USC prohibits unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. USC’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation incorporates a university-wide approach to preventing and responding to discrimination and harassment on the basis of protected characteristics (including sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking), as well as related claims of retaliation.
Examples of protected characteristics include, but are not limited to: race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and military or veteran status. For a full list of protected characteristics, see the Notice of Nondiscrimination Statement.
Additional examples of conduct prohibited by this Policy (Prohibited Conduct) include, but are not limited to:
- Verbal harassment based on one’s protected characteristic, such as offensive or inappropriate comments or jokes, or constant misgendering of a person (which means referring to another person using the incorrect pronouns).
- Physical harassment of someone based on a protected characteristic, including unwanted touching, property damage, or acts of violence.
- Visual or written harassment targeting someone based on a protected characteristic, such as offensive or inappropriate symbols or by using electronic information technology like email, text message, or social media.
- Having or attempting to have sexual contact with another individual without their consent or where the individual cannot consent because of age or temporary or permanent mental capacity (i.e., sexual assault).
- Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific individual that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their own safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress (i.e., stalking).
- Denying someone access to housing, restrooms, or locker room facilities that align with their gender identity or requiring them (for example, someone who identifies as transgender, intersex, gender non-conforming, or nonbinary) to only use single-user facilities when others are not required to do so.
For a full list of protected characteristics and types of Prohibited Conduct, including definitions, please review USC’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation.