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Office of Equal Opportunity & Sexual Harassment / Title IX Compliance
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University of California Santa Barbara
Title IX & Sexual Harassment Policy Compliance Office

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Glossary of Terms

Adverse (or Disparate) Impact: a term used to describe a substantially different rate of selection in hiring, promotion, transfer, training or in other employment decisions which works to the disadvantage of the members of the protected group or gender.

Adverse (or Disparate or Differential) Treatment: a theory of discrimination in which an individual is treated less favorably than his/her similarly situated peers because of gender, race, etc.

Discrimination: an act that is committed on the basis of prejudice or bias. Employment discrimination generally refers to any employment practice or decision that intentionally or unintentionally results in the unequal treatment of an individual or group on a basis other than job‐related reasons (see Unlawful Discrimination).

Hostile Work Environment Harassment: a form of sexual harassment that is caused by conduct that unreasonably interferes with the victim's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. The atmosphere or "environment" can be tainted by unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, even though the behavior may not be directly linked to the giving or withdrawal of a tangible job benefit.

Protected Class: Classes or groups of people protected by the Federal and State Equal Opportunity Laws.

Protected Categories: Age, Ancestry, Color, Genetic Information, Marital Status, Medical Condition (including Cancer & HIV / AIDS), Military & Veteran Status, National Origin, Physical or Mental Disability (Actual & Perceived), Race, Religion, Sex (including gender, gender identity & pregnancy), Sexual Orientation.

Quid Pro Quo Harassment: (Latin, meaning "this for that") Harassment that occurs when specific employment benefits (like a job, a promotion, preferred work assignment, etc.) are promised or withheld as a means of coercing sexual favors.

Retaliation: an employment practice that intentionally discriminates against an individual because of his/her assertion of equal employment opportunity rights or because of his/her participation in the equal employment opportunity process.

Sexual Harassment: unwanted sexual advances, or visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

Unlawful Discrimination: an act that is committed on the basis of prejudice or bias, which generally refers to any employment practice or decision which intentionally or unintentionally results in the unequal treatment of an individual or group on a basis their protected status (i.e. age, physical abilities/qualities, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation).