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Policies and Procedures

Alcohol Policy for Campus Events

There shall be no drinking of alcoholic beverages and no open containers in public places on the College campus, except at College sponsored events. A College sponsored event is one that uses College funds and/or that is on College property. College houses rented by faculty and staff are exempt. Alcoholic beverages may be served on an event by event basis under the following conditions:

  1. A college faculty or staff member assumes responsibility for the event and agrees to be present for its duration.
  2. The faculty or staff member responsible for the event obtains the appropriate liquor permits:
    • Special Occasion License - required for any event where alcohol is to be sold except as noted below. Bon Appetit must be used to serve the alcohol. Appropriate foods must be served by Bon Appetit. Allow 30 days for the application process. Application is made at a State Liquor Store.
    • Banquet Permits - required for events with 50 or more people and where alcohol is served but not sold. Tickets may be used to limit the number of drinks served each individual. Application is made at a State Liquor Store. Employees coordinating the function should complete the application as a representative of Whitman College. Food must be served.
    • Private Functions - no permits are required at private functions, which are individually hosted College social events of less than 50 guests. Food must be served. No one under the age of 21 may be served alcohol.
  3. Faculty and staff may host private functions at their homes to which students are invited. The College strongly encourages such events to be alcohol free. If alcohol is served, it is recommended that it be done so on a BYOB basis. No one under 21 should be served. Faculty and staff present should be role models for responsible drinking.
  4. Functions which are held at restaurants or other business establishments licensed to serve alcohol do not require special permits.
  5. The use of alcoholic beverages will be in full compliance with the Washington State Law.

Washington State Law

It is unlawful for any person to sell, give, or otherwise supply liquor to any person under the age of 21 years or permit any person under that age to consume liquor on his or her premises or on any premises under his or her control. It is unlawful for any person under the age of 21 years to possess, consume, or otherwise acquire any liquor except that given to them by their parents or guardian, used in connection with religious services, or administered by their physician or dentist for medicinal purposes. The supply of alcohol to or the use of alcohol by any person under the age of 21 years is a gross misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $5,000 or imprisonment. A person under the age of 21 years acting in good faith who seeks medical assistance for him or herself or someone else experiencing alcohol poisoning, shall not be charged or prosecuted if the evidence for the charge was obtained as result of the person seeking medical assistance. 

Background Checks

Whitman College recognizes the importance of maintaining a safe campus with employees who are honest, well qualified for their positions, and who do not present a risk of harm to members of the College community. For this reason, Whitman College may perform background checks for new hires and internal promotions. The areas covered by the background check will vary from job to job depending upon access to financial records, contact with students, etc. The candidate will provide written authorization for the background check, as part of the employment application or via a separate form. Candidates can request a free copy of the background check.

Applicants who decline to submit to an appropriate background check as defined by the Director of HR or who fail to provide required information will be denied employment. Results from the background check are considered in terms of the duties of the position. If the results are not satisfactory, the Director of HR will review the facts with the appropriate Budget Officer, including the relevance of any crime to the employee’s current position or the position for which the candidate has submitted an application, along with to any evidence of providing false information to the College, before determining the appropriate outcome. In all matters, the College will proceed with background checks in accordance with current applicable federal and state law.

College Closures

Occasionally the College is closed due to power outages, weather conditions, or to allow staff to go home early before a major holiday. Department phone coverage may be required during some of these closures. In the event of a college closure, all staff actively at work will be given credit for a full day of work. Staff who are absent due to vacation or sick leave will have this time charged to their vacation or sick leave balances. Please see Inclement Weather Policy for further information.

Conflict of Interest

The Whitman community is committed to conducting its business according to the highest standards of ethical behavior. Besides absolute compliance with legal and regulatory standards, Whitman should be known for honesty, integrity and a sense of fairness and respect in its business dealings. This policy applies to all Whitman faculty and staff but especially to those individuals with budget authority or control over significant College resources or grants received by the College.

Although it is not practical to enumerate all situations involving questions of ethical conduct or conflict of interest, the following examples are situations considered to be in conflict with College interests. Some situations such as giving gifts or interests in a business may apply not only to Whitman employees but also to their close relatives, friends and business associates. 

