Original Date: 7/22/2008 * Temporary Revision Effective: 9/19/23 (temporary approval expires on 03/19/24)
Policy Contact: Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Vice President of Human Resources
It is the policy of Bellevue College (College) to provide a working and learning environment free from discrimination against and harassment of individuals based on their membership in a protected class, or based on their status as individuals impacted by sexual misconduct, and to investigate and resolve reported violations in an equitable and timely fashion. Retaliation against individuals who file reports or otherwise participate in investigative and disciplinary procedures designed to address violations of this policy is also prohibited.
This policy applies to discriminatory, harassing, or retaliatory conduct whether physical, verbal, or non-verbal, occurring:
- Anywhere on the college’s campuses (including vehicles);
- At any college-sponsored event or activity, whether on- or off-campus (such as social functions, athletic events, celebrations, or conferences);
- Off-campus, when such conduct adversely affects a member or members of the college community or the pursuit of the college’s objectives; or
- Through the college’s computer, telephone, or other electronic communication systems.
This policy does not alter or modify laws, regulations, or college policies applicable to the legitimate exercise of academic freedom or constitutionally-protected rights. General complaints unrelated to discrimination or harassment based on membership in a protected class or retaliation are addressed in Policy 1450.
This policy prohibits discrimination and harassment based on an individual’s membership in the following classes that are subject to protection under federal, state, or local law:
- Presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability
- Use of a trained dog guide or service animal
- HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C status
- Sex (including pregnancy)
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation, including gender identity or expression
- Genetic information
- Honorably discharged veteran or military status
- Parties impacted by sexual misconduct
- Membership in any other group protected by federal, state, or local law
Retaliation against any individual who reports, files a claim, or participates in an investigation or disciplinary proceeding involving alleged violations of this policy is also prohibited.
Consequences of Policy Violations. Reports of violations of this policy by employees, students, or visitors will be reviewed according to the procedures described in 1440P to determine what interim measures, investigations, remediation, or other actions are required or recommended.
Students and employees found to have violated this policy may be subject to corrective or disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the college or dismissal from employment. Disciplinary action against students violating this policy will be handled by the student conduct officer according to the student conduct code (Policy 2050). Disciplinary action against employees violating this policy will be handed by the responding party’s supervisor or appropriate college official according to college policy, collective bargaining agreements, and state and federal law.
In some instances, employees who violate state or federal anti-discrimination laws may be subject to personal liability in a civil lawsuit. The college, through the WA State Attorney General’s office, is authorized to defend and indemnify a college employee only when the employee acts in good faith and within the scope of their official duties.
All employees are responsible for:
- Refraining from conduct that is discriminatory, harassing, or retaliatory;
- Taking discrimination, harassment, and retaliation concerns seriously;
- Reporting suspected discriminatory, harassing, or retaliatory conduct to the appropriate authorities in accordance with procedure 1440P; and
- Cooperating with any resulting investigation and/or disciplinary proceeding.
- Employees who are licensed mental health counselors wherein confidentiality is part of their licensure, while in the role of counselor, are exempt from reporting.
Administrators, supervisors, and faculty members are responsible for:
- Providing a working and learning environment free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation;
- Monitoring the work and learning environment for potential discrimination, harassment, and retaliation;
- Collaborating, when appropriate, with the human resources and Title IX offices to address inappropriate behavior of co-workers, students, and non-employees;
- Collaborating, when appropriate, with the human resources and Title IX offices to follow-up on situations that have been addressed through the reporting procedure; and
- Monitoring for potential recurrences of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.
Relevant Laws and Regulations
- BC procedures 1440P
- BC Policy 1450
- Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Equal Pay Act of 1963
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
- Age Discrimination Act of 1975
- Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) chapter 49.60 RCW
- U.S. Department of Justice Executive Order 13160
- Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization 2013
- RCW 28B.10.842, 844; RCW 4.92.060-075
- Chapter RCW 28B.030 Gender Equity in Higher Education
- Chapter RCW 28B.112 Campus Sexual Violence
- Chapter 132H-126 WAC (BC Policy 2050 Student Conduct Code)
- Washington State Human Rights Commission
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights
- Bellevue College Association of Higher Education Collective Bargaining Agreement
- Washington Public Employees Association Higher Education Collective Bargaining Agreement
- Washington Federation of State Employees Higher Education Community College Coalition Collective Bargaining Agreement
Original 7/22/2008 – replaced original policy 4200 General Policy on Sexual Harassment
Revisions 3/4/2009; 5/21/2009; 9/11/2012; 2/5/2015; 10/17/2018; 9/19/23 (temporary approval expires on 03/19/24)
Temporary Cabinet Approval 9/19/23
Last Updated October 23, 2023