Frequently Asked Questions
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 Title IX/EOAA 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 Title IX/EOAA directly, by reporting online. You may report anonymously. You can also contact Ttle IX/EOAA:
- By phone at (951) 827-7070
- By emailing email@example.com
- In person by visiting Sky Hall | Room 359 (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.
What UC policies govern UCR discrimination complaints?
Complaints are governed by the UC Discrimination, Harassment, and Affirmative Action in the Workplace policy and UCR Procedures for Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Complaint and Resolution. The UC Policy defines the expectations for behavior, and establishes what conduct is prohibited. The procedure describes how complaints are processed.
Who can file a complaint under the UCR Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Complaint and Resolution 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 discrimination or harassment by a student, which is addressed by Student Conduct. The policy also is not used to address sexual harassment, which is covered by the Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy.
What happens after I file a discrimination/harassment report?
Title IX/EOAA staff carefully review all complaints and reports under the UCR Procedures for Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Complaint and Resolution. 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:
A 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.
A 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:
- 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?
The Office of Title/EOAA 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about retaliation, the Office provides guidance in the form of FAQs.
How does a Discrimination Complaint differ from a PPSM 70 complaint or an APM 140 Grievance?
PPSM 70 - Complaint Resolution is a 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.
Filing a complaint with the Office of Title IX/EOAA does not preclude you from filing a complaint with another UCR office, however, if the PPSM 70 - Complaint , APM 140 grievance, or other complaint with another UCR office alleges employment discrimination or harassment based on a protected category, that allegations typically will be referred to the Office of Title IX/EOAA for review and resolution.
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 Title IX/EOAA 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 Title IX/EOAA 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.