Skip to Main Content

Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy


I. Policy on Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination

The City University of New York (“University” or “CUNY”), located in a historically diverse municipality, is committed to a policy of equal employment and equal access in its educational programs and activities.  Diversity, inclusion, and an environment free from discrimination are central to the mission of the University.

It is the policy of the University—applicable to all colleges and units— to recruit, employ, retain, promote, and provide benefits to employees (including paid and unpaid interns) and to admit and provide services for students without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, age, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, marital status, partnership status, disability, genetic information, alienage, citizenship, military or veteran status, status as a victim of domestic violence/stalking/sex offenses, unemployment status, or any other legally prohibited basis in accordance with federal, state and city laws.[1]

It is also the University’s policy to provide reasonable accommodations when appropriate to individuals with disabilities, individuals observing religious practices, employees who have pregnancy or childbirth-related medical conditions, or employees who are victims of domestic violence/stalking/sex offenses.

This Policy also prohibits retaliation for reporting or opposing discrimination, or cooperating with an investigation of a discrimination complaint.

Prohibited Conduct Defined

Discrimination is treating an individual differently or less favorably because of his or her protected characteristics—such as race, color, religion, sex, gender, national origin, or any of the other bases prohibited by this Policy.

Harassment is a form of discrimination that consists of unwelcome conduct based on a protected characteristic that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or abusive work or academic environment.  Such conduct can be spoken, written, visual, and/or physical.  This policy covers prohibited harassment based on all protected characteristics other than sex.  Sex-based harassment and sexual violence are covered by CUNY’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct.

II. Discrimination and Retaliation Complaints

The City University of New York is committed to addressing discrimination and retaliation complaints promptly, consistently and fairly. There shall be a Chief Diversity Officer at every college or unit of the University, who shall be responsible for, among other things, addressing discrimination and retaliation complaints under this Policy. There shall be procedures for making and investigating such complaints, which shall be applicable at each unit of the University.

III. Academic Freedom

This policy shall not be interpreted so as to constitute interference with academic freedom.

IV. Responsibility for Compliance

The President of each college of the University, the CUNY Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer, and the Deans of the Law School,  Graduate School of Journalism, School of Public Health and School of Professional Studies and Macaulay Honors College, have ultimate responsibility for overseeing compliance with these policies at their respective units of the University. In addition, each vice president, dean, director, or other person with managerial responsibility, including department chairpersons and executive officers, must promptly consult with the Chief Diversity Officer at his or her college or unit if he or she becomes aware of conduct or allegations of conduct that may violate this policy.  All members of the University community are required to cooperate in any investigation of a discrimination or retaliation complaint.


[1] As a public university system, CUNY adheres to federal, state and city laws and regulations regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action.  Should any federal, state or city law or regulation be adopted that prohibits discrimination based on grounds or characteristics not included in this Policy, discrimination on those additional bases will also be prohibited by this Policy.

*Part of Policies and Procedures adopted and approved effective November 27, 2012, Cal.No.4; and revised policy amended and adopted December 1, 2014, Cal. No. C., with effective date of January 1, 2015; Cal. Item C.*


1. Reporting Discrimination and/or Retaliation

The University is committed to addressing discrimination and/or retaliation complaints promptly, consistently and fairly.

Members of the University community, as well as visitors, may promptly report any allegations of discrimination or retaliation to the individuals set forth below:

A. Applicants, employees, visitors and students with discrimination complaints should raise their concerns with the Chief Diversity Officer at their location.

B. Applicants, employees, visitors and students with complaints of sexual harassment or sexual violence, including sexual assault, stalking, domestic and intimate violence, should follow the process outlined in CUNY’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct.

C. There are separate procedures under which applicants, employees, visitors and students may request and seek review of a decision concerning reasonable accommodations for a disability, which are set forth in CUNY’s Procedures on Reasonable Accommodation.

2. Preliminary Review of Employee, Student, or Visitor Concerns

3. Filing a Complaint

4. Informal Resolution

5. Investigation

6. Withdrawing a Complaint

7. Timeframe

8. Action Following Investigation of a Complaint

9. Immediate Prevention Action

10. False and Malicious Accusations

11. Anonymous Complaints

12. Responsibilities

Some Relevant Laws Concerning Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity