Equal Opportunity Frequently Asked Questions

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Equal opportunity refers to employment or educational practices that ensure there is nondiscrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law.

Affirmative action is one aspect of efforts to ensure equal opportunity. The purpose of affirmative action programs is to promote fairness and address the effects of past discrimination by encouraging, among other things, targeted outreach efforts to attract underutilized minorities and women.

Diversity refers to human qualities that differ among groups or individuals. Dimensions of diversity include but are not limited to: age, ethnicity, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, military experience, parental status, religious beliefs, and job classification.

Complainant means an individual or group of individuals who may have been subjected to prohibited discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, regardless of whether the individual reports the conduct.

Respondent means an individual or group of individuals identified as allegedly having engaged in prohibited discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, regardless of whether a formal complaint is made.

Equal Opportunity (EO) is the primary office at the University of North Texas responsible for enforcing the University's equal opportunity policies and for investigating complaints of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. EO is responsible for advancing and monitoring the University’s affirmative action plan and as part of our efforts to attract underutilized minorities, EO reviews all faculty employment searches. EO provides guidance to University managers and supervisors on matters related to protected status.

EO offers online and in-person training on all University policies related to equal opportunity and discrimination. Currently, EO offers modules online as well as in-person. The subject matter of the training is detailed below:

  • Preventing Discrimination and Harassment (online/in-person)
  • Preventing Sexual Misconduct (online/in-person)
  • General EEO Principles (online/in-person)
  • Faculty Search Committee Training (in-person)

Other types of training are generally by request, and in consultation with supervisors or managers of units wishing to receive training. If you would like to request training for your unit, please provide detailed information on the EO training request form here.

If you feel that you have been discriminated against or harassed based on membership in a protected class (race, sex, religion, etc.), or retaliated against based on a protected activity (filing a complaint, participating in a complaint investigation, etc.), you may have a legitimate complaint. Therefore, you should provide EO with a completed Inquiry Form to initiate EO review of your concerns.

EO investigates complaints of violations of these policies:

Animals on Campus Grounds (04.026)

Employment of Individuals with Disabilities/ Workplace Accommodations (05.011)
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to the University’s employment opportunities.

Disability Accommodation for Students and Academic Units Policy (16.001)

Prohibition of Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation (16.004)
The purpose of this policy is to ensure the University's working and learning environments are free of discrimination and harassment on the basis of protected status, to prohibit retaliation, and to ensure equal employment and education opportunity for all members of the University community.

Prohibition of Sexual Misconduct, Including Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Sexual Coercion, Sexual Exploitation, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, Failure to Report and Retaliation (16.005)
The purpose of this policy is to ensure an environment free of unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that impacts the ability of others to benefit from the University’s employment or educational opportunities.

EO investigates formal complaints of discrimination on the basis of disability status. However, there are two other offices at the University of North Texas that handle the process for obtaining a reasonable accommodation due to the presence of a disability.

EO serves the University of North Texas in Denton. Members of other UNT system components may contact the Human Resources support center at 1-855-878-7650, or by email.

If you are a student or employee of the UNT Denton campus who feels discriminated against or harassed, please contact EO at 940-565-2759, by email at oeo@unt.edu, or fill out the EO Inquiry Form and hand-deliver to Hurley 175 or email it to EO at oeo@unt.edu.

If a report or complaint is filed with Equal Opportunity, then EO will keep the matter private to the extent possible. In certain circumstances, even if the complainant requests that a report not be pursued, EO will evaluate that request and may not be able to maintain confidentiality because the nature of the complaint is such that EO must take investigative action.

The University has offered specific guidance regarding confidentiality in sexual assault investigations. Please consult the Sexual Assault Policy (12.005) for further information.

  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in programs or activities which receive federal financial assistance.
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.
  • Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination.
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older.
  • Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (ADA), which prohibit employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the private sector, and in state and local governments.
  • Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities who work in the federal government.
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal assistance.

As a supervisor, if you learn about an incident of discrimination or harassment from a member of the University community, including visitors, you are required to immediately report the information to Equal Opportunity. Equal Opportunity can then determine the most appropriate response depending on the nature of the information you have reported.

Students who witness discriminatory or harassing behavior, or become aware of such behavior, are strongly encouraged to report the behavior to Equal Opportunity. The University of North Texas is committed to the elimination and prevention of discrimination and harassment on our campus, and therefore, seeks the assistance of students to report incidents of harassment and discrimination.

Staff, faculty, administrators, teaching assistants, graduate assistants, research assistants, and other designated University representatives are required to report to Equal Opportunity incidents of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation that are brought to their attention by others or that are reported to them or witnessed by them.

To initiate a complaint, please complete the EO Inquiry Form and return the form to EO. An investigator from our office will contact you and set up a time to meet with you to discuss the nature of your complaint and any concerns you may have that could require an interim measure. If EO determines that you have a viable discrimination or harassment complaint, the investigator will proceed with interviewing witnesses and Respondent(s) in your case. The final determination of your complaint will be shared with you in an investigative report. For more information regarding EO’s investigative process please download Resolution Procedures for Complaints of Discrimination, Harassment, or Retaliation.

If a Complainant or Respondent desires, they may be accompanied to an investigatory meeting by an advisor of their choice. Complainants and Respondents are required to notify EO of the name and position of the advisor who will accompany them no later than two full days in advance of any scheduled meetings. Witnesses in the investigation cannot serve as advisors. The Complainant and Respondent are expected to ask and respond to questions on their own behalf, without representation by their advisor. EO may consider a refusal to answer a question in reaching a determination on an alleged policy violation. The advisor shall not engage in the use of verbal or non-verbal cues or speak on behalf of the parties.

When EO has concluded its investigation, the Complainant and Respondent will receive written notification and a copy of the investigative report. In addition, a copy of the investigative report will be provided to the Respondent’s supervisor and to the supervisor of the academic or administrative unit which employs the Respondent. These individuals are directly responsible for implementing measures to correct and prevent discriminatory or retaliatory conditions.

The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the University’s efforts to comply with the federal law: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including, but not limited to sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence, and different treatment on the basis of sex. If you have any questions regarding Title IX or would like to file a complaint involving sexual misconduct please contact UNT’s Title IX Coordinator at 940-565-2759, by email at TitleIX@unt.edu, or by submitting an EO Inquiry Form.