1. INTRODUCTION

    The Seattle College District recognizes its responsibility, described in Policy 419, for investigation, resolution, implementation of corrective measures, and monitoring the educational environment and workplace to stop, remediate, and prevent all manners of discrimination. To this end, the Seattle College District has enacted Policy and Procedure 419, Discrimination and Harassment, prohibiting discrimination against and/or harassment of any employee, student, applicant or visitor, and legally defined members of a protected class. Any individual found to be in violation of Policy 419 will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the College or from employment.

    Any employee, student, applicant, or visitor who believes that they have been the subject of discrimination or harassment should report the incident or incidents to the College’s, or District’s Title IX / EEO Coordinator identified below. All District employees (faculty, staff, student employees and administrators) are designated as “responsible employees” and must report actual or suspected discrimination or harassment immediately, subject to limited exceptions for employees who are statutorily barred from reporting. All details of the reports they receive must be shared promptly. If the complaint is against that Coordinator, the impacted party should report the matter to the president’s, or Chancellor’s office for referral to an alternate designee.

    • Seattle College District Office:
      Chief Human Resources Officer
      Title IX / EEO Coordinator
      Contact info: (206) 934-4136;
      1500 Harvard Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122  or

      Compliance Officer
      (206) 934-3873
      1500 Harvard Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122
    • Seattle Central College:
      Human Resources Director
      Title IX / EEO Coordinator
      Contact info: (206) 934-4017
      1701 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122
    • North Seattle College:
      Human Resources Director
      Title IX / EEO Coordinator
      Contact info: (206) 934-7792
      9600 College Way North, Seattle, WA 98103
    • South Seattle College:
      Human Resources Director
      Title IX / EEO Coordinator
      Contact info: (206) 934-6415
      6000 16th Avenue S.W., Seattle, WA 98106

    The Title IX / EEO Coordinator or designee:

    1. Will accept all complaints and referrals from College or District employees, applicants, students, and visitors.
    2. Will make determinations regarding how to handle requests by impacted partys for confidentiality.
    3. Will keep accurate records of all complaints and referrals for the required time period.
    4. May conduct investigations or delegate and oversee investigations conducted by a designee.
    5. May impose interim remedial measures to protect parties during investigations of discrimination or harassment.
    6. Will issue written findings and recommendations upon completion of an investigation.
    7. May recommend specific corrective measures to stop, remediate, and prevent the recurrence of inappropriate conduct.

    The Seattle College District encourages the timely reporting of any incidents of discrimination or harassment. Complaints may be submitted in writing or orally. For impacted partys who wish to submit a written complaint, a formal complaint form is available online at http://seattlecolleges.edu/HR/complaint. Hardcopies of the complaint form are available at the following locations on campus or the District office:

    • Seattle College District Office
      1500 Harvard Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122;
      2nd Floor Reception Desk
    • Seattle Central College
      1701 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122
      Student Services Office: Room BE4180
      HR Office: BE4180
    • North Seattle College
      9600 College Way North, Seattle, WA 98103
      Student Services Office: 3NC2449A
      HR Office: 3NC2261G
    • South Seattle College
      6000 16th Avenue S.W., Seattle, WA 98106
      Student Services Office: Room CC2354
      HR Office: Room CC2160A
    • Georgetown Apprenticeship and Education Center
      Main Office: 4GT100
  2. DEFINITIONS
    1. Impacted Party: employee(s), applicant(s), student(s), or visitors(s) of the Seattle College District who alleges that she or he has been subjected to discrimination or harassment. The impacted party is not necessarily the reporting party; witnesses or other third parties may report concerns.
    2. Complaint: a description of facts that allege violation of the District’s policy against discrimination or harassment.
    3. Consent: knowing, voluntary and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Each party has the responsibility to make certain that the other has consented before engaging in the activity. For consent to be valid, there must be at the time of the act of sexual intercourse or sexual contact actual words or conduct indicating freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.

      A person cannot consent if they are unable to understand what is happening or are disoriented, helpless, asleep or unconscious for any reason, including due to alcohol or other drugs. An individual who engages in sexual activity when the individual knows, or should know, that the other person is physically or mentally incapacitated has engaged in non-consensual conduct.

      Intoxication is not a defense against allegations that an individual has engaged in non-consensual sexual conduct.