  1. College Resources. Unauthorized use of college resources, including the services of College employees, for personal benefit or gain.
  2. Compliance. Failure to comply with any applicable laws, regulations, rules or standards of professional conduct.
  3. Confidential Information. Unauthorized release or reception of any data of a confidential nature available through employment at the College.
  4. Gifts. Acceptance or provision of gifts, loans or favors should not influence business transactions involving the College. Even a nominal gift should not be accepted if, to a reasonable observer, it might appear to influence a business decision. The value of meals should be reasonable according to the circumstances and locale. Entertainment and other gifts valued at not more than $100 and under the circumstance would not otherwise be regarded as improper, may be accepted on an occasional basis. Loans in the ordinary course of business from banks or financial institutions are not prohibited.
  5. Interest in Other Business. An interest (owner, employee, director, vendor) in an organization having or seeking to have, business dealings with the College or in direct competition with the College except (a) with the knowledge and written consent of the President or the President's designee, or (b) in any case where such an interest comprises securities in widely held corporations quoted and sold on the open market, or in private corporations where such interest is not material.

It should be recognized that a conflict of interest is not bad, per se, but rather it is the failure to disclose the existence of a conflict in advance that is harmful. If there is any question about an association, relationship, business arrangement or circumstance that might suggest to disinterested and objective investigators that business decisions were made contrary to the best interests of the College and for personal gain or the gain of family, close friends or business associates prior disclosure in writing should be made. All such prior disclosures should be done through organizational channels to the appropriate Dean or officer of the college. 

Any employee serving in the role of investigator (responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of a sponsored program at the College) is expected to know and follow the disclosure requirements of the sponsor. Disclosures should be made to the relevant Dean or officer of the College as well as to the sponsor, prior to or at the time of submission of the proposal. The College will take appropriate steps to manage the conflict in accordance with the sponsor's requirements.

The Vice President for Finance and Administration of the College will, annually, request disclosures from all employees with budget authority or control over significant College resources or grants received by the College. In addition, employees are to report possible conflicts of interest with the College through normally established channels if possible. If any employee is told to or pressured to perform any act about which they have ethical or moral questions, it is their responsibility to call such doubts to the attention of their supervisor or on up their respective chain of command if necessary. As applicable such concerns may also be directed to the Provost and Dean of the Faculty, Associate Vice President for Human Resources, the Assistant Vice President for Finance and Controller or the Vice President for Finance and Administration.

Employees are expected to report matters involving possible financial reporting issues or the misuse or subversion of the assets of the College, violations of applicable laws, regulations, contractual requirements or other issues of non-compliance to their supervisors or the Assistant Vice President for Finance and Controller or Vice President for Finance and Administration as appropriate. If the reporting employee is worried about security, possible reprisals or simply does not know where else to turn, a hotline has been set up to provide the reporting employee with a degree of security and anonymity. Reports may be made confidentially, and even anonymously, although the more information given, the easier it is to investigate the reports. The College will make every effort to honor confidentiality and anonymity to the extent it does not conflict with external regulations and laws. Each report will be reviewed as timely as possible, and at the appropriate level within the College. If a report is made through this hotline, but involves an issue that should be dealt with through processes identified in other published College policies and codes, an appropriate and timely referral will be made. The Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees will receive annual reports from this College Compliance Hotline. Employees may access the College Compliance Hotline by calling toll free 1-888-278-1497 or from the Whitman College Business Office webpage or at http://www.ethicspoint.com.

Drug-Free Workplace 



This Drug Free Workplace Policy is intended to meet, at a minimum, the requirements of all applicable federal and state laws, including but not limited to the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1986, as amended, and the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, as amended. It is the College’s overarching goal, however, to work effectively with individuals to resolve substance abuse issues in a positive and constructive manner.

Drug Free Workplace

It is the policy of Whitman College that the workplace is to be free from the unlawful use, possession, distribution, or sale of alcohol and other controlled substances. Moreover, faculty and staff are discouraged from working while under the influence of alcohol, as it may lead to behavior evidencing irresponsible consumption (obvious intoxication, impaired judgment, verbal harassment, etc.). Working while under the influence of any controlled substance not medically authorized is strictly prohibited.

