SECTION INDEX:    Discrimination and Harassment Prohibited

1    Purpose

2    Application

3    Reference

4    Guidance

4.1    Employees

4.2    Management

4.3    Administration

4.4    Discrimination/Harassment

4.5    Americans with Disabilities Act

4.6    Workplace Harassment

4.7    Employee Responsibilities

4.8    Management and Supervisory Responsibilities

4.9    Assistance

4.10    Training

5.    Forms

5.1    Appendix 1 Grievance Procedures-ADA Provisions

5.2    City of Olympia Resolution M-1303


The City of Olympia wants our workforce to reflect the rich diversity of our community. To this end, we encourage qualified individuals, regardless of age, sex, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation*, marital status, families with children, the presence of any physical, mental or sensory disability, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or the use of a trained guide dog or service animal by a person with a disability to share the challenge of serving the citizens of Olympia. We are also committed to full compliance with all federal, state, and local laws providing for equal employment opportunities and diversity, and prohibiting illegal discrimination. Moreover, we are dedicated to workplace inclusion, recognizing and honoring our differences. We want to ensure employees feel they can bring their whole selves to work because we believe people are at their best when all aspects of their lives are integrated. City officials, managers, supervisors, and employees are responsible for creating this environment and conducting themselves in a manner free of implied or actual discriminatory practices in the provision of services or in the treatment of others. Together, we can realize the City's commitment to diversity and inclusion.

*Throughout this policy, sexual orientation means heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and gender expression or identity. As used in this definition, "gender expression or identity" means having or being perceived as having a gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression, whether or not that gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth. 49.60.040(26) RCW.


This Policy applies to all employees and volunteers. Specific Department policies, civil service rules, labor agreements, individual employment contracts, or memorandums of understanding may provide clarification or greater detail than this Policy. In all cases, if there is any question as to the administration, interpretation or specific provisions of any federal or state law, the actual federal or state law will be referred to and will form the minimum requirements of any decision made by the City regarding compliance. Failure to comply with this Policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination from City service.


    Federal and State Laws prohibiting harassment and discrimination.

City Resolution M-1303.



Every employee is responsible for treating all other employees, volunteers, City elected and appointed officials, citizens, and anyone else doing business with the City in a respectful manner. Every employee is responsible for reporting any act of unlawful harassment or discrimination they have been subjected to, observed or that has been reported to them, to their supervisor, to any management employee or to the Human Resources Director. Every employee is expected to cooperate fully in any investigation of unlawful harassment or discrimination. Employees are responsible for not only keeping up-to-date, but also understanding the City’s anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies.


Management is responsible for stopping any act of unlawful harassment or discrimination that they become aware of and ensuring that it is not repeated. Managers are required to report any act of unlawful harassment or discrimination to the Human Resources Director or their designee as well as actively participate in all aspects of the investigation and resolution of acts of unlawful harassment and discrimination. Managers are responsible for creating a harassment-free and discrimination-free work environment. They are responsible for communicating the City’s policies regarding unlawful harassment and discrimination through training and on-going communication. Management employees are required to attend training related to prevention of and response to unlawful harassment and discrimination.


The administration of this policy is the responsibility of Human Resources. The Human Resources Director shall serve as the City “official” as called for in the specific anti-discrimination laws.


The City of Olympia is an equal opportunity employer in all aspects of employment: hiring, discipline, promotion, pay and all other employment practices. This means that all employees, potential employees and volunteers are treated without regard to their age (over 40), sex, race, creed, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, military service, the presence of any physical, mental or sensory disability, or any other class status protected by federal, state, or local law. Human Resources is responsible for ensuring that procedures are in place that ensure equality in employment and contribute to achieving and maintaining a workforce which reflects the diversity of our community to the extent allowed by law.


