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Legally Protected Statuses


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Unlawful Discrimination BrochureWhat is Sexual Assault? Brochure 

Protected Status is a Legally Defined Term

Unlawful discrimination is conduct that denies or limits a person’s full and equal access to participate in, or benefit from education and/or employment programs, services or activities because of decisions made on the basis of that person’s protected status(es). 

See SMC's Nondiscrimination Policy​ for more information on Title 5.

Unlawful harassment is a form of discrimination; it is unwelcome conduct that is based on the following federally mandated statuses:

  • Age (40 and over)

  • Ancestry

  • Color

  • Denial of Family & Medical Care Leave

  • Disability (mental and/or physical disabilities)

  • Ethnic Background

  • Gender, Gender Identity & Expression

  • Genetic Information

  • Marital Status

  • Medical Condition (Cancer, Genetic Information)

  • Military or Veteran Status

  • National Origin (includes language use restrictions)

  • Pregnancy (including Childbirth, Breastfeeding)

  • Race

  • Religion (including dress, grooming & religious practices)

  • Sex, including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and/or related medical conditions)

  • Sexual Orientation

Examples of Unlawful Discrimination

  • Using racial epithets against an individual or group of people

  • Pictures or graphics that are derogatory to an ethnic or religious, or sexual group

  • Teasing a person because of his/her sexual orientation

  • Denying a person access to a restroom because of the person’s gender

  • Firing a female employee because she is pregnant or needs to breastfeed during working hours

  • Refusing to provide a reasonable accommodation to ensure equal opportunity to programs and/or activities to a person with a disability

  • Demanding sexual favors in return for a good grade or promotion

  • Sending texts or emails of a sexual nature

  • Repeatedly asking someone out on a date who has indicated that they are not interested

  • Denying medical or family leave when appropriate documentation has been submitted

  • Refusing to hire a person or admit a student to a program or class solely based on a perceived disability

  • Using a legally protected status as an excuse not to hire or to deny a promotion

Unlawful Harassment

It's On Us. Harassment in the workplace will not stop on its own - it's on all of us to be part of the fight to stop workplace harassment. We cannot be complacent bystanders and expect our workplace cultures to change themselves.