Employment Policies

Sexual Harassment

Definition of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment, whether between people of different sexes or the same sex includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other behavior of a sexual nature when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or participation in an educational program;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for personnel decisions or for academic evaluation or advancement; and/or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment

Examples of Conduct That May Constitute Sexual Harassment

Conduct and behaviors prohibited by the University's Sexual Harassment Policy include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical assault;
  • Direct or implied suggestions that submission to or rejection of sexual advances is a condition of or affect decisions regarding such matters as an individual's employment, promotion, work assignments or status, salary, academic standing, grades, receipt of financial aid, or letters of recommendation;
  • Direct propositions of a sexual nature and/or subtle pressure for sexual activity that are unwanted and that unreasonably interfere with a person's work or academic environment;
  • A pattern of conduct (not legitimately related to the subject matter of a course) that causes discomfort or embarrassment, including:
    • Verbal or written comments of a sexual nature;
    • Sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes;
    • Touching, patting, hugging, brushing against a person's body, or repeated or unwanted staring;
    • Remarks about sexual activity, experience, or orientation;
    • Remarks of a sexual nature about an individual's body, clothing, or physical appearance; and/or
    • Display of inappropriate sexually oriented materials in a location where others can see it: when such conduct, comments, actions, or materials unreasonably interfere with a person's work or academic environment;
  • Intentionally making performance of the employee's job or student's academic work more difficult because of that employee's sex or sexual orientation; and/or
  • Preferential treatment or promises of preferential treatment for submitting to sexual conduct.

Special note: Physical assaults of a sexual nature, or attempts to commit these acts, are forms of unlawful harassment and are criminal acts under the Washington law. Incidents of this nature should be reported to Campus Public Safety and/or the police.


Individuals who report a complaint of alleged sexual harassment may not be reprimanded or discriminated against in any way for initiating an inquiry or complaint in good faith. Further, the laws pertaining to sexual harassment make it unlawful to retaliate or to take reprisal in any way against anyone who has articulated a concern about sexual harassment or has participated or cooperated in the investigation of a complaint.

Consensual Relationships

Relationships that might be appropriate in other circumstances have inherent dangers when they occur between any employee and his supervisor. These relationships are unethical and unprofessional and are therefore prohibited by the University.

  • A supervisor can have a decisive influence on a staff member's career at the University through wage increases, promotion, and the like. Although sexual harassment most often occurs in situations of power differential between the persons involved, the University recognizes that sexual harassment may occur between persons of the same University status.
  • No person involved in a consensual relationship shall have direct responsibility for evaluating the employment or for making decisions regarding the promotion or compensation of the other party to the relationship. If an allegation of sexual harassment occurs, the University is less sympathetic to a defense based on consent when the facts establish that a professional power differential existed within the relationship. These relationships are subject to concerns about the validity of consent, conflicts of interest, and unfair treatment of other employees. These relationships undermine the atmosphere of trust essential to the employment relationship.
  • A romantic or amorous relationship between a member of the faculty and a student for whom the faculty member has instructional, advising, or other professional responsibility is unethical and unprofessional and, therefore, is prohibited. This judgment arises from the recognition that in the faculty-student relationship there is always an element of superiority or power. Faculty members have a professional responsibility not to abuse the power with which they are entrusted because of their faculty position. A romantic or amorous relationship between a faculty member and a student readily creates the impression of favoritism or preferential treatment and thus may adversely affect other students. Such conduct by a faculty member is not simply a personal matter; it is also a matter of institutional concern and responsibility. The oversight of this policy rests with the deans and the Provost.
  • A romantic or amorous relationship between a staff member and a student for whom the staff member has instructional, advising, or other professional responsibility is unethical and unprofessional and, therefore, is prohibited. This judgment arises from the recognition that in the staff-student relationship there is always an element of superiority or power. Staff members have a professional responsibility not to abuse the power with which they are entrusted because of their staff position. A romantic or amorous relationship between a staff member and a student readily creates the impression of favoritism or preferential treatment and thus may adversely affect other students. Such conduct by a staff member is not simply a personal matter; it is also a matter of institutional concern and responsibility. The oversight of this policy rests with the area Vice President and the Provost.