It is the policy of the City of Olympia to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the State of Washington statutes regarding disability discrimination. The City of Olympia will not unlawfully discriminate in the provision of employment services or in its employment practices to any applicant or employee. The City will provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities to apply for, obtain, and hold positions of employment within the City. Any individual with questions, concerns or who feels that they may have been discriminated against because of a disability; who needs a reasonable accommodation to complete the requirements of their position with the City; or who needs accommodation to apply for a position with the City, should contact Human Resources.

a.    Responsibility: Human Resources will provide for an evaluation and determination of a qualified disability and reasonable accommodation on a case by case basis.

b.    Definition of Disability: The ADA defines a disability, with respect to an individual as:

1.    A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual;

2.    A record of such an impairment; or

3.    Being regarded as having such impairment.

The Washington State Law (RCW 49.60.040) defines a disability as:

. . . the presence of a sensory, mental, or physical impairment that:

1.    Is medically cognizable or diagnosable; or

2.    Exists as a record or history; or

3.    Is perceived to exist whether or not it exists in fact. Supervisors are responsible for inquiring about the need for an accommodation if the employee believes that a disability exists that requires accommodation, even if the employee does not ask for an accommodation.

. . . disability exists whether it is temporary or permanent, common or uncommon, mitigated or unmitigated, or whether or not it limits the ability to work generally or work at a particular job or whether or not it limits any other activity within the scope of this chapter.

. . . For purposes of this definition, “impairment” includes, but is not limited to:

(i)    Any physiological disorder, or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: Neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory, including speech organs, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitor-urinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine; or

(ii)    Any mental, developmental, traumatic, or psychological disorder, including but not limited to cognitive limitation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.

. . . Only for the purposes of qualifying for reasonable accommodation in employment, an impairment must be known or shown through an interactive process to exist in fact and:

(i)    The impairment must have a substantially limiting effect upon the individual’s ability to perform their job, the individual’s ability to apply or be considered for a job, or the individual’s access to equal benefits, privileges, or terms or conditions of employment; or

(ii)    The employee must have put the employer on notice of the existence of an impairment, and medical documentation must establish a reasonable likelihood that engaging in job functions without an accommodation would aggravate the impairment to the extent that it would create a substantially limiting effect.

c.    GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE: Any member of the public, job applicant or employee may request a hearing and investigation of a complaint regarding compliance with the ADA with respect to employment practices through Human Resources or the City’s established ADA Grievance Procedure.

The ADA Grievance Procedure is found in Appendix 1 of these Policies.


It is the City of Olympia’s intent to provide a workplace free from all verbal, physical, and visual forms of unlawful harassment. All employees and volunteers are expected to be sensitive to and respectful of their co-workers and others with whom they come into contact while representing the City of Olympia. The City prohibits all forms of unlawful harassment, whether due to sex, sexual orientation, marital status, race, color, national origin, citizenship status, creed, religion, age, actual or perceived disability, or any class status protected under federal, state, or local law.

a.    Examples of Prohibited Workplace Harassment: Examples of conduct that constitutes prohibited harassment include, but are not limited to:

1.    Unlawful Behavior: Any epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, or threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; written or graphic material displayed, possessed, or circulated in any City workplace (including vehicles) that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion; intimidating, hostile, derogatory, contemptuous or otherwise offensive conduct or remarks; that are directed at a person because of the individual’s sex, sexual orientation, marital status, race, color, national origin, citizenship status, creed, religion, age, military service, actual or perceived disability or other class status protected under federal, state, or local law.

2.    Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is intimidating, hostile, derogatory, contemptuous, or otherwise offensive conduct or remarks made because of sex, whether or not the remarks themselves are sexual in nature. The conduct or remarks may be directed at an individual, a group, or the work environment in general. Sexual harassment also includes unwelcome, offensive conduct of a sexual nature which is severe and/or pervasive. Such behavior is prohibited if:

a.    Submission to such conduct is either a stated or suggested condition of employment;

b.    Acceptance or rejection of such conduct becomes part of a supervisor’s employment decision (such as hiring, firing, promotion, or job assignment);

c.    Such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with a person’s work; or

d.    The conduct creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile work environment.

e.    Examples of sexual harassment: With respect to sexual harassment, examples of the conduct the City prohibits include, but are not limited to:

1.    Vulgar or sexual comments, jokes, stories, and innuendos;

2.    Graphic or suggestive comments about someone’s body or manner of dress;

3.    Gossip, questions, or comments about someone’s sexual conduct or orientation;

4.    Vulgarity, leering, inappropriate touching, and obscene or suggestive gestures;

5.    Display, possession, or circulation in the workplace of sexually suggestive photographs, cartoons, graffiti, e-mails and the like, or displaying, transmitting, or downloading of those types of inappropriate or offensive messages from the Internet;

6.    Unwelcome and repeated pressure for sexual activity, flirtations, requests for dates and the like by any employee;

7.    Unwelcome but apparently sanction-free sexual advances by a manager or supervisor to a subordinate or any other employee;

8.    Solicitation or coercion of sexual activity, dates or the like by the implied or express promise of rewards or preferential treatment by any employee;

9.    Solicitation or coercion of sexual activity, dates or the like by the implied or express threat of punishment by any employee;

10.    Sexual assault;

11.    Intimidating, hostile, derogatory, contemptuous, or otherwise offensive conduct or remarks directed at a person because of that person’s sex, whether or not the remarks themselves are sexual in nature,

12.    Retaliation against an employee for refusing sexual or social overtures, for complaining about sexual harassment, or for cooperating with the investigation of a complaint; and

13.    Stalking employees either on or off City premises or on or off work hours.



1.    While the City through this Policy has attempted to explain and provide insight into what it considers Discrimination/Harassment, the City realizes that these actions can be difficult to identify and define. For this reason, the City requires that employees report discrimination/harassment without concerns for whether the conduct involved would be considered discrimination/harassment in a legal sense.

2.    Any employee who experiences or observes discrimination/harassment, including sexual harassment, may, at their option, choose to confront the harasser and deal with the situation to the best of their ability. However, no employee is required to do so under any circumstances.

3.    If at any time an employee believes they are subjected to discrimination/harassment, or if any employee becomes aware of such conduct being directed at someone else, the employee must report it promptly to a supervisor, a Department Director, or Human Resources Director. If the employee feels uncomfortable reporting to the Human Resources Director for any reason, or believes the Human Resources Director is involved, the employee should report the harassment to the City Manager, Assistant City Manager or the City Attorney. The employee should report the discrimination/harassment even if they believes that it has already been dealt with and resolved. This reporting obligation applies to discrimination/harassment caused by anyone with whom an employee comes into contact with as part of the employee’s job: supervisors, co-workers, customers, vendors, members of boards or commissions, or others.

4.    The City of Olympia requires employees to report all incidents of discrimination/harassment or inappropriate behavior as soon as possible.


Management and supervisory personnel of the City are responsible for ensuring a work environment free from all types of prohibited discrimination/harassment, including sexual harassment.

a.    Supervisors and managers may not have romantic or sexual relations with any person within their chain of supervision. This prohibition applies to all employees who have the authority or practical power to supervise, hire, terminate, or discipline another employee, who have decision making authority over another employee, or who are responsible for auditing, evaluating, or reviewing the work of another employee.

b.    When a supervisor or manager is confronted with a harassment complaint, they are required to:

1.    Inform their Department Director;

2.    Inform the Human Resources Director; and

3.    Cooperate in any investigation that is initiated regarding the complaint.

c.    Department Directors, managers and supervisors are responsible for insuring that all employees and volunteers under their control receive training or are otherwise informed about this Policy.


Assistance in responding to any type of harassment complaint is available from Human Resources.


All employees, regardless of employment category, (e.g. regular, temporary, emergency hire, seasonal worker, instructor, contract employee) are required to take City of Olympia sponsored Harassment Prevention Training. Volunteers may also be required to attend.


5.1    Appendix 1 Grievance Procedures-ADA Provisions

5.2    City of Olympia Resolution M-1303

Revision history: February 2018; February 2017; May 2016; August 2014; October 2013; September 2011; Superseded: Administrative Policy Compliance With State and Federal Discrimination Laws”.