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PDFWAC 357-25-027

What must be included in the agency's sexual harassment policy?

Agencies as defined in RCW 41.06.020 must at a minimum include the following in their policy on sexual harassment:
(1) Indicate who is covered by the policy;
(2) Provide that the employer is committed to providing a working environment free from sexual harassment of any kind;
(3) State that sexual harassment is an unlawful employment practice prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and RCW 49.60;
(4) The definition of sexual harassment as defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission;
(5) Notify the employee or individual of their right to file a complaint with the Washington State Human Rights Commission under RCW 49.60.230 or the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;
(6) Identify how and to whom employees or individuals may raise concerns or file complaints. The policy should allow multiple avenues for an employee or individual to raise complaints or concerns and should clearly identify the positions or entities charged with receiving these complaints;
(7) Advise all individuals covered by the policy that the employer is under a legal obligation to respond to allegations concerning a violation of the policy;
(8) Identify the manner by which the employer will respond to alleged violations of the policy, including a formal investigation if necessary;
(9) State that the complainant shall be informed of the status and the outcome of an investigation;
(10) Identify the agency's investigation or response procedure;
(11) Define the roles and responsibilities of employees, managers, supervisors, and others covered by the policy with respect to the following:
(a) Preventing or not engaging in sexual harassment;
(b) Responding to concerns or allegations of violations of the policy;
(c) Participation in an investigation under the policy; and
(d) The prohibition against retaliation.
(12) State that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed;
(13) Advise that retaliation against individuals covered by the policy who report allegations of sexual harassment or who participate in an investigation is prohibited;
(14) Advise that any employee found to have violated the policy will be subject to corrective and/or disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal;
(15) Advise that any employee found to have retaliated against individuals covered by the policy who report allegations of sexual harassment or who participate in an investigation will be subject to corrective and/or disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal; and
(16) State an employer may not require an employee, as a condition of employment, to sign a nondisclosure agreement, waiver, or other document that prevents the employee from disclosing sexual harassment or sexual assault occurring in the workplace, at work-related events coordinated by or through the employer, or between employees, or between an employer and an employee, off the employment premises in accordance with RCW 49.44.210.
For the purposes of this subsection, "employee" has the same meaning as defined in RCW 49.44.210.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.01.135. WSR 18-17-131, § 357-25-027, filed 8/20/18, effective 9/21/18. Statutory Authority: Chapter 41.06 RCW. WSR 07-23-010, § 357-25-027, filed 11/8/07, effective 12/11/07.]
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