Employee Relationships Policy
EVCC3010: Staff Relationships (Policy)
Original Date: May 2011
Policy Contact: Vice President of Administrative Services
Everett Community College values an environment of inclusion, trust, and respect as beneficial for learning and working. As a matter of sound judgment, all employees in the college community accept responsibility to avoid any apparent or actual conflict of interest between their professional responsibilities and their personal relationships with students or those whom they supervise, evaluate, or exercise other relationships of power or authority. Romantic and/or sexual relationships between a faculty member and a student, or a supervisor and subordinate, may potentially pose risks to the faculty member, student, supervisor, subordinate, third parties, and department morale. In such relationships voluntary consent by the student or subordinate is suspect because of the inherently unequal nature of the relationship. A romantic and/or sexual relationship between a faculty member and a student, or a supervisor and subordinate, can lead to a complaint of sexual harassment when the student or subordinate perceives he or she was exploited. In addition, other faculty members, staff members, supervisors, students, or employees may express concerns about undue access or advantage, favoritism, restricted opportunities, or unfavorable treatment as a result of the relationship. These concerns are damaging to the college whether the favoritism is real or perceived. Concerns also arise in cases where the relationship between the faculty member and student, or supervisor and subordinate, remains amicable, as well as in cases that lead to allegations of exploitation. To ensure that the advising, mentoring, evaluation and supervision of students or subordinates is conducted fairly, romantic or sexual relationships between faculty and students, and supervisors and subordinates are prohibited as set forth in this policy.
Employees are prohibited from having supervisory responsibility over a student or employee with whom the employee is currently having a romantic and/or sexual relationship.
The term ‘supervisory responsibility’ is defined as any supervisory role perceived as a position of power or authority which is not limited to instruction, academic advising, coaching, service on tenure committees, assignment of grades, evaluation and recommendation in an institutional capacity for employment, scholarships or awards. ‘Supervisory responsibility’ may occur on or off campus, in curricular, co-curricular, or extracurricular activities.
The term ‘currently’ is defined as within the last two years, or a reasonable anticipation that an evaluative role may exist in the near future.
This policy does not apply to romantic and/or sexual relationships that are prohibited by law under RCW 9A.44 or relationships that violate discrimination or sexual harassment laws and policies.
Some professionals employed by the college (i.e. counselors, attorneys, nurses and others) may have different, more stringent guidelines that their members must obey to maintain certification. This policy does not preclude or replace any guidelines published by a particular professional association. Everett Community College expects its employees to abide by the guidelines of any professional organization to which they are members in addition to the standard set forth in this policy.
- Board of Trustees
- President's Staff