  • University administrators, deans, department heads, and supervisors have the responsibility of preventing and eliminating sexual harassment within the areas they oversee.
  • If administrators, deans, department heads, or supervisors know sexual harassment is occurring, receive a complaint of sexual harassment, or obtain other information indicating possible sexual harassment, they should take prompt action to ensure the matter is addressed, even if the problem or alleged problems is not within their area of oversight. Faculty members likewise, should inform an appropriate administrator if they have reason to believe sexual harassment is occurring.

University Resources for Students and Employees

All employees of the University have a number of resources available to discuss sexual harassment concerns or questions. Available resources include, but are not limited to:

  • Assistant Vice President for Institutional Equity ("AVP for IE/EOO")
  • Student Counseling Center
  • Office of the Vice President for Student Development
  • Wismer Women's Center
  • Campus Ministry Office

These resources afford an employee the opportunity to discuss a concern or situation and the available options. These resources also offer employees the opportunity to gain information about the University's formal sexual harassment complaint procedures.

Education and Training

Educational efforts are essential to sustain a University environment that is as free as possible of sexual harassment, that fosters respect for all individuals, and that observes high standards of conduct in consensual relationships. The primary goals to be achieved through education include:

  • Ensuring that all individuals are aware of their rights;
  • Notifying individuals of prohibited behaviors;
  • Informing parties of the proper way to address complaints of violations of this policy; and
  • Maintaining a community awareness of the problems this policy addresses.

The AVP for IE/EOO arranges regular training sessions for employees about prevention of sexual harassment. The intent of this training is to maintain an academic and work environment free of harassment. An environment that is free from sexual harassment provides for the opportunity for each to reach their potential in the performance of their educational pursuits or assigned position. A sexual harassment pamphlet is published and distributed to the University community on a regular basis. A copy is provided to every employee on hire and available in appropriate campus centers and offices. A copy of the University's sexual harassment policy is placed in the Faculty Handbook as a reference for faculty members. A copy of this policy is readily available in campus centers and offices and is also posted at the University's internal and external web sites.

A letter is issued annually from the Office of the AVP for IE/EOO to the campus community, reminding employees and students of the contents of the University's sexual harassment policy.

Filing a Complaint of Sexual Harassment

  • Direct reporting of alleged harassment by offended party: Any employee or student may make a formal report of alleged sexual harassment to the AVP of IE/EEO. If the complaint involves the Office of the AVP of IE/EEO, the complainant believes that the AVP of IE/EEO may have a conflict in the matter, or if for any reason the individual is uncomfortable coming to the AVP of IE/EEO, the reporting can be directed to the Executive Vice President. The respective Vice President and dean are notified of the receipt of a complaint.
  • Reporting by administrators, deans, department heads and supervisors: An individual in a leadership position with personal knowledge that sexual harassment is occurring, or who receives a complaint of sexual harassment or obtains other information indicating possible sexual harassment, should take prompt action to document the matter and report it to the AVP of IE/EEO.
  • Reporting by faculty members: Any faculty member with personal knowledge that sexual harassment is occurring, or who receives a complaint of alleged sexual harassment or obtains other information indicating possible sexual harassment, should document that information and provide it to his respective department chair or dean, or report the matter directly to the AVP of IE/EEO.

In many instances, informal discussion can be useful in resolving perceived instances of harassment or unprofessional conduct. Problems are sometimes easier to resolve when an informal atmosphere encourages people to identify the difficulty, talk it out, and agree on how to deal with it. Even where a formal complaint may have been submitted, the VP for HR/EOO can often assist an individual in bringing about an informal satisfactory resolution without a formal investigation. The University retains the right to investigate or address concerns even without a formal complaint or to initiate an investigation of its own volition.

Investigation Procedures

  • The nature and the scope of the formal investigation depends in part on the nature of the complaint.
  • The AVP of IE/EEO documents all of the details as reported by the complainant.
  • In investigating a formal complaint of alleged sexual harassment, every possible effort shall be made to ensure the confidentiality of both the complainant and the alleged offending party.
  • The AVP of IE/EEO conducts an investigation and gathers necessary information to establish whether there is a reasonable basis for believing that the alleged violation of this policy has occurred.
  • This investigation includes an interview with the alleged offending party, wherein he is informed of the nature of the complaint, the identity of the complainant, and the reported information surrounding the allegation. The investigation affords the alleged harasser the full opportunity to respond to the allegations.
  • In conducting the investigation, the AVP of IE/EEO may interview and/or obtain written statements from other persons believed to have pertinent factual knowledge.

