Sexual misconduct disclosure policy
Washington state law and University (UW) policy prohibits the UW from hiring candidates for staff and covered student employment who do not complete and sign a sexual misconduct declaration prior to their start of employment and requires the UW to conduct a sexual misconduct verification on the final candidate’s current and past postsecondary educational institution employers prior to offer of employment.
Final candidate disclosure
Prior to official offer of employment for staff or covered student employment, the UW is required to ask final candidates who are not current UW employees to sign a statement disclosing whether they:
- Are the subject of any substantiated findings of sexual misconduct in any current or former employment
- Are currently being investigated for sexual misconduct at any current employer
- Have left a position during an investigation into a violation of any sexual misconduct policy at any current or past employers
Final candidates are required to provide an explanation for any positive response.
The sexual misconduct declaration authorizes the final candidate’s current and past employers to disclose to the UW any sexual misconduct committed by the candidate and make available to the UW copies of all documents in the previous employer’s personnel, investigative, or other files relating to sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, by the candidate. The declaration releases the candidate’s current and past employers, and employees acting on behalf of that employer, from any liability for providing the information in the sexual misconduct declaration.
Failure to provide complete and accurate information will result in disqualification from employment and withdrawal of any offer of employment.
Sexual misconduct verification
Beginning July 1, 2021, prior to official offer of employment for staff or covered student employment, the UW is required to request in writing that the final candidate’s current or former Washington state postsecondary educational institution employers disclose whether the candidate:
- Is the subject of any substantiated findings of sexual misconduct
- Is currently being investigated for sexual misconduct
- Has left a position during an investigation into a violation of any sexual misconduct policy
The request must include a copy of the declaration and statement completed by the final candidate.
The UW may request all documents and information in the candidate’s current or former personnel, investigative, or other files relating to any sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment. Final candidates may be asked to execute additional forms required by their current or former employer(s) to release such information to the UW.
Current or former UW employees
When the final candidate for a position is a current or former UW employee, departments must obtain a reference from the candidate’s current (or most recent) UW supervisor and contact UWHR to request a review of the candidate’s official personnel record. For more information, review the Reference Checking hiring webpage.
Sexual misconduct definition
Sexual misconduct, includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual contact, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, other unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, electronic, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, sexual harassment, and any misconduct of a sexual nature that is in violation of the postsecondary educational institution’s policies or has been determined to constitute sex discrimination pursuant to state or federal law.
Employer policies defining sexual misconduct include, but are not limited to, anti-harassment and discrimination policies, Title IX policies, and policies adopted in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Act. At UW, these include Executive Order 31: Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action; Executive Order 51: Sexual Violence Elimination; and Executive Order 70: Compliance with Education Department Sexual Harassment Regulations.
Definition of postsecondary educational institution employer
A postsecondary educational institution employer means any Washington state:
- State university (University of Washington and Washington State University)
- Regional university (Western Washington University, Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University)
- State college (The Evergreen State College)
- Community and technical college
- Degree-granting institution that offers educational credentials, instruction, or services prerequisite to or indicative of an academic or professional degree beyond the secondary level. Degrees include, but are not limited to associate, bachelor, master, doctor, or fellow.
- Private vocational school that offers postsecondary education in any form for the purpose of instructing, training or preparing persons for any vocation or profession.
- School that offers curriculum of instruction in the practice of cosmetology, hair design, barbering, esthetics, master esthetics, manicuring, or instructor-trainee to students and participates in the state financial aid program.
Hiring process: Staff
UWHR recruiters will request that all final external candidates to staff positions complete the sexual misconduct declaration prior to official offer of employment via UWHIRES and, if applicable, initiate a sexual misconduct verification for all Washington postsecondary educational institution employers. The hire will not be finalized until the final candidate completes the declaration and the UW sends the sexual misconduct disclosure verification for any Washington postsecondary educational institution employer.
Hiring process: Covered student employees
This requirement applies to all academic student employees covered by the UAW collective bargaining agreement and any prospective student employee hired into a graduate student job profile. Any graduate student hired to do student assistant (non-ASE) work must be placed in a graduate student employee job profile Student Assistant – Grad, job code 10889 or Student Assistant UWT – Grad, job code 10981 in Tacoma. This excludes positions funded by scholarship/fellowship stipends. For more information about student job profiles, visit the Compensation webpage.
Offers of employment to prospective student employees
Before making an official offer of employment, departments hiring covered student employees are required to request that the prospective student employee complete the sexual misconduct declaration in the Sexual Misconduct Declaration Tool. This requirement applies to offers of employment-based funding made as part of admissions to graduate programs as well as offers of employment not tied to admissions.
Covered student employee applicants complete the sexual misconduct declaration through the Sexual Misconduct Declaration Tool, which initiates the Washington state postsecondary educational institution employer sexual misconduct verification, if applicable. Upon completion of the declaration and/or the completion of the employer verification, the tool will notify the hiring department whether the prospective student employee is eligible for employment. For any result that requires review, UWHR will contact the Graduate School and hiring departments. Departments should not proceed with extending an offer of employment prior to receiving confirmation that these checks are complete.
For questions about this process, view the Sexual misconduct disclosure FAQs and the job aid: Sexual Misconduct Declaration-Covered Student Employment (MS Word), or contact your department administrator.