Discrimination FAQs

Q: What is illegal discrimination?

A: Making an employment decision based on a prohibited factor such as: race, gender, color, religion, national origin, age, disability (mental or physical), reprisal (for prior EEO involvement), or sexual orientation.

Q: What are the theories of discrimination?

A: There are two theories of discrimination: (1) disparate treatment and, (2) adverse impact.

Q: What is disparate treatment?

A: Disparate treatment occurs when an employee is intentionally treated differently from other employees who are in similar situations because of a prohibited factor (race, gender, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, reprisal (for prior EEO involvement), or sexual orientation).

Q: What is adverse impact?

A: Adverse impact occurs when a system is designed to treat everyone equally, but in reality, it more harshly impacts a certain protected group and it cannot be justified by business necessity.

Q: What do I do if I feel I am being discriminated against?

A: Contact an EEO Counselor or the Office of Diversity Management within 45 days from the date of the alleged discriminatory event.