Complaint Resolution and Corrective Action

  • Every complaint of sexual harassment is considered on its own merits. Based on the merits of the complaint and the findings, the University takes whatever corrective/disciplinary action it considers appropriate.
  • Where sexual harassment is found, steps are taken to assure the harassment stops immediately. AVP of IE/EEO monitors corrective action to assure compliance.
  • Possible outcomes of the investigation are: (a) an informal resolution of the complaint, (b) a determination that the allegations are not warranted or cannot be substantiated; (c) a negotiated resolution of the complaint; or (d) institution of formal corrective action or discipline, as described in item "e." below.
  • Findings of sexual harassment: If the AVP of IE/EEO concludes that there is a reasonable basis for believing that the alleged violation of this policy has occurred appropriate corrective action is recommended. Such action may include, but is not limited to, any of the following: reprimand, suspension, transfer, dismissal, or termination. The University may require an individual to be counseled in appropriate behaviors and the University reserves the right to require training in appropriate behaviors.
  • Except as specifically modified by other provisions of this policy, formal disciplinary and corrective action involving allegations of:
    • Violations of this policy by faculty members are the responsibility of the Provost and are governed by the University's Faculty Handbook.
    • Violations of this policy by staff members are the responsibility of the appropriate Vice President and are governed by University policies and procedure for discipline and dismissal of staff.

Appeal of Determination of the Complaint

If either party is not satisfied with the resolution or determination of the complaint, that party may file a written appeal with the AVP of IE/EEO or the Executive Vice president. The appeal must be filed within ten (10) working days of the determination. AVP of IE/EEO or the Executive Vice president makes a decision on the appeal of the determination within thirty (30) days of receipt, and notifies the parties in writing of that final determination.

Appeal of Corrective Action or Discipline

An appeal to corrective action or discipline on the basis of sexual harassment is handled according to the applicable procedures outlined above. In addition to internal disciplinary procedures, certain matters may be referred for legal action (either civil or criminal) by either the complainant or the University.

Protection of All Involved Individuals

To the extent that it is practical, the complainant and the alleged offender are informed of steps taken during the investigation.

  • All reasonable action is taken to assure that the complainant, the alleged offender and those participating in the complaint or investigative process suffer no retaliation as a result of their involvement in the process.
  • At the time an investigation begins, whether as part of an informal procedure or a formal procedure, the accused is informed of the allegations, the identity of the complainant, and the facts surrounding the allegations. In an informal procedure, however, the identity of the complainant may be kept confidential if, in the judgment of the VP for HR/EOO, doing so is in the best interest of the complainant and does not hamper the ability of the accused to respond to the allegations.

Sanctions for a False Complaint

A complainant who is intentionally dishonest in making an allegation of sexual harassment, or who makes a complaint maliciously, is subject to University disciplinary procedures, according to applicable disciplinary guidelines (Faculty Handbook, University policies, or student policies.) Reasonable steps may also be taken to restore the reputation of the accused if it was damaged.

Sexual Harassment Complaints Filed With External Agencies

The University's intention is that through these procedures any complaints are resolved internally except where criminal activity is involved. An aggrieved individual may also file a complaint with federal and state agencies, such as:

Washington State Human Rights Commission

Melbourne Tower, #291

1511 Third Avenue

Seattle, WA 98101

(206) 464-6500

U.S. Department of Education

Office for Civil Rights

915 Second Avenue, Room 3310

Seattle, WA 98174

(206) 220-7900

U.S. Department of Labor

Office of Federal Contract

Compliance Programs

71 Stevenson St., Suite 1700

San Francisco, CA 94105

(415) 848-69698

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Federal Office Bldg.

909 First Avenue, #400

Seattle, WA 98104-1061

(206) 220-6883

Tobacco Free Campus

The use or sale of tobacco products is prohibited on and within all Seattle University owned, leased, or managed property and at university sponsored off-campus events.  Products approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the uses of mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease are permitted under this policy. Repeated violations of this policy may result in disciplinary or corrective action.

