Guidance on Non-Retaliation

Georgetown University is committed to maintaining safe and inclusive working and learning environments. University policies prohibit retaliation, harassment, or other adverse action against an individual for making a complaint in good faith, assisting in an investigation, opposing harassment or otherwise exercising rights protected by law. Our policies also prohibit taking any adverse academic or employment related action against an individual based on an unsubstantiated allegation or rumor of harassment. 

Below are some examples of conduct that could give rise to a report of retaliation (please note that these examples are fictional and not based on conduct known to have occurred at Georgetown).

Example 1: Staff Member A requested reasonable workplace accommodations based on religion and disability. Staff Member A’s supervisor believes that the accommodations provide “preferential” treatment and the supervisor shared this view with other staff in the department. Since Staff Member A’s request for accommodation, the supervisor has refused to grant Staff Member A’s requests for overtime and Staff Member A’s co-workers no longer invite Staff Member A to departmental social events.

Example 2: In January, a co-principal investigator (co-PI) made a report to the University of alleged gender-based discrimination by a principal investigator (PI). In February, the PI informed the co-PI that the co-PI could no longer speak on a panel at a conference with the PI because the PI does not want to become the subject of another complaint of discrimination. 

Example 3: A student asked Faculty Member A to write a recommendation letter for a fellowship for which the student was applying. Faculty Member A agreed to do so. Subsequently, the student was interviewed as a witness in the university’s investigation of a racial harassment complaint filed by a Faculty Member B against Faculty Member A. As a result of the student’s participation in the investigation, Faculty Member A told the student that they no longer felt comfortable writing the recommendation letter. 

Georgetown University strictly prohibits retaliatory conduct in its programs or activities. Retaliation should be reported promptly to the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Affirmative Action (IDEAA), and if proven, may result in disciplinary action.
We appreciate the support of community members in maintaining a welcoming and inclusive environment across our campuses. Should you have any questions or concerns about the University’s non-retaliation policy, please feel free to contact IDEAA directly at or 202-687-4798.