April 2024, respectively--if you have a complaint that is already in process or a complaint about conduct that occurred prior to these dates, an earlier version of the policy or procedure may apply. Please contact the Office to request further information.  

  • Do discrimination policies apply to antisemitism, Islamophobia, or anti-Muslim harassment?

    The policy prohibits discrimination (including harassment) based on national origin, ancestry, and religion. These protections apply to discrimination based on actual or perceived shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics, citizenship, or residency in a country with a dominant religion or distinct religious identity--and so includes discrimination directed against Jewish, Israeli, Muslim, Arab, or Palestinian members of the community.  

    Antisemitism is not defined in UC policy, but the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's working definition may be useful to reference: What is antisemitism? (holocaustremembrance.com) 

    Islamophobia is not defined in UCR policy, but the definition available on the United Nations website may be useful to reference: International Day to Combat Islamophobia | United Nations

    See also the FAQ regarding hate versus discrimination. 

  • Who can file a complaint under the Anti-Discrimination Policy?

    The policy prohibits discrimination against and/or harassment of any student, employee, applicant, paid or unpaid intern, volunteer, person participating in a program leading to employment, or person providing services pursuant to a contract. The policy is not used to address sexual harassment and other conduct covered by the Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy. 

  • What happens after I file a discrimination/harassment report?

    UCR's Office of Civil Rights staff carefully review all complaints and reports under the UCR Anti-Discrimination Complaint Resolution Procedure. Staff may conduct initial, confidential information-gathering to inform the assessment, including, where appropriate, consulting with the person reported to have experienced the discrimination (the complainant).  

    If the report or complaint alleges conduct that, if substantiated, violates our anti-discrimination policies, the Office may attempt informal resolution or may authorize a full and impartial investigation. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, a report of findings is forwarded to the appropriate campus official for review and disciplinary action, when warranted.  These flowcharts show the assessment process and resolution options.

    When reported conduct is not a violation, we still may take action, when appropriate, to stop the conduct and ensure it does not continue, and to provide support and resources to the complainant.  

  • What is the difference between a bias incident and discrimination?

    The University defines bias incidents as conduct that targets people (or groups) based on their actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender/sex (including sexual orientation and gender expression and identity), age or disability.  

    Bias incidents are not crimes.  (See "What is the difference between hate and discrimination?" below).  Bias incidents may be harassment--a form of discrimination--prohibited by policy. But not all bias incidents are policy violations.  Some bias incidents may be protected free speech, and some bias incidents are not so severe or pervasive as to violate policy.  Other bias incidents may be outside of the jurisidiction of UCR's policies, which mostly apply to people affiliated with UCR.  Title IX/EOAA staff can help answer questions about policy application.  UCR's Free Speech website also has FAQs and important information about the intersection of speech rights and bias, hate and harassment.  

    Bias incidents may be reported to UCR using campus or University online report forms.  

  • What is the difference between hate and discrimination?

    These terms have different means for different people and in different contexts.  The California Attorney General provides the following information about hate crimes and hate incidents and hate speech:

    hate crime is a crime against a person, group, or property motivated by the victim's real or perceived protected social group. You may be the victim of a hate crime if you have been targeted because of your actual or perceived: (1) disability, (2) gender, (3) nationality, (4) race or ethnicity, (5) religion, (6) sexual orientation, and (7) association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Hate crimes are serious crimes that may result in imprisonment or jail time.

    hate incident is an action or behavior motivated by hate but which, for one or more reasons, is not a crime. Examples of hate incidents include:

    • Name-calling
    • Insults
    • Displaying hate material on your own property.
    • Posting hate material that does not result in property damage.
    • Distribution of materials with hate messages in public places.

    The U.S. Constitution allows hate speech as long as it does not interfere with the civil rights of others. While these acts are certainly hurtful, they do not rise to the level of criminal violations and thus may not be prosecuted. However, it is important to note that these incidents have a traumatic impact on the victims as well as on the community at large.

    To learn more about the Constitutional protections for speech, including hate speech, please visit the UC Riverside Free Speech website including the FAQs on speech protections.  

    We encourage reporting of hate crimes to law enforcement.  Other hate and bias incidents may be reported to UCR using campus or University online report forms.  

