Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation

Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation

The University’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation, which was updated effective January 1, 2022, is available on this page as well as on the USC Policy site, along with the University’s Notice of Non-Discrimination and other related policies. Please contact our office if you need an earlier version of a policy or resolution process.

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What Should I Know?

In summer 2020, USC first issued a new, University-wide policy. Instead of having separate policies to serve USC students, faculty and staff, we combined them into a single Policy to define and describe how the University will respond to reports of Prohibited Conduct, including the provision of supportive measures, and the resolution process of Formal Complaints.

Confidential Resources

You have a wealth of confidential resources to get information, support, and guidance, including but not limited to the following:

Office of the Ombuds

Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Programs and Services

Student Counseling Services

Center for Work and Family Life

Alternative Resolution Options

Students, faculty, and staff can pursue Alternate Resolution options by the agreement of both parties and the University.

Supportive Measures

Offered to both parties, as reasonably available and appropriate, free of charge – there is no requirement to file a Formal Complaint.

New Process Elements

Formal Resolution: Process includes written notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard, right to an advisor of choice, and a determination by the preponderance of the evidence by a neutral and impartial decision-maker (i.e., Hearing Officer).

Key August 2020 Changes to Resolution Process

Sexual misconduct and Title IX cases for all students, staff, and faculty require a live hearing, which currently are held virtually in a manner to permit simultaneously, real-time viewing of the hearing by the parties. At the hearing, a party’s advisor may ask relevant questions of the other party and any any witnesses for Title IX Sexual Harassment issues. A neutral, unbiased Hearing Officer will determine if each question is relevant or not. If a party does not have an advisor at the hearing, the University will provide one free of charge.

Clear Reporting Options

Any person may make a report to the Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX Office to request supportive measures, file a formal complaint, explore procedural options, or ask questions about the Policy.

Feedback

In August 2020, USC first released the University-wide Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation to address all forms of discrimination and harassment on the basis of protected characteristics, retaliation, and sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. The Policy was updated to comply with new California state requirements effective January 1, 2022. We will continue to review and monitor the implementation of this new Policy and welcome feedback from our community.