Selected Laws and Regulations

Statement of Compliance with Federal, State, and Local Laws Promoting Equal Employment Opportunity, Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment, and Authorizing Affirmative Action

In accordance with all applicable laws and pursuant to its own policies and operating procedures, Columbia University provides for equal opportunity, prohibits unlawful discrimination and harassment, and takes affirmative action. The applicable laws include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, prohibits discrimination against any person on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, prohibits employment discrimination against any person because of race, color, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), pregnancy status or national origin.
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, as amended, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in the conduct or operation of a school’s educational programs or activities, including employment in these programs and activities.
  • Violence Against Women Act, as amended, federal law responding to violence against women, including with respect to domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
  • Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in rates of pay.
  • Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 provides that each paycheck which delivers discriminatory compensation under Title VII is a wrong actionable under federal equal employment opportunity statutes regardless of when the discrimination began.
  • Executive Order 11246, as amended, prohibits discrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin and requires affirmative action to ensure equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment.
  • Executive Order 13665 prohibits discrimination against employees or applicants because they inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant.
  • Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires a federal contractor to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified workers with disabilities and prohibits the exclusion of any person solely on the basis of a disability from participation in or access to benefits of any federally financed program or activity; it also prohibits discrimination against any person solely on the basis of disability in any federally financed program or activity.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination in public accommodation and in employment against a qualified person with a disability and requires an employer to provide qualified applicants and employees with reasonable accommodations.
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended, prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of age. The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.
  • Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) prohibits discrimination in employment based on past, current, or future military obligations.
  • Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 and the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998, as amended, prohibit job discrimination and require affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam Era, recently separated veterans, and any other veterans who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized.
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of citizenship status. The prohibition extends to employers who hire only U.S. citizens or U.S. citizens and green card holders as well as to employers who prefer to employ unauthorized workers or temporary visa holders rather than U.S. citizens and other workers with employment authorization.
  • The Small Business Act of 1958, as amended, Section 15(g)(1), requires federal contractors to afford maximum practicable business opportunities to Small Business Concerns, including businesses owned by disadvantaged individuals, disabled veterans, and women.
  • New York Education Law, Articles 129-A and 129-B, establishes state laws regarding sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking on college and university campuses
  • The New York Executive Law, Article 15, Section 296(1), prohibits discrimination against any person in employment because of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, genetic predisposition or carrier status, marital status, or arrest record. Section 296(4) prohibits an educational institution from denying the use of its facilities to anyone otherwise qualified or permitting harassment of a student or applicant on the basis of color, race, religion, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, age, and marital status.
  • The New York Labor Law, Section 194, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in rates of pay.
  • The New York City Human Rights Law, Chapter 1, Section 8-107, makes it an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to discriminate against any person because of their actual or perceived age, alienage or citizenship status; arrest or conviction record; caregiver status; color; credit history; creed; disability; familial status; gender (sex); gender identity; genetic predisposition or carrier status; lactation accommodation; marital status; national origin; pregnancy; religion; salary history; sexual or reproductive health decisions; sexual orientation; status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or sex offenses; unemployment status; veteran or active military status.
  • New York State law prohibits discrimination and retaliation in employment based on an employee’s or an employee’s dependent’s reproductive health decision making, including but not limited to, the decision to use or access a particular drug, device or medical service (“reproductive health decisions”).

It is an unlawful employment practice for University officials to access an employee’s personal information regarding their or their dependent’s reproductive health decisions without the employee’s prior informed affirmative written consent, or to require an employee to sign a waiver or other document which purports to deny an employee the right to make their own reproductive health decisions.  

Any employee who feels there has been a violation of this policy should report their concern to EOAA, which will investigate and take appropriate remedial action.  An employee may also file a private legal action and can seek remedies to the extent available under applicable law. Discrimination and retaliation against employees who exercise rights under this policy is prohibited.

The University is committed to responding quickly and effectively to any internal report of harassment, and hopes that employees will be comfortable coming forward and allowing us to pursue an internal investigation of the matter.

In addition to the University’s internal complaint procedure, an employee may also pursue a complaint of sexual harassment by contacting the following federal and/or state agencies: