2020 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
Addressing Sexual Misconduct on College Campuses
This bill will require colleges and universities to administer a campus climate assessment to gauge the prevalence of sexual misconduct on their campuses. It also requires job applicants to authorize the disclosure of sexual misconduct findings and prohibits nondisclosure agreements in sexual misconduct settlements. The bill would require the educational institutions to use a preponderance of evidence standard when determining whether a complaint or allegation is credible.
Background: The Trump Administration rescinded the Obama Administration’s Title IX guidance, which had called for educational institutions to more aggressively enforce obligations under Title IX in responding to campus sexual assault. Colleges and universities continue to struggle with appropriately adjudicating rape cases without perpetuating harmful rape myths. This bill is a stepping stone in addressing campus sexual assault and misconduct, with a particular focus on employees of universities and colleges who engage in sexual misconduct. It also addresses the problem of “pass the harasser,” when faculty or staff who create harm simply move from one institution to another. Washington would be the first state to enact a bill addressing this issue.
Bill info: HB 2327
Update 2/18/20: In the Senate Committee on Higher Education & Workforce Development
Hearing in House Committee on College & Workforce Dev on 1/21; Fajer Saeed Ebrahim testified;
Passed out of Committee on 2/5; Referred to Appropriations; Hearing in House Committee on Appropriations on 2/8, Legal Voice submitted comments; passed out of Appropriations on 2/8;
Passed the House on 2/13 (94-4!)
Partners: Washington Student Association