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September 25, 2008

Nondiscrimination policy includes gender identity & expression

Pitt has broadened the wording in its nondiscrimination policy statement to prohibit discrimination or harassment of any individual based on “gender identity or expression.”

Effective Aug. 29, Policy 07-01-03 adds gender identity or expression to a list that includes race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, disability and status as a disabled veteran of the Vietnam era.

The policy states that the University “prohibits and will not engage in discrimination or harassment” on the basis of any of the categories.

The policy applies to admissions, employment and access to, and treatment in, University programs and activities.

Pitt’s commitment to nondiscrimination also is in accordance with federal, state and/or local laws and regulations, according to the policy.

According to Robert Hill, vice chancellor for Public Affairs, individuals at Pitt already had gender identity and expression protections. “This change was intended to specify a category that already was covered in our policy, because the City of Pittsburgh has such protection [specified] in its policies, and the University is governed by local laws and regulations,” Hill said.

Chancellor Mark Nordenberg approved the addition to the policy over the summer, Hill said, at the request of student campus groups.

The additional category does not affect UPMC Health Plan coverage. “There is no change now, and we do not anticipate any changes to health coverage in the future based on this policy,” he said.

—Peter Hart

Filed under: Feature,Volume 41 Issue 3

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