WSR 07-20-090

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL


[ Filed October 2, 2007, 10:13 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Exempt from preproposal statement of inquiry under RCW 34.05.310(4).

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 357-34-100 How often are general government employees required to complete sexual harassment awareness and prevention training?, 357-34-105 How often are general government managers and supervisors required to complete additional sexual harassment training?, 357-34-110 Under what circumstances may the general government employer waive the required sexual harassment awareness and prevention training for a new employee?, 357-34-115 What must be included in the required sexual harassment awareness and prevention training?, 357-34-120 Who provides the required sexual harassment awareness and prevention training?, 357-34-125 How do general government employers report their compliance with WAC 357-34-100 to the department?, 357-25-025 What are the policy statement requirements that employers must comply with for the purpose of chapter 357-25 WAC?, and 357-25-027 What must be included in the general government employer's sexual harassment policy?

Hearing Location(s): Department of Personnel, 2828 Capitol Boulevard, Tumwater, WA, on November 8, 2007, at 8:30 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: November 8, 2007.

Submit Written Comments to: Connie Goff, Department of Personnel, P.O. Box 47500, e-mail connieg@dop.wa.gov, fax (360) 586-4694, by November 1, 2007. FOR DOP TRACKING PURPOSES PLEASE NOTE ON SUBMITTED COMMENTS "FORMAL COMMENT."

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Department of Personnel by November 1, 2007, TTY (360) 753-4107 or (360) 586-8260.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: SB 5118 passed during the 2007 legislative session which requires department of personnel to adopt rules establishing guidelines for policies, procedures, and mandatory training programs on sexual harassment for state employees and establishes reporting requirements for agencies on compliance of rules.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 41.06 RCW.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 41.06.150.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Department of personnel, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Kristie Wilson, 521 Capitol Way South, Olympia, WA, (360) 664-6408; Implementation and Enforcement: Department of Personnel.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Not required.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328.

October 1, 2007

Eva N. Santos

Director


NEW SECTION
WAC 357-34-100   How often are general government employees required to complete sexual harassment awareness and prevention training?   Employees of agencies defined in RCW 41.06.020 are required to complete sexual harassment awareness and prevention training at least every five years. For new employees sexual harassment awareness and prevention training should be completed within the first six months of employment, or earlier if required by the employer's sexual harassment policy.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 357-34-105   How often are general government managers and supervisors required to complete additional sexual harassment training?   Effective July 1, 2008, in addition to the training described in WAC 357-34-100, all managers and supervisors of agencies defined in RCW 41.06.020 are required to complete training on managers' roles and responsibilities regarding sexual harassment every three years. For new supervisors and managers, training on roles and responsibilities should be completed within the first six months of becoming a manager or supervisor.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 357-34-110   Under what circumstances may the general government employer waive the required sexual harassment awareness and prevention training for a new employee?   Agencies as defined in RCW 41.06.020 may waive the sexual harassment awareness and prevention training or the managers' roles and responsibilities training required for a new employee if the employee can show proof of attending training given by another state agency, within the time frame that satisfies the requirements of this chapter.

If the sexual harassment awareness and prevention training is waived for a new employee the agency must review their sexual harassment policy with the new employee. The employee must take the next training within five years of completion of the sexual harassment awareness and prevention training or within three years of completion of the managers' roles and responsibilities training with their former state agency.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 357-34-115   What must be included in the required sexual harassment awareness and prevention training?   The requirements of the sexual harassment awareness and prevention training will be published by the department. All training must satisfy the requirements by July 1, 2008.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 357-34-120   Who provides the required sexual harassment awareness and prevention training?   Either the department or the agency may provide the sexual harassment awareness and prevention training.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 357-34-125   How do agencies report their compliance with WAC 357-34-100 to the department?   Agencies as defined in RCW 41.06.020 must report to the department at least every two years regarding their compliance with WAC 357-34-100 and 357-34-105. These agencies must submit a statement signed by the agency head indicating the percentage of employees who are current in the required sexual harassment awareness and prevention training and the percentage of managers and supervisors who are current in the required roles and responsibilities training. Agencies will submit their statements as follows:

(1) Agencies with 50 or more full time equivalent employees must submit their statement to the department with the employer's affirmative action plan and affirmative action plan update.

(2) Agencies with 25 to 49 full time equivalent employees must submit their statement to the department with their small agency workforce profile.

(3) Agencies with fewer than 25 full time equivalent employees must submit their statement to the department with the agency's sexual harassment policy.

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AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-01-197, filed 12/21/04, effective 7/1/05)

WAC 357-25-025   What are the policy statement requirements that employers must comply with for the purpose of chapter 357-25 WAC?   (1) All employers must maintain:

(a) An affirmative action and equal employment opportunity policy statement; and

(b) Policy statements on sexual harassment and reasonable accommodation.

(2) The employer's affirmative action and equal employment opportunity policy statement must be reviewed and approved by the head of the agency, institution, or related higher education board each year. The policy statements on sexual harassment and reasonable accommodation must be updated as needed.

(3) Agencies as defined in RCW 41.06.020 must submit their sexual harassment policy as follows:

(a) Agencies with 50 or more full time equivalent employees must submit their policy to the department with the employer's affirmative action plan and affirmative action plan update.

(b) Agencies with 25 to 49 full time equivalent employees must submit their policy to the department with their small agency workforce profile.

(c) Agencies with fewer than 25 full time equivalent employees must submit their policy to the department at least every two years.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 41.06 RCW. 05-01-197, 357-25-025, filed 12/21/04, effective 7/1/05.]


NEW SECTION
WAC 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; and

(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.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office