The College is committed to promoting the highest possible standards of health and welfare among its students, faculty and staff. This policy will enable each faculty and staff member to perform his or her work in a safe, conscientious and effective manner that does not adversely affect the College community and the working/learning environment. As required by law, each individual employed by the College is hereby notified that, as a condition of his or her employment, he or she must abide by these drug-free workplace requirements.

A faculty or staff member will be required to report his/her criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace to his/her immediate supervisor within five (5) days after such conviction. The supervisor must immediately notify the college officer responsible for the particular work area, who will in turn notify the Director of Human Resources.


The College’s response to violations of this policy may include assessment and treatment options and/or a range of penalties from admonition to dismissal from the College, depending on the severity of the violation. Other sanctions may also include, but are not limited to, formal reprimand, restrictions on participation in campus activities, transfer, demotion, forfeiture of promotion or salary increase, suspension or mandatory leave of absence, and mandatory participation in an approved counseling or rehabilitative treatment program as a condition of continued employment. The College will investigate and review the circumstances of each individual case and take appropriate action, determined separately on the merits of each case. 

Disciplinary sanctions will be determined by the respective Budget Officer, in consultation with the Director of Human Resources. The affected staff member or faculty member may appeal the decision to a panel of the Employee Relations Committee (ERC), which shall make a final recommendation to the Chair of the Faculty, who will then make the final decision. Note that the dismissal of a faculty member must occur in accordance with the terms and process outlined in the Faculty Code (Chapter 1, Article III, Sections 4&5).

Treatment Options

Whitman College takes its commitment to provide a drug-free working environment seriously. Any faculty or staff member who suspects he/she might have a drug (or substance) abuse problem is encouraged to seek assistance through his/her own efforts before the problem affects his/her employment status with the College. To comply with the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, the College’s Human Resources Office maintains a list of agencies which provide rehabilitative and counseling services related to substance abuse. Any contact will be held in strictest confidence.

Firearms, Explosives, and Other Dangerous Weapons

No firearms or ammunition are permitted in outdoor areas of the campus or in any college-owned, student-occupied buildings, including all fraternities and rentals, or in conjunction with any college-sponsored activity.

For the purpose of this policy, BB guns, illegal knives, blowguns, swords, slingshots, bows and arrows, crossbows, and similar devices are considered "dangerous weapons," and their possession and use are prohibited.

Explosive of any type, including fireworks, firecrackers, cherry bombs, bottle rockets and the like, are prohibited at all times.

The only three exceptions to this policy are 1) law enforcement officers in the course of their duty; 2) firearms, explosives, and other dangerous weapons used by faculty for educational purposes, and 3) students using firearms, explosives, and other dangerous weapons for educational purposes who have received prior permission from the Dean of Students Office.

Items such as airsoft guns, paint guns, paintballs, darts, knives, mace, pepper spray, or other realistic toys or replicas used inappropriately, or in contexts for which they are not intended, will be treated as dangerous weapons. All firearms, explosives, and dangerous weapons will be confiscated.

Grievance Procedure

See Grievance Policy.

Inclement Weather

The College will remain open unless weather or other emergency conditions are so severe as to require closure or delayed operations. Any decision regarding closure or delay of operations will apply to all administrative offices, college events, classes, athletic practices and other programs.  Some exceptions include those critical staff whose presence is required on campus to provide essential support for campus residents, as described in the full policy.

Inclusion of Trans* Persons Policy

See Inclusion of Trans* Persons Policy

Nondiscrimination Statement 

Whitman College has a strong commitment to the principle of nondiscrimination in all its forms. In its admission, educational and employment practices, programs and activities, Whitman College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information, sexual orientation, religion, age, marital status, national origin, disability, veteran status or any other basis prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and applicable federal, state or local laws.

Inquiries regarding sex- or gender-based discrimination and disability discrimination may be directed to the Title IX Administrator (509-524-2049; titleix@whitman.edu). Inquiries regarding disability discrimination may be directed to the 504 Coordinator (509-522-4314, beccaic@whitman.edu). Inquiries regarding sex, gender or disability discrimination may also be directed to the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (951 Second Avenue, Room 3310, Seattle, WA 98174; 206-607-1600).

