Discrimination Defined

What is Discrimination?

Discrimination is any impermissible act or failure to act, based wholly or in part on membership in a protected class, which adversely affects existing privileges, benefits or working conditions and results in the disparate treatment of—or has a disparate impact on—members of the Mason community.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, as well as retaliation against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, and/or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

At Mason, the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) investigates alleged discrimination based on:

  • Age (40 or older)
  • Color
  • Gender Identity and Expression
  • Genetic Information
  • Marital Status
  • Mental Disability
  • Military Status (including Protected Veteran Status)
  • National Origin
  • Physical Disability
  • Pregnancy Status
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation

View prohibited types of discrimination

View sample instances of discrimination.

Discrimination has a far-reaching impact on lives, careers, and the overall educational experience. Submitting or providing false or misleading information to DEI with the goal of personal gain, or the intentional harm of another, in connection with a complaint of discrimination is prohibited.