    4. Discrimination: unfavorable treatment of a person based on that person’s membership or perceived membership in a protected class. Harassment is a form of discrimination.
    5. Harassment: a form of discrimination consisting of physical or verbal conduct that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual because of their membership in a protected class or their perceived membership in a protected class. Harassment occurs when the conduct is sufficiently severe and/or pervasive and so objectively offensive that it has the effect of altering the terms or conditions of employment or substantially limiting the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational and/or social programs. Petty slights, annoyances, offensive utterances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) typically do not qualify as harassment. Examples of conduct that could rise to the level of discriminatory harassment include but are not limited to the following:
      • Epithets, "jokes," ridicule, mockery or other offensive or derogatory conduct focused upon an individual's membership in a protected class.
      • Verbal or physical threats of violence or physical contact directed towards an individual based upon their membership in a protected class.
      • Making, posting, emailing, texting, or otherwise circulating demeaning or offensive pictures, cartoons, graffiti, notes or other materials that relate to race, ethnic origin, gender or any other protected class.
    6. Protected Class: persons who are protected under state or federal civil rights laws, including laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, perceived or actual physical or mental disability, pregnancy, genetic information, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, creed, religion, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or use of a trained guide dog or service animal.
    7. Resolution: the means by which the complaint is finally addressed. This may be accomplished through informal or formal processes, including counseling, mediation, or the formal imposition of discipline sanction.
    8. Responding Party: person or persons who are members of the campus community who allegedly discriminated against or harassed another person or persons.
    9. Sexual Harassment: a form of discrimination consisting of unwelcome, gender-based verbal, written, electronic and/or physical conduct. Sexual harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person's gender. There are two types of sexual harassment.
      1. Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment occurs when the conduct is sufficiently severe and/or pervasive and so objectively offensive that it has the effect of altering the terms or conditions of employment or substantially limiting the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational and/or social programs [and/or student housing].
      2. Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment occurs when an individual in a position of real or perceived authority, conditions the receipt of a benefit upon granting of sexual favors.

        Examples of conduct that may qualify as sexual harassment include:

        • Persistent comments or questions of a sexual nature.
        • A supervisor who gives an employee a raise in exchange for submitting to sexual advances.
        • An instructor who promises a student a better grade in exchange for sexual favors.
        • Sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes.
        • Unwelcome touching, patting, hugging, kissing, or brushing against an individual's body.
        • Remarks of a sexual nature about an individual's clothing, body, or speculations about previous sexual experiences.
        • Persistent, unwanted attempts to change a professional relationship to an amorous relationship.
        • Direct or indirect propositions for sexual activity.
        • Unwelcome letters, emails, texts, telephone calls, or other communications referring to or depicting sexual activities.
    10. Sexual Violence: is a type of sexual discrimination and harassment. Non-consensual sexual intercourse, non-consensual sexual contact, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are all types of sexual violence.
      • Non-consensual sexual intercourse is any sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person, that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual intercourse includes anal or vaginal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger, or object, or oral copulation by mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact.
      • Non-consensual sexual contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual touching includes any bodily contact with the breasts, groin, mouth, or other bodily orifice of another individual, or any other bodily contact in a sexual manner.
      • Domestic violence includes asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the victim's current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law.
      • Dating violence means violence by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. Whether there was such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.
      • Stalking means intentional and repeated harassment or following of another person, which places that person in reasonable fear that the perpetrator intends to injure, intimidate, or harass that person. Stalking also includes instances where the perpetrator knows or reasonably should know that the person is frightened, intimidated, or harassed, even if the perpetrator lacks such intent.
    11. “Bullying”: Workplace and/or Classroom bullying is defined as persistent, unwelcome, severe, and pervasive mistreatment that harms, intimidates, offends, degrades or humiliates an employee or student, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, including “cyber” bullying, in the course of employment, or pursuit of education. Any employee found in violation of this District policy, will be disciplined, up to and including immediate termination. Any student found in violation of the District’s Code of Student Conduct, as it relates to this policy, will be disciplined, up to and including, immediate expulsion from the college. Examples of bullying behavior include, but are not limited to:
      • Being held to a different standard than the rest of an employee’s work group;
      • Consistent ignoring or interrupting of an employee in front of co-workers;
      • Personal attacks (angry outbursts, excessive profanity, or name-calling);
      • Encouragement of others to turn against, marginalize, or ostracize the targeted employee;
      • Use of email, internet, or other “cyber” venues to denigrate the targeted employee.

