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Human Resources

Policy Statement on Sexual Harassment

It is the policy of Central Washington University to maintain a work and academic community which is free from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment violates state and federal law and will not be tolerated by this institution. An individual in violation of this policy will be subject to informal or formal disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from employment.

For the purposes of this policy, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or career advancement;
  2. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decision or academic decision affecting such individual; or
  3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or academic environment.

Based on the definition provided above, examples of sexual harassment prohibited by this policy include, but are not limited to: physical assault; direct propositions of a sexual nature; subtle pressure for sexual activity. In addition, behaviors which constitute a pattern of conduct that discomforts or humiliates the recipient are prohibited. Such behaviors may include: comments of a sexual nature; sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes; unnecessary touching, patting, hugging, or kissing; remarks of a sexual nature about a person's clothing or body; or remarks about sexual activity or speculations about previous sexual experience; and persistent, unwanted attempts to change a professional relationship to an amorous one.

All members of the university community are encouraged to work toward maintaining an education and work environment free from sexual harassment. To this end,

  1. the director of the Office for Equal Opportunity will provide training programs to educate the university community on the subject of sexual harassment and the university's obligation to prevent its occurrence. In addition the director will ensure that the sexual harassment policy is appropriately displayed on campus and included in the university's policy manual.
  2. persons who believe they are experiencing sexual harassment are encouraged to act promptly and report such concerns to their immediate supervisor, administrator or department chair, or the director of the Office for Equal Opportunity (Bouillon 205, 963-2205) or the Dean for Student Success (Bouillon 204, 963-1515). (Concerns which involve sexually harassing behaviors of university employees may be brought to the attention of the director of the Office for Equal Opportunity. Concerns which involve student to student sexual harassment may be brought to the attention of the Dean for Student Success.) The university encourages resolution of sexual harassment complaints at the lowest possible level. Persons who have been sexually assaulted are also encouraged to contact Campus Police (Police Services & Public Safety, 963-2958).
  3. supervisors, administrators, and department chairs who receive informal sexual harassment complaints will act on them in a timely fashion in an attempt to resolve such situations informally. They may wish to obtain guidance from the Office for Equal Opportunity. If matters cannot be resolved informally, formal grievance procedures are available.
  4. formal grievance procedures are available. No individual shall be penalized or retaliated against in any way by the university community for his or her participation in the grievance process.
    1. Formal complaints alleging sexual harassment by a university employee or other agent of the university may be filed in the Office for Equal Opportunity. The university's Equal Opportunity Grievance Procedures will be utilized to resolve the complaint. Copies of these procedures are available upon request.
    2. Formal complaints alleging student peer sexual harassment must be made to the Dean of Student Success.
    3. Complaints may also be filed with outside government agencies. A list of these agencies and their addresses is available in the Office for Equal Opportunity.