University of Washington Policy Directory

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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Administrative Policy Statement
11.7



Policy on Domestic Violence in the Workplace and Leave Related to Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking

(Approved by the Provost and Executive Vice President by authority of Executive Order No. 4; the Vice President for Human Resources by authority of Executive Order 9; and the Vice President and Vice Provost for Student Life by authority of Executive Order No. 10)



1.  Policy

This policy is adopted in accordance with Chapter 49.76 RCW and the Governor's Executive Order 96-05 and applies to all University of Washington employees regardless of appointment type.

  a. Prohibited Behavior

The University of Washington does not tolerate domestic violence in the workplace, including offices, facilities, work sites, vehicles, or other locations where University business is conducted. Domestic violence perpetrators may be removed from the premises and may be subject to arrest and/or criminal prosecution. Employees who engage in domestic violence in the workplace, or who use University facilities, property, or resources to engage in domestic violence are subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal.

  b. Leave from Work

It is University policy to provide reasonable leave from work, intermittent leave, or leave on a reduced schedule so that an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or who has a family member who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking can:

    1) Seek legal or law enforcement assistance to ensure the employee's personal safety or the safety of family members. This includes, but is not limited to, preparing for or participating in legal proceedings relating to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking;

    2) Seek treatment by a health care provider for physical or mental injury caused by domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking or to attend to the health care treatment of a family member who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking;

    3) Obtain or assist a family member to obtain mental health counseling when the employee or family member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking;

    4) Participate in safety planning to temporarily or permanently relocate or take other safety-related action to provide for the employee or family member's safety from future incidents of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

2.  Definitions

The following definitions apply to the terms used in this policy:

  • Child, spouse, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, and sick leave and other paid time off as defined in RCW 49.12.265.

  • Dating relationship as defined in RCW 26.50.010.

  • Department, director, employer, and employee as defined in RCW 49.12.005.

  • Domestic violence as defined in RCW 26.50.010.

  • Family member is defined as:

    • The employee's spouse or same or opposite sex domestic partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sister, or brother; and/or

    • The child, parent, or grandparent, of the employee's spouse or domestic partner; and/or

    • A person with whom the employee has a dating relationship.

  • Intermittent leave and reduced leave schedule as defined in RCW 49.78.020.

  • Sexual assault as defined in RCW 70.125.030.

  • Stalking as defined in RCW 9A.46.110.

3.  Leave Use, Notification, and Verification

  a. Employee Leave Use

Depending on the employee's appointment type, leave eligibility, and leave balances, leave taken under this policy may be taken as sick leave, other paid time off, unpaid leave, or as compensatory time if available.

  b. Employee Notification of the Need for Leave

Employees who need to take leave under this policy must provide as much advance notice of the need for leave as they can. However when an employee cannot provide advance notice because of an emergency or unforeseen circumstance related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, the employee or the employee's designee must give notice by the end of the first day the employee takes leave.

  c. Verification of the Need for Leave

The University may require an employee to verify that the employee or the employee's family member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking and that leave is taken for one of the reasons described under Section 1, "Policy." If required, verification must be provided in a timely manner.

    1) An employee can provide verification through one or more of the following:

      a) A police report indicating that the employee or family member was a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

      b) Court protection order separating the employee or family member from a perpetrator of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

      c) Documentation that the employee or family member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking may be from:

        i) A domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking advocate, an attorney, a member of the clergy, or a medical or "other professional."

        ii) An employee's written statement that the employee or the family member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

    2) Family relationship verification may be made by a statement from the employee, a birth certificate, a court document, or other similar documentation.

4.  Confidentiality of Information

The University will treat information the employee provides confidentially. Information will only be disclosed if requested or consented to by the employee, as ordered by the court or administrative agency, or as otherwise required by applicable federal or state law.

5.  Employment Restoration

Upon returning from leave the employee will be restored to the position held at the time leave began or to an equivalent position unless the employee was hired for a specific term or only to perform work on a discrete project.

6.  Non-Retaliatory Action

The University will not take adverse employment action against an employee because the employee has exercised rights provided under this policy or the law upon which this policy is based.

7.  Reporting Workplace Related Domestic Violence

Domestic violence that intrudes into the workplace is reported by following the UW Policy & Procedure on Violence in the Workplace.

8.  Where to Get Help

Call the Violence Prevention and Response Team at:

  • Seattle: 206–685–SAFE (206–685–7233)
  • Bothell:  425–352–SAFE (425–352–7233)
  • Tacoma: 253–692–SAFE (253–692–7233)

Find additional resources through the Safe Campus website. Student employees may also contact the Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Information Service (SARIS).

May 1, 2002; September 6, 2007; February 13, 2009.