All other inquiries can be directed to the Director of Human Resources (509-527-5172; hrdirector@whitman.edu).

Personal Property

The College is not responsible for personal property of employees which is kept on campus.

Personnel Records

Staff may inspect their personnel file in the Human Resources Office. You may supplement or clarify information in the file which you believe to be inaccurate by providing a statement in writing.

Typically, your personnel file will contain your original application and appointment letter, a personnel record listing personal information and employment history at Whitman College, annual salary letters, certificates of special training, orientation and annual performance appraisals, and other performance related materials.

Reasonable Accommodation for Employees

Revised: 11/08

Whitman College does not discriminate against qualified individuals with a disability in our employment practices. Qualified individuals with a disability may request reasonable accommodation to enable them to perform the essential functions of their job.

An individual with a disability should notify their supervisor or the Director of Human Resources what accommodation s/he requires. The individual may be asked to provide written documentation from a doctor, psychologist, rehabilitation counselor, occupational or physical therapist, independent living specialist, or other professional with knowledge of the person's functional limitations. All information will be held in confidence.

The Director of Human Resources, in consultation with the supervisor, will identify a reasonable accommodation through the following process:

  1. Review the job description for the particular job involved. Analyze its purpose and its essential functions.
  2. Consult with the individual and appropriate professionals to find out his or her specific physical or mental abilities and limitations as they relate to the essential job functions.
  3. In consultation with the individual, identify potential accommodations and assess how effective each would be in enabling the individual to perform essential job functions.
  4. If there are several effective accommodations that would provide an equal employment opportunity, the College will consider the preference of the individual with a disability and select the accommodation that best serves the needs of the individual and the College. In determining which accommodation to offer, the College will consider the following factors:
    1. The cost of the accommodation and whether it would pose an undue hardship on the College.
    2. The impact of the accommodation on the operation of the department making the accommodation.

The appropriate budget officer will be consulted before offering an accommodation to the individual with a disability. If the individual is not satisfied with the accommodation offer, s/he may request the budget officer to convene an ADA Grievance Committee for the purpose of an informal but thorough investigation of the concern based on the disability. If differences cannot be resolved through informal procedures at the institutional level, the employee may contact the Office of Civil Rights, the Department of Justice, or the Washington State Human Rights Commission. Washington State Human Rights Commission 1-800-662-2755 Office of the ADA, Civil Rights Division U.S. Department of Justice: 202-514-0301 (voice), 202-514-6193(TDD).

Records Retention







 Law Requirement

HR Office Retention Requirements Policy



Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Civil Rights Act of 1964

- 1 year -

- 1 year -




Davis Bacon Act Service Contract

Walsh Healy Public Contracts Act

Equal Pay Act

Rehabilitation Act of 1973


- 3 years -


- 4 years -

(keeping LTD, retiree medical, historical files)

INS Form: I-9

Immigration Reform & Control Act (IRCA)

3 years
after date of hire OR 1 year after date of termination, whichever is later

3 years
after termination

Safety Statement

The College is concerned about the safety of employees. The College’s goal is to provide safe work areas, equipment and materials. To protect their own and other’s safety, all employees are expected to observe safety rules and report any unsafe condition to the Safety Coordinator. Safety rules are made to protect workers from injury, both individually and collectively. Deviations will not be permitted for expediency. A training program will be established in your area if you work with hazardous chemicals. The Safety Coordinator will provide other educational programs for faculty, students, and staff to ensure a safe work environment.

Sexual Harassment Policy

See Title IX: Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct and Grievance Policy.

Smoking Policy

Revised: 2/27/14

It is the policy of Whitman College that students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the campus are entitled to live, study, and work in areas that are free of smoke. In accordance with this policy and Washington State law, smoking in any form, including tobacco or electronic cigarettes, is prohibited inside any building on the Whitman College campus and is prohibited within 25 feet of any entrance, exit, window, or ventilation intake of any Whitman College campus building.

Staff Employee Relations Complaint Procedure

See Grievance Policy.

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