Equal Opportunity

Sexual Orientation

Sexual orientation is an enduring pattern of romantic or sexual attraction (or a combination of these) to persons of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or to both sexes, or more than one gender. Sexual orientation is about who you’re attracted to and who you feel drawn to romantically, emotionally, and sexually.

Sexual Orientation discrimination involves treating an applicant or employee less favorably or harassing an applicant or employee because of his or her sexual orientation. The law prohibits sex discrimination based on sexual orientation. USF’s equal opportunity policies explicitly prohibit discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation.

While Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not explicitly include sexual orientation in its list of protected bases, Supreme Court case law holding that employment actions motivated by gender stereotyping are unlawful sex discrimination. Also, other court decisions interpret the statute's sex discrimination provision as prohibiting discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation.

Sexual Orientation & Work Situations

The law forbids discrimination in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

Discrimination can include but is not limited to failing to hire an applicant, firing an employee, denying an employee a promotion or providing a lower salary to an employee because of his or her sexual orientation.

Sexual Orientation & Harassment

It is unlawful to harass a person because of that person’s sexual orientation. Harassment can include using, for example, derogatory terms, sexually oriented comments, or disparaging remarks for associating with a person of the same or opposite sex.

 Campus Resources


  • USF Advocacy Program 24 hrs. - Crisis line (813) 974-5757
  • Gay and Lesbian National Hotline - 4 pm to midnight 1 (888) 843-4564
  • Gay and Lesbian Youth, under 23 yrs. - 24/7, 1 (800) 850-8078