622.000 - Discrimination and Harassment
Clark College is committed to freedom from discrimination for all members of the College community. The College expressly prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, perceived or actual physical or mental disability, pregnancy, genetic information, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, creed, religion, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or use of a trained guide dog or service animal. In addition, the College is committed to freedom from all forms of harassment including sexual harassment, domestic violence and harassment in the workplace. All claims of discrimination and harassment will be investigated by the designee of the president.
Clark 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, sex, 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 Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act and ADA Amendments 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, Clark College has enacted policies prohibiting discrimination against and harassment of members of these protected classes. 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.
The responsibility for, and the protection of, this commitment extends to students, faculty, administration, staff, contractors, and those who develop or participate in College programs. It encompasses every aspect of employment and every student and community activity.
Any person who believes she or he has been discriminated against or harassed by Clark College or its employee(s) or agent(s) on the basis of any status listed above, may request informal assistance and/or lodge a formal grievance. If the complaint is against that designee, the complainant should report the matter to the President’s Office for referral to an alternate designee.
The College president designates investigation of grievances on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, political affiliation, and/or marital status to:Associate Vice President of Human Resources & Title IX Coordinator
ADA Compliance Coordinator
Disability Support Services
Penguin Union Building (PUB) 013
The presidential designee:
Will accept all complaints and referrals from College employees, applicants, students, and visitors.
Will make determinations regarding how to handle requests by complainants for confidentiality.
Will keep accurate records of all complaints and referrals for the required time period.
May conduct investigations or delegate and oversee investigations conducted by a designee.
May impose interim remedial measures to protect parties during investigations of discrimination or harassment.
Will issue written findings and recommendations upon completion of an investigation.
- May recommend specific corrective measures to stop, remediate, and prevent the recurrence of inappropriate conduct.
The College encourages the timely reporting of any incidents of discrimination or
harassment. Complaints may be submitted in writing or orally. For complainants who
wish to submit a written complaint, a formal complaint form is available online at
Hardcopies of the complaint form are available at the following locations on campus:
Office of Diversity and Equity, Gaiser Hall (GHL) 214; Student Affairs Office, Gaiser
Hall (GHL) 204; or Human Resources Office, Baird Administration Building (BRD) 133.
Complainant: Employee(s), applicant(s), student(s), or visitors(s) of Clark College who alleges that she or he has been subjected to discrimination or harassment due to his or her membership in a protected class.
Complaint: A description of facts that allege violation of the College’s policy against discrimination or harassment.
Consent: Knowing, voluntary and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Each party has the responsibility to make certain that the other has consented before engaging in the activity. For consent to be valid, there must be at the time of the act of sexual intercourse or sexual contact actual words or conduct indicating freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.
A person cannot consent if he or she is unable to understand what is happening or is disoriented, helpless, asleep or unconscious for any reason, including due to alcohol or other drugs. An individual who engages in sexual activity when the individual knows, or should know, that the other person is physically or mentally incapacitated has engaged in nonconsensual conduct.
Intoxication is not a defense against allegations that an individual has engaged in nonconsensual sexual conduct.
Discrimination: Unfavorable treatment of a person based on that person’s membership or perceived membership in a protected class. Harassment is a form of discrimination.
Harassment: A form of discrimination consisting of physical or verbal conduct that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual because of their membership in a protected class or their perceived membership in a protected class. Harassment occurs when the conduct is sufficiently severe and/or pervasive and so objectively offensive that it has the effect of altering the terms or conditions of employment or substantially limiting the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational and/or social programs. Petty slights, annoyances, offensive utterances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) typically do not qualify as harassment. Examples of conduct that could rise to the level of discriminatory harassment include but are not limited to the following:
- Epithets, “jokes,” ridicule, mockery or other offensive or derogatory conduct focused upon an individual’s membership in a protected class.
- Verbal or physical threats of violence or physical contact directed towards an individual based upon their membership in a protected class.
- Making, posting, e-mailing, texting, or otherwise circulating demeaning or offensive pictures, cartoons, graffiti, notes or other materials that relate to race, ethnic origin, gender or any other protected class.