Each department head, faculty member, manager, supervisor, operator, or other person in charge of an area is responsible for enforcing the University's policy.

Nepotism Policy

The University allows the employment of relatives in the same administrative or academic units so long as:

  • one relative does not participate in making recommendations or decisions affecting the appointment, retention, work assignments, promotion, demotion, performance appraisal, or salary of the other relative; and
  • the work unit is sufficiently large that the employment of relatives does not adversely impact other employees in the unit.

No preferential treatment of a relative can be used to deny equal opportunity to other employees. Furthermore, any relative hired by the University must meet normal faculty or employee selection qualifications. For purposes of this policy, "relative" means spouse, state registered domestic partner, legally domiciled adult, mother or father, mother-in-law or father-in-law, son or daughter, brother or sister, son-in-law or daughter-in-law, aunt or uncle, niece or nephew, grandparent or grandchild.

Electronic Media Use

The University maintains standards and expectations for employee use of telephones, electronic mail, and Internet access. Violations of these standards will result in corrective action. Information about these standards is available on the Office of Information Technology website at Computer Acceptable Use Policy.

Emergency Procedure

The University is committed to providing for the safety, security, and welfare of the entire campus community. Campus Public Safety is primarily responsible for meeting this commitment including handling emergencies. In case of an emergency:

  • Go to a campus telephone and dial 5-911 for Campus Public Safety.
  • Indicate the nature of the emergency; give your name, title or position, and the location from which you are calling.
  • Stay on the line to answer any questions. Campus Public Safety will initiate the appropriate action in response to your call.

There are some emergencies that demand an immediate response from the Seattle Police, Fire, or Medical Aid Unit(s). Examples of these situations are:

  • A life-threatening situation
  • A significant crime in progress
  • A suspect involved in a significant crime is still on the scene or has just fled the scene
  • Fire, or indication of fire, or other threat of imminent serious property loss.

In the case of an emergency requiring an immediate response by Seattle Police, Fire, or Medical Aid Unit(s):

  • Go to the nearest campus telephone and dial 9-911
  • Indicate the nature of the emergency and immediate assistance you want
  • Give your name and the exact location from which you are calling.
  • Stay on the line to answer any questions the 911 Operator may ask. Be prepared to give the telephone number from which you are calling, or, if unknown, the University's telephone number (206) 296-6000.
  • When your call to the 911 Operator is completed, hang up and dial 5-911 to notify Campus Public Safety of the nature of the emergency and the action you have taken. Campus Public Safety will coordinate Police, Fire, or Medical Aid Unit(s) response.

Disaster Emergency Plans

Emergency Evacuation Plan of a Campus Building

  • Evacuate whenever a fire alarm sounds, a Campus Public Safety Officer informs you to evacuate, or Campus Public Safety issues a written notice advising all persons to evacuate the building. Building personnel should ensure other building occupants are aware of the evacuation request and help all building occupants to leave.
  • Proceed calmly to the nearest fire exit. While exiting close all doors and turn out all lights if possible. Do not attempt to use elevators.
  • Exit the building at the base of the fire stairway. Move to the nearest campus mall and proceed 300 feet away from the building. In adverse weather, building occupants can proceed to the first floor of the Lemieux Library, which is open twenty-four (24) hours a day.

Disabled Occupants

If a disabled occupant is unable to exit a building unassisted, building personnel should assist the individual(s) to the nearest fire exit landing. Telephone Campus Public Safety at 5-911 or send a runner to Campus Public Safety at the University Services Building and advise the location of the disabled occupant. Transporting of disabled individuals should be avoided until emergency personnel arrive unless imminent life-threatening conditions exist in close proximity.

Campus Wide Evacuation Plan

  • Evacuate your building through the nearest fire exit and go to the Campus Evacuation Camp at the East Intramural Field (Championship Field). Register upon arrival so that your welfare is known.
  • Bring any available first aid kit, keys, needed personal items, medication, eyeglasses, etc. with you to the Campus Evacuation Camp.
  • Once at the East Intramural Field (Championship Field) Campus Public Safety staff will coordinate the Evacuation Camp.
  • Do not attempt to leave the campus immediately. Trying to drive and/or walk long distances after a major disaster is most likely futile due to debris and other hazards.

