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5207 - Prohibition Against Harassment and Intimidation

The District is committed to a supportive work environment. Every employee, volunteer, and visitor is expected to maintain a work and or educational environment free from intimidation and harassment. District Regulation prohibits sexual, racial, and other harassment in the workplace. The purpose of the Regulation is to emphasize that the District also does not tolerate any of the types of conduct described in this Regulation. Allegations of harassment of students will be processed via Regulation 3207 and Procedure 3207P; allegations of harassment of volunteers will be processed via Regulation 4011 and Procedure 4011P; allegations of harassment of parents will be processed via Regulation 4011 and Procedure 4011P, except that parental complaints against District employees will be processed via Regulation 4220 and Procedure 4220 P.

Harassment, as defined for this Regulation, consists of verbal conduct, physical conduct, or electronic or other communications or data that coerces, belittles, or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual for any reason and that:

  • Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment; or
  • Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or the educational environment; or
  • Substantially adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities.

Intimidation and harassment may be intentional or unintentional. However, it must be noted that where an allegation is made under this Regulation, the intention of the alleged harasser is irrelevant. As in sexual harassment, it is the effect of the behavior upon the target which is important.

Conduct that “unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or educational environment performance” or that “substantially adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities” will be determined by considering an alleged targeted individual’s attendance, demeanor, and interaction with peers, productivity, efficiency, and other indicators.

Conduct that may rise to the level of intimidation and/or harassment may take many forms, including, but not limited to:

  • Verbal: slandering, ridiculing or maligning a person or his/her family; persistent name calling which is hurtful, insulting or humiliating; using a person as a butt of joke(s); abusive and offensive remarks; slurs, rumors, jokes, innuendoes, demeaning comments.
  • Written: drawings, cartoons, statements and or images in emails, and or on property.
  • Physical: pushing, shoving, kicking, poking, tripping, assaulting or threatening assault, damaging or tampering with a person’s work area or personal property, or threatening such damage.
  • Gestures: non-verbal threatening gestures, glances and or stares which can convey threatening messages.

Harassment prohibited by this Regulation shall not be construed to alter, impair, or abridge existing or customary management rights. Prohibited harassment does not include (i) reasonable management decisions, directives and/or expectations made, issued or stated by District administrators or supervisors, or (ii) disregard of a person in work-related activities.

If you feel you are being harassed in violation of this Regulation, telling the person harassing you that his or her behavior is unwelcome and must stop will often stop the problem. However, you are not required to confront someone who is harassing you if you are uncomfortable doing so. Either way, you must inform the District by bringing the problem to the attention of one of the following:

  • Your supervisor; or
  • Executive Director of Human Resources; or
  • Director of Personnel/Chief Legal Officer; or

Individuals are expected to report any incidents of harassment promptly so that complaints can be quickly and fairly investigated if appropriate and resolved if substantiated. Complaints will be investigated as confidentially as circumstances warrant. The reporting individual will be informed of the results of the investigation. If an investigation confirms that harassment in violation of this Regulation has occurred, the District will take appropriate corrective action. This may include discipline up to and including, termination of the employment of anyone who has violated this Regulation and or possible preclusion from future volunteering and or issuance no trespassing directives. 

The District and its employees are prohibited from retaliating against any individual who makes a good faith report of a potential violation of this Regulation. Retaliating against such individuals is a violation of this Regulation, even if after an investigation no harassing conduct was substantiated. It is also a violation of this Regulation knowingly to report false allegations of harassment. Persons who are found to have retaliated, knowingly reported such false allegations, or corroborated false allegations will be subject to disciplinary action and or action as provided above.

Everyone in the District is responsible for assuring that our workplace and educational environment are free from prohibited harassment. It is your duty to report harassment if you see or hear about it.

If you have any questions regarding this Regulation, please ask your supervisor or Personnel Department for clarification. 

Adopted:

9/1/2014

Related Procedures:

Cross References:

Regulation:

  • Washington State Labor & Industries Stop Workplace Bullying April 2011