      The Seattle College District encourages all employees to report any instance of bullying behavior they have experienced or witnessed to their supervisor or the college HR Director.

  3. WHO MAY FILE A COMPLAINT

    Any employee, applicant, student or visitor of the Seattle College District may file a complaint. Complaints may be submitted in writing or verbally. The Seattle College District encourages the timely reporting of any incidents of discrimination or harassment. For impacted partys who wish to submit a written complaint, a formal complaint form is available online at seattlecolleges.edu/reporting-forms. Hard copies of the complaint form are available at the locations listed above in Section A. Any person submitting a discrimination complaint shall be provided with a written copy of the College’s anti-discrimination policies and procedures.

  4. CONFIDENTIALITY AND RIGHT TO PRIVACY

    The Seattle College District will seek to protect the privacy of the impacted party to the full extent possible, consistent with the legal obligation to investigate, take appropriate remedial and/or disciplinary action, and comply with the federal and state law, as well as District policies and procedures. Although Seattle College District will attempt to honor impacted party’s requests for confidentiality, it cannot guarantee complete confidentiality. Determinations regarding how to handle requests for confidentiality will be made by the Title IX / EEO Coordinator.

    Confidentiality Requests and Sexual Violence Complaints. The Title IX / EEO Coordinator will inform and obtain consent from the impacted party before commencing an investigation into a sexual violence complaint. If a sexual violence impacted party asks that his or her name not be revealed to the responding party or that the College/District not investigate the allegation, the Title IX / EEO Coordinator will inform the impacted party that maintaining confidentiality may limit the District’s or college’s ability to fully respond to the allegations and that retaliation by the responding party and/or others is prohibited. If the impacted party still insists that his or her name not be disclosed or that the College/District not investigate, the Title IX /EEO Coordinator will determine whether the College/District can honor the request and at the same time maintain a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all members of the District’s community, including the impacted party. Factors to be weighed during this determination may include, but are not limited to:

    • the seriousness of the alleged sexual violence;
    • the age of the impacted party;
    • whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon;
    • whether the responding party has a history of committing acts of sexual violence or has been the subject of other sexual violence complaints;
    • whether the responding party threatened to commit additional acts of sexual violence against the impacted party or others; and
    • whether relevant evidence can be obtained through other means (e.g., security cameras, other witnesses, physical evidence).

    If the College/District is unable to honor a impacted party’s request for confidentiality, the Title IX / EEO Coordinator will notify the impacted party of the decision and ensure that impacted party’s identity is disclosed only to the extent reasonably necessary to effectively conduct and complete the investigation.

    If the College/District decides not to conduct an investigation or take disciplinary action because of a request for confidentiality, the Title IX / EEO Coordinator will evaluate whether other measures are available to limit the effects of the harassment and prevent its recurrence and implement such measures if reasonably feasible.

  5. INVESTIGATION PROCEDURE

    Upon receiving a discrimination complaint, the College/District shall commence an impartial investigation. The Title IX / EEO Coordinator shall be responsible for overseeing all investigations. Investigations may be conducted by the Title IX / EEO Coordinator or his or her designee. If the investigation is assigned to someone other than the Title IX /EEO Coordinator, the Title IX / EEO Coordinator shall inform the impacted party and responding party(s) of the appointment of an investigator.

    Interim Measures. The Title IX / EEO Coordinator may impose interim measures to protect the impacted party and/or responding party pending the conclusion of the investigation. Interim measures may include, but are not limited to, imposition of no contact orders, rescheduling classes, temporary work reassignments, referrals for counseling or medical assistance, and imposition of summary discipline on the responding party consistent with the District’s/College’s student conduct code or the District’s/College’s employment policies and collective bargaining agreements.

    Investigation. Complaints shall be thoroughly and impartially investigated. The investigation shall include, but is not limited to, interviewing the impacted party and the responding party, relevant witnesses, and reviewing relevant documents. The investigation shall be concluded within a reasonable time, normally sixty days barring exigent circumstances. At the conclusion of the investigation the investigator shall set forth their findings and recommendations in writing. If the investigator is a designee, the investigator shall send a copy of the findings and recommendations to the Title IX / EEO Coordinator. The Title IX / EEO Coordinator shall consider the findings and recommendations and determine, based on a preponderance of the evidence, whether a violation of the discrimination and harassment policy occurred, and if so, what steps will be taken to resolve the complaint, remedy the effects on any victim(s), and prevent its recurrence. Possible remedial steps may include, but are not limited to, referral for voluntary training/counseling, development of a remediation plan, limited contact orders, and referral and recommendation for formal disciplinary action. Referrals for disciplinary action will be consistent with the student conduct code or college employment policies and collective bargaining agreements.