  • Can I file an anonymous complaint?

    UCR's Office of Civil Rights will respond to anonymous complaints of alleged discrimination or harassment, to the greatest extent possible. However, the response to such reports may be limited if information contained in the complaint cannot be verified by independent facts.

  • How confidential and private are these processes?

    The University shall protect the privacy of individuals involved in a report of Prohibited Conduct to the extent permitted by law and by university policy and procedures. However, it should be recognized that an investigation may involve interviews with a number of persons to inquire if they have relevant evidence, and extremely sensitive information may be gathered. While such information is considered confidential, university policy and procedure may also require the disclosure of certain information during or following an investigation.

  • What resources are available if I want to speak to someone confidentially about my discrimination, harassment or retaliation concerns?

    Confidential resources are available for individuals who wish to have a confidential discussion about an issue involving discrimination, harassment or retaliation without an official response from the university. These offices provide a safe place to discuss concerns and learn about the procedures and potential outcomes while remaining anonymous. Discussion with these confidential offices are not considered reports under this policy and will not result in any actions by the university to resolve the concerns.

    The following are confidential resources:

  • Can I be fired or disciplined for filing a complaint?

    No. University policy prohibits retaliation for bringing a complaint of discrimination or harassment pursuant to the UC Discrimination, Harassment, and Affirmative Action in the Workplace policy. This policy also prohibits retaliation against a person who assists someone with a complaint of discrimination or harassment, or participates in any manner in an investigation or resolution of a complaint of discrimination or harassment. If retaliation should occur, please report it to the Office of Title IX/EOAA immediately at (951) 827-7070 or titleix@ucr.edu.  To learn more about retaliation, the Office provides guidance in the form of FAQs.  

  • How does this process relate to other grievance or complaint processes (PPSM-70 complaint, APM 140 grievance, or collective bargaining agreement grievance)?

    Filing a complaint with the Office of Title IX/EOAA does not preclude you from filing a complaint with another UCR office. If the PPSM 70- Complaint, APM 140 grievance, or other grievance or complaint with another UCR office alleges employment discrimination or harassment based on a protected category, those allegations are typically referred to the Office of Title IX/EOAA for review. Title IX/EOAA's review may result in Title IX/EOAA initiating an investigation, which could result in the grievance or complaint being held in abeyance (subject to specific policy or collective bargaining agreement rules), or the matter may continue to be resolved through grievance or complaint process.  

    PPSM 70 - Complaint Resolution is means for non-represented employees to have issues related to the employment relationship addressed through Employee and Labor Relations. PPSM 70- Complaint Resolution complaints have broader coverage area than a discrimination complaint - which is limited to prohibiting discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation based on one or more of the protected categories covered by University policy.  

    Grievances generally are complaints and requests for remedies available to members of bargaining units under collective bargaining agreements. To learn more or to read the current collective bargaining contracts, visit the Academic Personnel Office or Employee & Labor Relations website.

  • What if I don't want to discuss my complaint or dispute with my supervisor?

    Employees are encouraged to try to resolve issues directly with their supervisors or within their department management. However, if you are uncomfortable discussing your discrimination or harassment complaint with your supervisor or department management, you may contact the Office of Civil Rights directly. There are also confidential resources on campus available to assist you (see the following question).

  • What should I do if someone files a complaint about me?

    Do not attempt to discuss the complaint with the Complainant. It is the responsibility of everyone at UCR to create an environment free from discrimination and retaliation. Please make sure that you do not do anything that is or might even be interpreted as retaliatory. Retaliation includes conduct that would discourage a person from filing a complaint or a witness from cooperating with an investigation. Retaliation is a separate violation of both policy and the law.  The Office provides retaliation FAQs that may be helpful to you. 

    To protect the integrity of the investigation and to prevent retaliation, do not discuss the complaint or investigation with anyone else without first contacting the Office of Civil Rights or the assigned investigator.

  • Can I file a complaint about my grade through this procedure?
    Grades may be changed only as the outcome of a grade appeal under the procedure set by the UC Faculty Senate. Please see Senate Regulation 5 at Regulations  or your College's grade appeal information.