HR-22 Nondiscrimination and Harassment

Purpose

To enforce the Board of Trustee’s position prohibiting discrimination at Green River College and to set forth the investigation and complaint handling procedures for discrimination claims.

Policy

Green River College recognizes its responsibility for investigation, resolution, implementation of corrective measures, and monitoring the educational environment and workplace to stop, remediate, and prevent discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, perceived or actual physical or mental disability, pregnancy, genetic information, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, creed, religion, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or use of a trained guide dog or service animal, as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act and ADA Amendment Act, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and Washington State’s Law Against Discrimination, Chapter 49.60 RCW and their implementing regulations. To this end, Green River College has enacted policies prohibiting discrimination against and harassment of members of these protected classes. 

Sexual harassment is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the Educational Amendment and is against Green River College’s policies. Sexual harassment will not be tolerated in any form. It shall be the policy of Green River College, consistent with its efforts to respect the dignity and integrity of employees, students and the general public, to provide an environment free of sexual harassment. For allegations of Sexual Harassment subject to Title IX jurisdiction pursuant to regulations promulgated by the United States Department of Education, 34 C.F.R. § 106, refer to the Title IX Grievance Procedure in policy GA-11.  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 appropriate Title IX Coordinator.

Any individual found to be in violation of these policies will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the College or from employment.

Scope 

This policy applies to all students, staff and faculty on all campuses, including housing at Green River College. These nondiscrimination policies and procedures apply to discrimination complaints arising from all programs and activities of Green River College, including, but not limited to, admissions, educational programs, employment practices, and other college sponsored programs.

Definitions 

Complainant: Employee(s), student(s) or visitors(s) of Green River College who alleges that they have been subjected to discriminatory practices or unwanted sexual conduct.

Respondent: Person or persons who are members of the campus community who allegedly discriminated against or harassed another person or persons.

Complaint: A description of the facts that allege violation of the college’s policy against discrimination or sexual misconduct. The college has an official formal complaint form for documenting alleged discrimination or harassment. This form is available online under the A-Z index on the human resources page on GatorNet. Hardcopies of the form are located on campus in the Human Resources and Student Affairs offices.

Discrimination: Unfavorable treatment of another person based on that person’s race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, creed, religion, or status as a veteran that is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to substantially deny or limit that person’s ability to benefit from or fully participate in educational programs or activities or employment opportunities.

Discriminatory Harassment: A form of discrimination consisting of physical, verbal, or written conduct that (1) denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual because of the their race, creed, color, religion, national or ethnic origin; parental status or families with children; marital status; gender (sex); sexual orientation, gender identity or expression; age; genetic information; honorably discharged veteran or military status; or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability; or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability; or any other prohibited basis; and (2) is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to substantially interfere with the individual's employment, education or access to college programs, activities and opportunities.

Examples of behaviors that may rise to the level of discriminatory harassment include but are not limited to the following:

  • Racial epithets, "jokes," offensive or derogatory comments, or other verbal or physical conduct based on an individual's race/color.
  • Ethnic slurs, workplace graffiti, or other offensive conduct directed towards an individual's birthplace, ethnicity, culture or foreign accent.
  • Verbal or physical abuse, “jokes” or offensive comments based on an individual’s age, gender, disability or sexual orientation.
  • Creating, posting, emailing, or circulating demeaning or offensive pictures, cartoons or other materials in the workplace that relate to race, ethnic origin, gender or one of the other protected categories listed above. 

Complaint Procedure

Any employee, applicant, student or visitor of the College may file a complaint. Complaints may be submitted in writing or verbally. The College encourages the timely reporting of any incidents of discrimination or harassment. For complainants who wish to submit a written complaint, a formal complaint form is available online. Forms are also available at the following locations on campus: Human Resources, Campus Safety, Student Affairs, or any Dean’s office. Any person submitting a discrimination complaint shall be provided with a written copy of the College’s anti-discrimination policies and procedures. A complaint cannot be filed on behalf of another person.

Confidentiality and Right to Privacy

Green River College will seek to protect the privacy of all parties involved 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 Green River College policies and procedures. Although Green River College will attempt to honor complainants’ requests for confidentiality, it cannot guarantee complete confidentiality.

Criminal Complaints

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

Kent Police Department

Auburn Police Department

Enumclaw Police Department

220 4th Ave S
Kent, WA 98032
253-856-5800

340 East Main St, Suite 201
Auburn, WA 98002
253-288-2121

1705 Wells St
Enumclaw, WA 98022
360-825-3505

 

King County Sheriff

Pierce County Sheriff

516 Third Ave, Room W-150
Seattle, WA 98104
206-296-4155

County-City Building, First Floor
930 Tacoma Ave S
Tacoma, WA 98402
253-798-7530

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.

Other Discrimination Complaint Options

An employee or student may always file a complaint with:

Washington State Human Rights Commission at 800-233-3247 or TDD 800-300-7525, or

US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights at 800-421-3481 or TDD 877-521-2172 or

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at 800-669-4000 or TDD 800-669-6820. 


Specific Authority 

Titles VII and IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Age Discrimination in Employment Act
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
RCW 49.60.030

Law Implemented

Most recent rulemaking went into effect on 8-14-2020


History of Policy or Procedure

Draft: December 14, 2005
Adopted: May 2, 2006
Revised: July 21, 2010; March 1, 2013; September 26, 2013; December 4, 2015; December 8, 2016; January 8, 2017, August 14th, 2020
Reviewed by: President’s Staff
Contact: Mark Brunke, Senior Director of Human Resources, ext.3320
President’s Staff Sponsor: Shirley Bean, Vice President for Business Administration and  Human Resources ext. 3305