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Sexual orientation, gender and gender identity are included in the institutional anti-discrimination policy.

Public opinion and public policy regarding sexual orientation and gender identity and gender expression are changing rapidly. There is often inconsistency from federal to state laws, from state to state and between municipalities within each state.

According to the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, gender, gender identification, transgender and sexual orientation ARE NOT PROTECTED by employment or housing laws. These classes of individuals are also not protected from discrimination or harassment in the state of South Dakota.

Individual employers and organizations may have internal policies which vary widely and may provide additional protections that include sexual orientation and gender identity and gender expression even if not provided for by civil law. Violations of employer, organizational or institutional policies (such as those here at the University of South Dakota) may result in disciplinary action within the institution or organization.

The University of South Dakota community, in order to protect educational environments, holds itself to certain standards of conduct more stringent than those mandated by state and federal law. Even if not illegal, the university prohibits acts of discrimination and harassment against any university community member(s) “based on sex, race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, gender identification, transgender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status or any other status that may become protected under law against discrimination."

For more information, visit the USD Office of Equal Opportunity website, where you can click on the available links to see USD’s full Nondiscriminatory Policy.

Next Module: Sex Vs. Gender