During An Earthquake on Campus

  • Stay calm; do not panic.
  • If you are outdoors, go to an open space. Move away from buildings, poles, and power lines.
  • If you are inside, stay there. Do not run outside.
  • Move away from the windows and large pieces of glass or mirrors.
  • Crouch under a sturdy desk or table, or stand in a doorway.
  • Do not use the elevator.
  • Expect fire alarms and/or sprinkler systems to activate.

After An Earthquake on Campus

  • Before moving, check to see if you are injured. Look for any smoke or fire.
  • Check people around you for injuries. If there are any serious injuries, do not attempt to move the person unless he is in immediate danger.
  • Do not light a match or lighter, as there may be gas leaks. If possible, make sure all electrical items are shut off.
  • Use telephones to report emergencies to 5-911 (if on campus), or send a runner to report injuries and fire to Campus Public Safety at the University Services Building.
  • Exit building through fire exit ways.
  • Watch for falling objects, broken sidewalks, and any dangerous conditions.

What Can You Do?

  • Be as prepared as possible. Know what to do and where to go if a significant disaster occurs. Assess your office/room for objects that may fall and place heavy items down low.
  • Prepare or purchase a disaster kit for your personal welfare.
  • Take training courses in CPR and First Aid.
  • Establish an out-of-state contact you can call so family and friends can make sure you are okay. Long distance numbers are more available during disasters than local numbers.


Suspended Operations

The President of the University may suspend the operation of all or any portion of the University in an emergency situation. The University will operate under emergency conditions during civil disturbances, riots, electrical or mechanical shutdown, severe weather conditions, or other similar situations. Temporary emergency conditions exist until normal operations can be resumed. The Provost may suspend classes while keeping the administrative offices of the University open. Employees are expected to work if offices are open.

Notification of Suspended Operations

Employees affected by suspended operations are given prior notice when possible. All employees are notified through the radio and television media on stations KIRO, KOMO, KING, KUOW and KPLU radio and KCPQ-TV and Northwest Cable News, or by calling the university's Campus Events and Emergency Hotline (296-2200) in the early morning when suspension of university operations is questionable. The Hotline will also carry closure announcements and information about any scheduled programs or activities that will be affected. Closure notices will be posted on Seattle University's public website.

Each employee is responsible to listen to the radio or call into the university to find out if operations are suspended.

Compensation during Suspended Operations

Employees are paid regular wages during the time the University's operations are suspended. The University administration determines if compensation continues during an extended suspension.


The University requires all employees to have a University CampusCard ID. Employees will need to show their CampusCard to access facilities and copy machines as well as take advantage of amenities such as the library, the bookstore, dining rooms, Redhawk Center, and computer labs. Permanent, temporary and replacement cards are issued at the CampusCard Office. CampusCards must be returned on separation from the University.

Change of Information

Employees are responsible for notifying HR of changes in address, telephone number, or tax status.


Keys may be given to the appropriate employee for their office, classroom, and/or building. Key authorization forms are available in Campus Public Safety. Under no circumstances may an individual have keys duplicated or permit them to be duplicated. Keys must be returned on separation from the University.

Thefts and Damage

All thefts of or damage to University property by any person must be reported promptly to Campus Public Safety. A report form is available in that office.


Parking permits and a copy of current parking regulations can be obtained from Campus Public Safety.

Conflict of Interest/Use of University Equipment

The University expects from all employees professional conduct consistent with the University's values and operating standards. The University's assets (including offices, equipment, and confidential information) are intended to support University business purposes. While on University property, employees are prohibited from engaging in personal business enterprise activities for profit. To do so will place the University's not-for-profit status at risk.

Employees are responsible for the care and security of University equipment while under their control. Employees must limit their use of University supplies and equipment (assets) both on and off-campus to official activities and functions of the University. Departments must keep a current record of property located off-campus in the form of descriptions, inventory identification numbers, period of time and location of property taken off-campus, and the person(s) accountable for the property. University policy prohibits the use of University assets for personal use without the proper documentation and/or written authorization by the area Vice President. An employee whose employment has terminated must return all University equipment as of the date of separation from the University.

A conflict of interest also arises if an employee:

  • Discloses confidential information for personal use, gain, or profit.
  • Engages in political activities that interfere with his University responsibilities. An employee must avoid giving the impression that he speaks for the University when stating personal political beliefs.