Protected Class: Persons who are protected under state or federal civil rights laws, including laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, perceived or actual physical or mental disability, pregnancy, genetic information, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, creed, religion, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or use of a trained guide dog or service animal.
Resolution: The means by which the complaint is finally addressed. This may be accomplished through informal or formal processes, including counseling, mediation, or the formal imposition of discipline sanction.
Respondent: Person or persons who are members of the campus community who allegedly discriminated against or harassed another person or persons.
Sexual Harassment: A form of discrimination consisting of unwelcome, gender-based verbal, written, electronic and/or physical conduct. Sexual harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s gender. There are two type of sexual harassment.
Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment occurs when the conduct is sufficiently severe and/or pervasive and so objectively offensive that it has the effect of altering the terms or conditions of employment or substantially limiting the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational and/or social programs.
Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment occurs when an individual in a position of real or perceived authority, conditions the receipt of a benefit upon granting of sexual favors.
Examples of conduct that may qualify as sexual harassment include:
• Persistent comments or questions of a sexual nature.
• A supervisor who gives an employee a raise in exchange for submitting to sexual advances.
• An instructor who promises a student a better grade in exchange for sexual favors.
• Sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes.
• Unwelcome touching, patting, hugging, kissing, or brushing against an individual’s body.
• Remarks of a sexual nature about an individual’s clothing, body, or speculations about previous sexual experiences.
• Persistent, unwanted attempts to change a professional relationship to an amorous relationship.
• Direct or indirect propositions for sexual activity.
• Unwelcome letters, e-mails, texts, telephone calls, or other communications referring to or depicting sexual activities.
Sexual Violence: Is a type of sexual discrimination and harassment. Nonconsensual sexual intercourse, nonconsensual sexual contact, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are all types of sexual violence.
Nonconsensual sexual intercourse is any sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal) however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person, that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual intercourse includes anal or vaginal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger, or object, or oral copulation by mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact.
Nonconsensual sexual contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual touching includes any bodily contact with the breasts, groin, mouth, or other bodily orifice of another individual, or any other bodily contact in a sexual manner.
Domestic violence includes asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the victim’s current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law.
Dating violence means violence by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. Whether there was such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.
Stalking means intentional and repeated harassment or following of another person, which places that person in reasonable fear that the perpetrator intends to injure, intimidate, or harass that person. Stalking also includes instances where the perpetrator knows or reasonably should know that the person is frightened, intimidated, or harassed, even if the perpetrator lacks such intent.
Who May File a Complaint?
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 at http://www.clark.edu/clark-and-community/about/policies-procedures/grievance_procedure.php. Hardcopies of the complaint form are available at the following locations on campus: Office of Diversity and Equity, Gaiser Hall (GHL) 214; Student Affairs Office, Gaiser Hall (GHL) 204; or Human Resources Office, Baird Administration Building (BRD) 133. Any person submitting a discrimination complaint shall be provided with a written copy of the College’s antidiscrimination policies and procedures.
Confidentiality and Right to Privacy
Clark College will seek to protect the privacy of the complainant 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 Clark College policies and procedures. Although Clark College will attempt to honor complainants’ requests for confidentiality, it cannot guarantee complete confidentiality. Determinations regarding how to handle requests for confidentiality will be made by the presidential designee.
Confidentiality Requests and Sexual Violence Complaints. The presidential designee will inform and obtain consent from the complainant before commencing an investigation into a sexual violence complaint. If a sexual violence complainant asks that his or her name not be revealed to the respondent or that the College not investigate the allegation, the presidential designee will inform the complainant that maintaining confidentiality may limit the College’s ability to fully respond to the allegations and that retaliation by the respondent and/or others is prohibited. If the complainant still insists that his or her name not be disclosed or that the College not investigate, the presidential designee will determine whether the College can honor the request and at the same time maintain a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all members of the College community, including the complainant. Factors to be weighed during this determination may include, but are not limited to:
The seriousness of the alleged sexual violence;
The age of the complainant;
Whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon;
Whether the respondent has a history of committing acts of sexual violence or violence or has been the subject of other sexual violence complaints;
Whether the respondent threatened to commit additional acts of sexual violence against the complainant or others; and
Whether relevant evidence can be obtained through other means (e.g., security cameras, other witnesses, physical evidence).