    Written Notice of Decision. The Title IX / EEO Coordinator will provide each party with written notice of the investigative findings and of actions taken or recommended to resolve the complaint, subject to the following limitations. The impacted party shall be informed in writing of the findings and of actions taken or recommended to resolve the complaint, if any, only to the extent that such findings, actions or recommendations directly relate to the impacted party, such as a finding that the complaint is or is not meritorious or a recommendation that the accused not contact the impacted party. The impacted party may be notified generally that the matter has been referred for disciplinary action. The responding party shall be informed in writing of the findings and of actions taken or recommended to resolve the complaint and shall be notified of referrals for disciplinary action. Both the impacted party and the responding party are entitled to review any final findings, conclusions, and recommendations, subject to any FERPA confidentiality requirements.

    Informal Dispute Resolution. Informal dispute resolution processes, like mediation, may be used to resolve complaints, when appropriate. Informal dispute resolution shall not be used to resolve sexual discrimination complaints without written permission from both the impacted party and the responding party. If the parties elect to mediate a dispute, either party shall be free to discontinue mediation at any time. In no event shall mediation be used to resolve complaints involving allegations of sexual violence.

    Final Decision/Appeals. Either the impacted party or the responding party may seek review of the decision by the Title IX / EEO Coordinator. Appeals shall be submitted in writing to the Chief Human Resources Officer for employee complaints or the VP of Student Services for student complaints within ten (10) calendar days of receiving the decision. The administrator will designate an individual to handle the appeal. Appeals are limited to the following grounds:

    1. A procedural error or omission occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing (e.g., substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures).
    2. To consider new evidence, unknown or unavailable during the original investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of the new evidence and its potential impact must be included in the submitted appeal request.
    3. The sanctions imposed fall outside the range of sanctions generally designated for this offense,

    If no appeal is received within ten (10) calendar days, the decision becomes final. If an appeal is received, the individual handling the appeal shall respond within 21 calendar days. Both parties will be informed if an appeal has been filed. The request shall either be denied or, if found to have merit, an amended decision can be issued. Any amended decision is final and no further appeal is available.

  6. PUBLICATION OF ANTI-DISCRIMINATION POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

    The policies and procedures regarding complaints of discrimination and harassment shall be published and distributed as determined by the Chancellor/President or designee. Any person who believes they have been subjected to discrimination in violation of District/College policy will be provided a copy of these policies and procedures

  7. LIMITS TO AUTHORITY

    Nothing in this procedure shall prevent the District Chancellor or College President or designee from taking immediate disciplinary action in accordance with Seattle College District policies and procedures, and federal, state, and municipal rules and regulations.

  8. NON-RETALIATION, INTIMIDATION AND COERCION

    Retaliation by, for or against any participant (including impacted party, responding party, witness, Title IX / EEO Coordinator, or investigator) is expressly prohibited. Retaliatory action of any kind taken against individuals as a result of seeking redress under the applicable procedures or serving as a witness in a subsequent investigation or any resulting disciplinary proceedings is prohibited and is conduct subject to discipline. Any person who thinks they have been the victim of retaliation should contact the Title IX / EEO Coordinator immediately.

  9. CRIMINAL COMPLAINTS

    Discriminatory or harassing conduct may also be, or occur in conjunction with, criminal conduct. Criminal complaints may be filed with the applicable law enforcement authorities.

    The College will proceed with an investigation of harassment and discrimination complaints regardless of whether the underlying conduct is subject to civil or criminal prosecution.

  10. OTHER DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT OPTIONS

    Discrimination complaints may also be filed with the following federal and state agencies:

    Washington State Human Rights Commission, www.hum.wa.gov

    US Dept of Education Office for Civil Rights, www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/

    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, www.eeoc.gov



Companion Document : Pol419
Adoption Date : 2014/11/26
Revision Date : 2019/07/22