Animals on Campus

The University recognizes the important role animals can play in the lives of employees and students. At the same time, certain animals are not suitable companions to bring on campus, and there are people who have fears or allergies associated with certain animals. Therefore, no animals, with the exception of service dogs and animals being used for instructional purposes, are allowed in campus buildings during hours of instruction or normal business operations. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the vice president/provost responsible for the operational area where a person seeks to have an animal inside campus buildings.


For the purposes of the policy, the following definitions apply:

  • dog owner - anyone who brings a dog to campus.
  • dog - a domesticated dog.
  • service dog - any guide dog, signal dog, or other dog individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability (as defined by applicable laws and regulations).
  • demonstration animal - an animal used by faculty members for teaching purposes (procedures governing the use of lab animals on University property are addressed by the Animal Usage Committee or other appropriate offices and committees).

Animals on Campus and in Work Areas

No animal other than a dog, a service dog, or a demonstration animal may be on university property at any time. No dogs, except service dogs, are permitted in classroom buildings during hours of instruction or normal business operations. If a vice president/provost has approved the presence of a dog in a work area during hours of instruction or normal business operations, the dog owner must post a sign in the office area stating that a dog is present. At no time are dogs, except for service dogs, permitted in food service areas such as the Sidebar, the Bottom Line, or the Cherry Street Market. Employees are permitted to have in their work area fish in aquariums holding 10 gallons of water or less.

Animals in Residence Halls

The University's Student Handbook, Guide to Residence Hall Living, and related residence life policies govern the presence of animals in University housing.

Areas of Campus Where and When Dogs and Demonstration Animals Are Allowed Without Prior Approval

  • Service dogs are authorized throughout campus at all times.
  • Dogs are allowed outdoors on the University's property at all times, subject to the requirements of the Dog Owner's Responsibilities, listed below.
  • Dogs are allowed in work areas or campus buildings at times other than hours of instruction or normal business operations, subject to the requirements of the Dog Owner's Responsibilities, listed below.
  • Faculty members may take demonstration animals into classrooms and instructional facilities only for teaching purposes.

Dog Owner's Responsibilities

Whenever a dog is on the University's campus in accordance with this policy, the dog must be kept on a leash at all times. The dog owner is responsible for caring for the dog, ensuring the safe and responsible behavior of the dog, and preventing the dog from chasing squirrels, birds, or other wildlife on campus. The dog owner is also responsible for cleaning up all messes the dog may make, including properly disposing of waste the dog leaves in outdoor areas of campus (this does not apply to service dogs and their owners).

Complaint Resolution

When a concern is raised about an animal on campus, employees and students are encouraged to inform the person with the animal about the university's policy. If a concern is not resolved, employees should consult their immediate supervisor or Human Resources, and students should consult Student Development. Human Resources and Student Development have the authority to make final determinations about individual cases.

Information and Questions

Questions about this policy should be directed to Human Resources at ext. 5870. Questions about animals in university housing should be directed to Residence Life and Housing at ext. 6305. Students with questions about animals in other campus buildings should contact Student Development at ext. 6066. Questions about proper cleanup of indoor dog messes should be directed to Campus Support Services at ext. 2639.


Workplace Violence

Seattle University is committed to providing a learning and working environment that is safe for all members of the community. The university will not tolerate violent acts on its campus, at off-campus locations administered by the university, or in its programs. This policy of "zero tolerance" extends not only to actual violent conduct but also to threats, intimidation, and disruption whether by students, faculty, staff, or visitors to the university.

This policy is intended to guide members of the Seattle University community both in preventing acts of violence and in responding to them when they occur on or in relation to the university's campus.  The Workplace Violence Policy applies to all Seattle University work locations including offices, classrooms, work sites, vehicles, and field locations.


Violent or threatening behavior can include, but is not limited to:

  • Physical acts of violence
  • Using or brandishing firearms, explosives, knives, or other types of weapons
  • Threatening to use a weapon
  • Verbally threatening to harm another person or destroy property
  • Sending harassing email messages, letters, or notes
  • Making harassing telephone calls
  • Using threatening, intimidating, or abusive language and/ or gestures
  • Exhibiting behaviors such as stalking or similarly harassing behaviors

Violence in the workplace includes relationship violence that intrudes into the workplace, endangering a person in the relationship or others in the workplace. Relationship violence is physically, sexually, and/or psychologically abusive behavior that a household member or dating partner uses to establish and maintain control over another person.

