The University of New Mexico
UNM Office of Equal Opportunity

What is Discrimination?

Discrimination is treating someone differently based on a civil rights protected class: a protected class is a group of people protected against discrimination by University policy or by state and federal law. At The University of New Mexico, the following are considered protected classes:

Protected Classes

  • Age (40 and over)
  • Ancestry/National Origin
  • Color/Race
  • Gender Identity
  • Medical Condition
  • Mental/Physical Disability
  • Religion
  • Sex/Sexual Harassment
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Spousal Affiliation
  • Veteran Status
  • Any Other Protected Class

Differential Treatment

Differential treatment means treating someone differently than similarly situated individuals because of that person's protected class status.

Hostile Environment

The creation of a hostile environment happens when an individual is subject to severe and/or frequent conduct based on protected class status that creates a hostile, intimidating or offensive work, educational or living environment that unreasonably interferes with that individual's employment or educational performance.

Not every instance of treating someone differently constitutes discrimination. For example, treating two employees differently because of differences in performance is not discrimination.

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