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Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center

If you have an employee who is transitioning, you should be sensitive and affirming when addressing their needs and concerns.

Quick Tips

  • If an employee of yours comes out, ask them what name and pronouns they would like you to use. Follow up to see if you should use this name and these pronouns publicly or just in private communication between the two of you.
  • Correct co-workers and colleagues who use the wrong name and/or pronouns.
  • Do a search for the current (or deadname) of the employee to see where a name will need to be changed (e.g., websites).

Additionally, here are several policies to keep in mind:

Discrimination and Harassment- Executive Policy 15

Consistent with WAC 162-32-040, WSU considers discrimination and harassment based on an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity/expression to be prohibited. This is outlined in the WSU Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct, Executive Policy #15 (EP 15).

Improper conduct toward a particular individual, individuals, or groups on the basis of one or more of the protected classes (listed in EP 15) that is sufficiently severe,  persistent, or pervasive that it has the purpose or effect of: creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment; or unreasonably interfering with work, academic performance, living environment, personal security, or participating in any WSU activity.

Examples of conduct that may be considered violations of EP 15 if the elements of the EP 15 Policy Standard are met include, but are not limited to:

  • Asking unwelcome personal questions about an individual’s sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity, transgender status, or sex assigned at birth;
  • Intentionally causing distress to an individual by disclosing the individual’s sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity, transgender status, or sex assigned at birth against their wishes;
  • Using offensive names, slurs, jokes, or terminology regarding an individual’s sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity;
  • The deliberate misuse of an individual’s preferred name, form of address, or gender-related pronoun (except on legally mandated documentation, if the individual has not officially obtained a name change);
  • Posting offensive pictures or sending offensive electronic or other communications;
  • Unwelcome physical conduct.

Dress and Grooming Policies

Consistent with WAC 162-32-050, WSU units may require standards of dress or grooming that serve a reasonable business or institutional purpose, such as promoting safety, developing a unit’s identity, or projecting a professional, positive public image. However, WSU units cannot require an individual to dress or groom in a manner that is not consistent with that individual’s gender expression or gender identity.

Gender-Segregated Facilities

Consistent with WAC 162-32-060, WSU units must allow individuals the use of gender-segregated facilities, such as restrooms, locker rooms, and changing rooms that are consistent with that individual’s gender expression or gender identity. WSU units cannot request or require an individual to use a gender-segregated facility that is inconsistent with that individual’s gender expression or gender identity, or request or require an individual to use a separate or gender-neutral facility.