Sexual misconduct disclosure policy
Washington state law and University (UW) policy prohibits the UW from hiring candidates for staff and graduate student employment who do not complete and sign a sexual misconduct declaration prior to their start of employment.
Beginning on October 1, 2020, prior to official offer of employment for staff or graduate student employment, the UW is required to ask final candidates who are not already UW employees to sign a statement disclosing whether the final candidate:
- Is the subject of any substantiated findings of sexual misconduct in any current or former employment
- Is currently being investigated for sexual misconduct at any current employer
- Has left a position during an investigation into a violation of any sexual misconduct policy at any current or past employers
For any positive response, final candidates are required to provide an explanation of the situation.
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 applicant. 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 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.
Reference checks: contacting employers
The UW may conduct additional reference checks of current and former employers to disclose to the UW information, if any, regarding sexual misconduct committed by the final candidate, and to make available 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 requested to execute any additional forms required by their current or former employer(s) to release to the UW such information.
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, additionally, contact UWHR to request a review of the candidate’s official personnel record. For more information, review the reference checking hiring webpage.
Impact to the hiring process
UWHR recruiters will request that all final external candidates to staff positions complete the sexual misconduct declaration prior to official offer of employment via DocuSign in UWHIRES. The hire will not be finalized until the completed and signed declaration is received.
Final candidates whose official offer of employment has been approved prior to October 1, but whose hire date occurs on or after October 1, are not required to complete the declaration.
Offers of employment to prospective student employees
Departments hiring covered student employees are required to request that a prospective student employee completes the Sexual Misconduct Declaration Form (PDF) prior to receiving an offer of employment. This applies to offers of employment-based funding made as part of admissions to graduate programs and offers of employment not tied to admissions.
- Departments may need to adjust their funding offer process to account for the requirement to send a sexual misconduct declaration prior to an offer of employment-based funding. The job aid Sexual Misconduct Declaration - GradSt Employment-based Funding Admission Process Guide (MS Word) provides a step-by-step description of these recommendations and sample text for communicating with prospective students.
- For returning students who are not current employees at the time of an offer, departments will need to send the sexual misconduct declaration prior to an offer of employment. The job aid Sexual Misconduct Declaration - GradSt Employment Process Guide (MS Word) provides a step-by-step description of these recommendations and sample text for communicating with prospective employees.
For questions about this process, view the Sexual misconduct disclosure FAQs or contact your department administrator.
This 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 needs to be placed in the graduate student employee job profile Student Assistant – Grad, job code 10889 (or Student Assistant UWT – Grad, job code 10981 in Tacoma). For more information about student job profiles, visit the Compensation webpage.
Graduate student employee applicants complete the sexual misconduct declaration and return it to UWHR Campus Recruiting at email@example.com, indicating “Student misconduct declaration” in the subject line. The declaration may be completed electronically; for best results, applicants should complete the form using the Adobe Reader mobile app or the desktop version of Acrobat Reader. It is suggested to not use Apple Preview (desktop app) as entries may appear blank. Forms may also be returned as a signed scanned electronic document, provided as an image file of a signed document, or sent by mail at Box 354963. UWHR will reach out to the Graduate School and hiring departments should there be any result necessitating review.