If the College is unable to honor a complainant’s request for confidentiality, the presidential designee will notify the complainant of the decision and ensure that complainant’s identity is disclosed only to the extent reasonably necessary to effectively conduct and complete the investigation.
If the College decides not to conduct an investigation or take disciplinary action because of a request for confidentiality, the presidential designee will evaluate whether other measures are available to limit the effects of the harassment and prevent its recurrence and implement such measures if reasonably feasible.
Upon receiving a discrimination complaint, the College shall commence an impartial investigation. The presidential designee shall be responsible for overseeing all investigations. Investigations may be conducted by the presidential designee or his or her designee. If the investigation is assigned to someone other than the presidential designee, the presidential designee shall inform the complainant and respondent(s) of the appointment of an investigator.
Interim Measures. The presidential designee may impose interim measures to protect the complainant
and/or respondent pending the conclusion of the investigation. Interim measures may
include, but are not limited to, imposition of no contact orders, rescheduling classes,
temporary work reassignments, referrals for counseling or medical assistance, and
imposition of summary discipline on the respondent consistent with the College’s student
conduct code or the College’s employment policies and collective bargaining agreements.
Investigation. Complaints shall be thoroughly and impartially investigated. The investigation shall include, but is not limited to, interviewing the complainant and the respondent, relevant witnesses, and reviewing relevant documents. The investigation shall be concluded within a reasonable time, normally sixty days barring exigent circumstances. At the conclusion of the investigation the investigator shall set forth his or her findings and recommendations in writing. If the investigator is a designee, the investigator shall send a copy of the findings and recommendations to the presidential designee. The presidential designee shall consider the findings and recommendations and determine, based on a preponderance of the evidence, whether a violation of the discrimination and harassment policy occurred; and if so, what steps will be taken to resolve the complaint, remedy the effects on any victim(s), and prevent its recurrence. Possible remedial steps may include, but are not limited to, referral for voluntary training/counseling, development of a remediation plan, limited contact orders, and referral and recommendation for formal disciplinary action. Referrals for disciplinary action will be consistent with the student conduct code or College employment policies and collective bargaining agreements.
Written Notice of Decision. The presidential designee will provide each party and the appropriate student services administrator or appointing authority with written notice of the investigative findings and of actions taken or recommended to resolve the complaint, subject to the following limitations:
The complainant shall be informed in writing of the findings and of actions taken or recommended to resolve the complaint, if any, only to the extent that such findings, actions or recommendations directly relate to the complainant, such as a finding that the complaint is or is not meritorious or a recommendation that the accused not contact the complainant.
The complainant may be notified generally that the matter has been referred for disciplinary action.
The respondent shall be informed in writing of the findings and of actions taken or recommended to resolve the complaint and shall be notified of referrals for disciplinary action.
Both the complainant and the respondent are entitled to review any final findings,
conclusions, and recommendations, subject to any FERPA confidentiality requirements.
Informal Dispute Resolution. Informal dispute resolution processes, like mediation, may be used to resolve complaints, when appropriate. Informal dispute resolution shall not be used to resolve sexual discrimination complaints without written permission from both the complainant and the respondent. If the parties elect to mediate a dispute, either party shall be free to discontinue mediation at any time. In no event shall mediation be used to resolve complaints involving allegations of sexual violence.
Final Decision/Reconsideration. Either the complainant or the respondent may seek reconsideration of the decision by the presidential designee. Requests for reconsideration shall be submitted in writing to the presidential designee within seven days of receiving the decision. Requests must specify which portion of the decision should be reconsidered and the basis for reconsideration. If no request for reconsideration is received within seven days, the decision becomes final. If a request for reconsideration is received, the presidential designee shall respond within seven days. The presidential designee shall either deny the request or, if the presidential designee determines that the request for reconsideration has merit, issue an amended decision. Any amended decision is final and no further reconsideration is available.
Publication of Anti-Discrimination Policies and Procedures
The policies and procedures regarding complaints of discrimination and harassment shall be published and distributed as determined by the president or president’s designee. Any person who believes he or she has been subjected to discrimination in violation of College policy will be provided a copy of these policies and procedures.
