Discriminatory Harassment

What is Discriminatory Harassment?

Per Chapter 9 of the Civil Service Rules, discriminatory harassment means unwelcome advances, requests for favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or communication based on religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, height, weight, marital status, partisan considerations, disability, or genetic information under any of the following conditions:

  1. Submission to the conduct or communication is made a term or condition, either explicitly or implicitly, to obtain employment.
  2. Submission to or rejection of the conduct or communication by a person is used as a factor in decisions affecting the person’s employment.
  3. The conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a person’s employment or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment environment.

Prohibited Behaviors:

Listed below are general examples of discriminatory harassment, which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Requests for sexual favors;
  • Talking about or calling attention to another person’s body or sexual characteristics;
  • Unwelcome physical contact, including but not limited to hugging, rubbing, touching, patting, pinching, or brushing another person’s body;
  • Crude or offensive language, degrading words or comments, sounds, innuendo, slurs, gestures, negative stereotypes, threats, or jokes, whether communicated verbally, by electronic mail, or otherwise, used to denigrate an individual’s age, color, disability, height, genetic information, marital status, national origin, partisan considerations, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or weight;
  • Displaying pictures, letters, objects, graffiti, screen savers, cartoons, calendars, posters, or other visuals used to denigrate an individual’s age, color, disability, height, genetic information, marital status, national origin, partisan considerations, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or weight; or
  • Continuing certain behavior after another person has objected to that behavior.

What is the Departments Role?

It should be noted that the department is required to investigate allegations of harassment it becomes aware of, even if a complainant does not wish the department to conduct an investigation.

The department will make a good-faith effort to eliminate and prevent discriminatory harassment in the workplace by:

  • Investigating all reports of discriminatory harassment;
  • Appointing one or more investigators to investigate allegations of discriminatory harassment;
  • Identifying the persons to whom employees may report discriminatory harassment.

Who is Obligated to Report Discriminatory Harassment?

All employees:  A classified employee is obligated to report to management in writing, or verbally with written follow-up, (using the Discriminatory Harassment Form) in either of the following circumstances:

  • If the employee is subjected to discriminatory harassment in the workplace by a supervisor, manager, co-worker, or other person; or
  • If the employee witnesses a supervisor, manager, coworker, or other person in the workplace engaging in discriminatory harassment of another person.

Supervisors and Managers:  A supervisor or manager who witnesses an employee engaged in discriminatory harassment of another person is obligated to report the behavior to the HR office and to take appropriate action to prevent any further harassment, as advised by the HR office.

How Long Do I Have to Report A Complaint?

The employee is encouraged to report any discriminatory harassment immediately.  However, in any event, the employee must report any discriminatory harassment within 180 calendar days after the alleged harassment.  The investigation will be conducted in a timely manner.  It will include, but is not limited to, an interview of the complainant and the alleged harasser.


Confidentiality and privacy will be protected, to the extent provided by law, but persons from whom information is taken must be informed that the complainant and alleged harasser may have access to some or all of the complaint and the evidence.

How Do I File A Discriminatory Harassment Complaint?

Discriminatory Harassment Complaint Form

Completed forms can be sent to (LARA State Employees ONLY):
The Office of Human Resource
P.O. Box 30004
Lansing, MI 48909
Fax: (517) 284-9953

For Further Questions, Please Contact:
Amanda Satkowski
Phone: (517) 241-0359

Additional Contact Information:

Michigan Department of Civil Rights                                

Lansing Enforcement Unit              
Capitol Tower Building Suite 800       
110 W. Michigan Ave.                          

Detroit Enforcement Unit
Cadillac Place
3054 W. Grand Blvd., Suite 3/600
Detroit, Michigan 48202

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity 

Federal McNamara Building
477 Michigan Ave., Room 865
Detroit, MI 48226