Workplace Health and Safety

It is the responsibility of each employee to conduct all tasks in a safe manner complying with all University, local, state, and federal safety and health regulations and program standards, and any other special safety protocols.

Although most safety regulations are consistent throughout each department and program, employees have the responsibility to identify and familiarize themselves with the emergency plan for their working area. Each facility shall have posted an emergency plan detailing procedures in handling emergencies such as fire, weather-related events, and medical crises. For general information about emergency plans and procedures, visit Public Safety’s Disaster Preparedness web page.

Furthermore, every person at the University assumes the responsibility for individual and organizational safety. Failure to follow University safety and health guidelines or engaging in conduct that places an employee or University property at risk can lead to employee disciplinary action and/or termination.

The University’s Department of Public Safety encourages all students and employees to have a personal disaster preparedness plan. In collaboration with the surrounding community, and local, state, and federal agencies, USF provides emergency preparedness training opportunities in order for the USF community to respond collectively, quickly, and effectively to any disaster.

Furthermore, the University has established a set of procedures and plans to prepare its community for any potential emergency. For more information, view the Disaster Preparedness Plans and the Disaster Preparedness web page

For safety and security reasons, employees must inform their supervisor if they are expecting a guest to briefly visit their office, including business associates, family members, or friends. Visitors are not permitted in areas restricted to employees only unless accompanied by an employee and authorized by the employee’s supervisor. 

Workplace Bullying

USF defines bullying as “repeated inappropriate behavior, either direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment.” Such behavior violates the University’s Code of Ethics, which clearly states that all employees will be treated with dignity and respect.

The purpose of this policy is to communicate to all employees, including supervisors, managers, and executives, that the University will not tolerate bullying behavior. Employees found in violation of this policy will be disciplined up to and including termination.

The University considers the following types of behavior examples of bullying:

  • Verbal bullying: Slandering, ridiculing or maligning a person or their family; persistent name calling that is hurtful, insulting or humiliating; using a person as the butt of jokes; abusive and offensive remarks.
  • Physical bullying: Pushing, shoving, kicking, poking, tripping, assault or threat of physical assault; damage to a person’s work area or property.
  • Gesture bullying: Nonverbal threatening gestures or glances that convey threatening messages.
  • Exclusion: Socially or physically excluding or disregarding a person during work-related activities.

Bias and Education Resource Team (BERT)

The University of San Francisco Bias Education and Resource Team (BERT) is a University-wide team that works to gather information about bias incidents and to support those individuals who have witnessed, or themselves become a target of, an act of bias. It is a collaborative effort between the Offices of Student Life, Diversity Engagement and Community Outreach and Human Resources. The fundamental role of BERT is to provide affected individuals and communities a safe space to have their voices heard, to provide opportunities for education to mitigate or prevent similar occurrences in the future, and to ensure a comprehensive and timely response to bias incidents. Collectively, this will lead to positive change for both the individual and the campus climate.

For more information, refer to the Bias Education and Resource Team web page.

Reporting Unlawful Behavior

To protect the integrity of the University’s learning community, and to ensure the highest standards of conduct by and among members of the University community, the University investigates any alleged Improper Activity by its employees or students. As such, all members of the University community are strongly encouraged to report any potential Improper Activity by one of the following methods:



  • Calling Public Safety: (415) 422-2222
  • Calling Local Police: 911

Policy Statement

In accordance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Act of 1990, the University of San Francisco has established this Policy regarding substance abuse in the workplace.

Reason For Policy

The University has a longstanding commitment to providing a safe work environment. Alcohol and drug abuse pose a threat to the health and safety of employees and to the security of our campus. For these reasons, and to comply with federal and state law, the University is committed to the elimination of drug and/or alcohol use and abuse in the workplace.

Who Should Read This Policy

All University employees and anyone visiting USF’s campus(es).

Policy Text

Illegal Drugs

Unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance that is illegal is prohibited on University premises or other workplaces if individuals performing work on these premises are compensated by the University of San Francisco.

Prescribed Medication

Employees are prohibited from performing their duties while taking prescribed drugs that adversely affect their ability to safely and effectively perform their job duties. Employees taking a prescribed medication must carry it in the container labeled by a licensed pharmacist or be prepared to produce it if asked. This policy does not prohibit employees from the lawful use and possession of prescribed medications. Employees must, however, consult with their doctors about the medications’ effect on their fitness for duty and ability to work safely and promptly disclose any work restrictions to their supervisor. Employees should not, however, disclose underlying medical conditions unless directed to do so.

Smoking and Tobacco

Smoking, vaping, and the use of any tobacco products (cigarettes, e-cigarettes, hookahs, pipes, cigars, water pipes, vape pens, personal vaporizers, electronic nicotine delivery systems, smokeless tobacco, etc.) are no longer permitted anywhere within the boundaries of university-owned or leased property and vehicles. Please visit the Smoke and Tobacco Free Campus Policy web page for more information.


Although California state law allows individuals over the age of 21 to possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use in addition to medical use, it is still considered illicit under federal law and thus will not be allowed at the University.

Employee Assistance and Drug-Free Awareness

The University of San Francisco recognizes drug and alcohol dependency as treatable conditions and offers an employee assistance program for University employees with substance dependency problems. Employees can access the program to learn more about the health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol. Employees are encouraged to seek assistance for drug and alcohol-related problems and may request leaves of absence for this purpose, in addition to using approved vacation or sick leave, or attending the employee assistance programs outside regular working hours. Information obtained regarding an employee during participation in an employee assistance program will be treated as confidential.

Crimes Involving Drugs

USF prohibits all employees from manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, possessing or using an illegal drug in or on University premises or while conducting University business. Employees are also prohibited from misusing legally prescribed or over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Law enforcement personnel shall be notified, as appropriate, when criminal activity is suspected.

If convicted of any criminal drug statute violation occurring in the workplace, the employee is obligated to notify Human Resources in writing within five (5) calendar days after conviction.



Related Information

Type Name and Location
USF Employee Assistance Program
USF Smoke and Tobacco Free Campus Policy