Limits to Authority
Nothing in this procedure shall prevent the College president or designee from taking immediate disciplinary action in accordance with Clark College policies and procedures, and federal, state, and municipal rules and regulations.
Non-Retaliation, Intimidation and Coercion
Retaliation by, for or against any participant (including complainant, respondent, witness, presidential designee, or investigator) is expressly prohibited. Retaliatory action of any kind taken against individuals as a result of seeking redress under the applicable procedures or serving as a witness in a subsequent investigation or any resulting disciplinary proceedings is prohibited and is conduct subject to discipline. Any person who thinks he/she has been the victim of retaliation should contact the presidential designee immediately.
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:
Vancouver Police Department
605 E. Evergreen Blvd.
Vancouver, WA 98661
Clark County Sheriff’s Office
707 West 13th Street
Vancouver, WA 98660
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 410
Vancouver, WA 98666
Main Phone: (360) 397-2211
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
Discrimination complaints may also be filed with the following federal and state agencies:
March 3, 2015
Consensual romantic or sexual relationships between College employees and other employees or students over whom the employee has supervisory, instructional, or evaluative authority have potential for adverse consequences, including the filing of sexual harassment charges. Persons who engage in such relationships assume the risks and responsibilities associated with those relationships. The College does not condone or encourage consensual relationships as described in this policy.
No member of the College community should make recommendations or decisions, vote, or in any other way participate in any process which may directly affect the employment, promotion, academic status, or evaluation of any person with whom he or she has or has had a familial, sexual, or romantic relationship. Should such a situation arise, both parties in the relationship have an equal obligation to remove themselves from participation in the process.
Grievances regarding this policy are handled through the College’s discrimination and harassment grievance procedure (Administrative Procedure 620.010; chapter WAC 132N-300).
The College is committed to providing appropriate support and assistance to employees who are victims of domestic violence. This includes: confidential means of coming forward for help, resource and referral information, work schedule adjustments or leave as feasible to obtain assistance, and workplace relocation as feasible. Other appropriate assistance will be provided based on individual need.
The College is committed to working with employees who are victims of domestic violence
to prevent abuse and harassment from occurring in the workplace. No employee will
be penalized or disciplined solely for being a victim of harassment in the workplace.
Employees who are perpetrators of domestic violence are also encouraged to seek assistance. The College will provide information regarding counseling and certified treatment resources and make work schedule arrangements to receive such assistance.
The College will not tolerate domestic violence, including harassment of any employee or client while in College offices, facilities, work sites, vehicles, or while conducting College business. This includes the display of any violent or threatening behavior (verbal or physical) that may result in physical or emotional injury or otherwise places one's safety and productivity at risk.
Any employee who threatens, harasses, or abuses someone at the workplace or from the workplace using any state resources such as work time, workplace phones, FAX machines, mail, e-mail, or other means, may be subject to corrective or disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Corrective or disciplinary action may also be taken against employees who are arrested, convicted, or issued a permanent injunction as a result of domestic violence when such action has a direct connection to the employee's duties as a College employee. Any actions taken will be in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements.
All employees need to take seriously the problem of domestic violence and its effect in the workplace. The College will take all reasonable measures to foster a safe working environment for all employees. Questions regarding this policy and associated procedures should be directed to Human Resources.
A College faculty or staff member, administrator, or student who experiences harassment from another member of the College community, or any other person, may obtain an anti-harassment protection order as provided in Chapter 10.14 RCW. Although the order can only be obtained by an individual, and not by the College on behalf of an individual, the College can support the aggrieved person in the following ways.
- Human Resources or the appropriate supervisor can provide resource and referral information
and informal advice and assistance that can include, at the request of the complainant,
facilitating a meeting between the complainant and the person committing the alleged
- As allowable, and in accordance with the provisions of Administrative Procedure, 420.001,
the College’s public records officer may provide copies of documents related to the
- The appropriate administrator can take disciplinary action as prescribed in the Student Code of Conduct, collective bargaining agreements, WAC rules, or other applicable College policies.
Anti-harassment orders may be obtained through the Clark County District Court. Petitioner completes the paperwork and pays the required fee at the time of filing. A Clark College employee who obtains an anti-harassment protection order must provide the director of security/safety with a copy of the approved order.