  • Imminent Threat: Actual violent behavior or a situation where it appears violent behavior is likely to take place such as a verbal altercation that appears to be escalating.
  • Potential Threat: When you believe a situation has the potential for becoming violent over time because it exhibits one or more of the violence warning signs.
  • Orders for Victim Protection: Orders for Victim Protection include the following types of court orders:
    • Protection Order
    • No Contact Order
    • Restraining Order
    • Anti-Harassment Order

Policy Statement

Verbal threats, threatening behavior, or acts of violence by an employee against other employees, students, vendors, or campus visitors will not be tolerated. Violation of this policy will result in appropriate disciplinary action, including potential dismissal. Arrest and criminal prosecution by off-campus authorities is also possible.

Threats or acts of violence will be taken seriously and will be investigated promptly by the University.  Employees who make substantial threats, exhibit threatening behavior, or engaging in violent acts on university property will be removed from the campus as quickly as safety permits.

It is a condition of employment that the university may take all immediate action that it determines is necessary to prevent or mitigate a perceived threat of violence or an act of violence or threatened violence.  Administrative actions, such as stay-away orders, interim leave of absence, work at home, and interim suspension of students, may be taken by the university with or without notice or cause.  Policies and procedures for discipline are not applicable where the university takes administrative action for safety purposes.

The University will not permit retaliation against anyone who, in good faith, brings a complaint of campus violence or serves as a witness in the investigation of a complaint of campus violence.


Procedures have been established that university faculty and staff must follow to report incidents of violence in the workplace, or to report concerns about situations that could become violent. These procedures have been created to ensure that incidents receive an appropriate and timely response.

On Campus Incident Reporting

To report an Imminent Threat or Potential Threat happening on campus: Immediately contact the Department of Campus Public Safety (206-296-5911) or use one of the “Blue Light” emergency phones located around campus or use the Public Safety walk-up window in the University Services Building.  All three of these resources are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Off-Campus Incident Reporting (including areas on the perimeter of campus)

To report an Imminent Threat or Potential Threat happening off campus: Immediately call 911, then contact the Department of Campus Public Safety (206-296-5911) or use one of the “Blue Light” emergency phones located around campus.

To report an Order for Victim Protection

Immediately contact the Department of Campus Public Safety (206-296-5911) or use one of the “Blue Light” emergency phones located around campus. These resources are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

In all cases, employees who receive any complaint or concern involving violence, including knowledge of an order for victim protection must bring the matter to the immediate attention of the Department of Campus Public Safety (206-296-5911).

The Department of Campus Public Safety will investigate all complaints of violence.  Public Safety will collaborate with the Office of Human Resources in instances where an employee is suspected of committing workplace violence.  Students who engage in such behavior will be addressed in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct and associated protocols.  Local law enforcement may also be involved in responding to and investigating workplace violence incidents as appropriate.

Related Policies and Procedures

  • Campus Public Safety "What to Do" Emergency Guide
  • Human Resources Policies
  • Student Code of Conduct


Federal Drug-Free Work-Place Act of 1988

Preventing Sexual Harassment

FERPA Training

Hover Boards on Campus

It is the policy of Seattle University to prohibit the use, possession or storage of hover boards or similar electronic self-balancing skateboards or scooters on real property owned or controlled by the University.

This policy shall apply to all persons present on or in real property owned or controlled by the University. Real property owned or controlled by the University includes all buildings, classrooms, laboratories, clinics, venues, parking areas, sidewalks, housing facilities, outbuildings, common areas, and all other real estate under the control of the University, including without limitation all such real property owned by or leased, rented, or licensed to the University.


For the purposes of the policy, the following definitions apply:

Hover boards or similar electronic self-balancing skateboards or scooters are defined as a type of portable, rechargeable battery-powered scooter. They typically consist of two wheels arranged side-by-side, with two small platforms between the wheels, on which the rider stands.  The device is controlled by the rider’s feet.

Information and Questions

Questions about this policy should be directed to Human Resources at ext. 5870.