Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Guidelines

The University of Southern California prohibits discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, religion (including religious dress and grooming practices), creed, sex, age (40 years and over in the employment context), marital status, national origin, citizenship status, employment status, income status, ancestry, partnership status, medical condition (including cancer and genetic characteristics), pregnancy (including childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), disability, political belief or affiliation, domestic violence victim status, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance (Protected Characteristics), and their implementing regulations, in any of its education programs and activities, in employment and application for employment, in admission and application of admission, and in all other University programs and activities, in compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations, 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.; Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended in 2008; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; Executive Order 11246 of 1965, as amended by Executive Order 11357 of 1967; the California Fair Employment and Housing Act; and other federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or ordinances that prohibit discrimination.

The University prohibits unlawful harassment of students, employees, and third parties on the basis of any protected characteristic as identified above.

The University also prohibits retaliation against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by university policy or law, or because the individual makes a good faith report or formal complaint, testifies, assists, participates, or refuses to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under USC’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation.

Accordingly, USC expects all who engage with our students to abide by all applicable laws, as well as adhere to the spirit of such laws, follow ethical procedures, and model good behavior.

Although students may be offsite during their internship experience, mentorship activities, or other events, the requirement to maintain a discrimination-free environment still applies. As such, we expect that all employers who hire USC students, mentors who work with the USC community, offsite hosts, and those who engage with our students via virtual media ensure that all students are treated professionally and respectfully.

Examples of unprofessional behaviors include:

  • Using sexual innuendos, making jokes of a sexual nature, making comments about a person’s physical appearance, or asking inappropriately personal questions.
  • Physical touching without expressed verbal consent, including repeatedly standing too close to or brushing up against a person.
  • Assigning work duties based on gender, age, or disability and not based on merit.
  • Pressuring a student to work on Saturday or Sunday against the student’s religious practices.
  • Denying a permanent job offer to a summer intern based on a protected characteristic, such as race, ethnicity, or military status.

It is also important to ensure that any real or perceived authority you have is not used in a way that would make a student feel the need to engage in unwanted activity to receive future academic or employment benefits. Examples include:

  • Asking a student (who may be counting on you for work, a special project, recommendation, or reference, etc.) for a date, a personal phone number, or to engage in off-duty activities one-on-one.
  • Emailing, texting, posting on social media messages of a personal affection, requesting to socialize and/or date, or sending inappropriate pictures.

It is imperative that all individuals meet USC’s expectation that the environment remains focused on respect and provides a space that is free of discrimination and harassment. If you see or hear of behavior that violates this expectation, you are encouraged to intervene, speak up, or contact the USC Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX at We encourage employers, mentors, and those who engage with USC students in any capacity to read and become familiar with our University Policies.

Thank you for joining us in supporting our students’ academic and employment endeavors by building and maintaining respectful relationships.


USC is an equal opportunity employer and educator, proudly pluralistic and firmly committed to providing equal opportunity for outstanding candidates of every race, creed, and background.

The university seeks compliance with all statutes prohibiting discrimination in education, including Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 which respectively prohibit discrimination. This good faith effort to comply is made even when such laws and regulations conflict with each other.