Guidelines for Mandatory Reporters

Overview

Under POL-U1600.02 and POL-U1600.04, faculty and staff must promptly report known or suspected sexual harassment, sexual violence, or other discrimination to the Equal Opportunity Office and the Title IX Coordinator, even if the misconduct occurred off campus. This reporting requirement applies to all faculty and staff who are designated Responsible Employees, otherwise known as Mandatory Reporters.

Under Western policy, confidential resource providers are not obligated to report harassment or discrimination of which they become aware. This allows for a provision of services and support without concern of reporting. Confidential resources at Western include: confidential counselors, professional survivor advocates, and health care providers.

In order to be considered a confidential resource, individuals must be:

  • Acting in the capacity for which they are employed
  • Acting within the scope of their license, and

  • Receive the disclosure during the scope of that employment.

Why Report?

Reporting ensures that Western can provide reporting parties with school-wide assistance through a single individual (the Title IX Coordinator). The IX Coordinator has the authority to, upon notice, coordinate access to the full range of support services and resources that are available. In many instances, Reporting Parties do not see the negative effects until months later when they are failing their classes, become ill, miss work, considering self-harm, etc. Additionally, reporting known or suspected discrimination is also key to tracking patterns and understanding campus climate.

What To Say as a Mandatory Reporter

If an individual shares information about sex/gender discrimination or harassment, the Mandatory Reporter should:

  • Disclose their obligation to report the information to the Title IX Coordinator.

  • Share information about the confidential resources that are available, including counseling and other support services.

  • Inform the affected individual of their right to file a Title IX-based complaint.

  • Inform the affected individual of their right to report a possible criminal act to school/campus or local law enforcement.

What to Report as a Mandatory Reporter

The Mandatory Reporter should, as appropriate, collect relevant details about the sex or gender discrimination or misconduct, including:

  • The name of the Responding Party.

  • The name of the Reporting Party.

  • Any other individuals involved in the situation (e.g., witnesses).

  • Relevant facts, including the date, time and location of the incident.

After Reporting

Upon receipt of a report, EO Office staff will reach out to the affected person. It is that person’s decision whether they choose to speak with the Equal Opportunity Office about what happened.

In compliance with Title IX, Title VII and Western's policies, the Equal Opportunity Office/Title IX Coordinator must be informed of an incident so that Western can:

  • Connect survivors with resources and support they may desire;

  • Help survivors understand their reporting options, and;

  • Take appropriate action to keep the community safe and prevent future similar incidents.

Supervisors

Supervisors have special responsibilities in preventing and responding to harassment. For the purposes of sexual harassment prevention and response, you are a supervisor if you:

  • Have authority to direct another employee's work activities or recommend employment decisions about an employee, including a student employee; and/or; 

  • You are a faculty member and have an evaluative role over students, even if not in the classroom.

Supervisors should lead by example and they should know, follow and enforce University policies about harassment. If a supervisor knew or should have known about harassment, they must promptly inform the EO Office/Title IX Coordinator so that coordinated action can be taken to address the behavior.

Do not ignore indications that harassment is occurring. Take concerns about harassment seriously. Avoid prejudging and letting implicit biases inform the ways that you respond to harassment allegations or concerns. 

Abuse or Suspected Abuse of Minors

“Mandated reporters” are persons or groups of persons who have frequent contact with children and families and are required by Washington’s State law to report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect to CPS or to the appropriate law enforcement agency (RCW 26.44.030 (Links to an external site.)). It is the intent of the law that these designated persons, who are in positions to identify children who are at risk from abuse and neglect, will report suspected child abuse and neglect so that the need for protective services can be assessed.  

Employees of state and private higher education institutions, including student employees, administrative, academic and athletic departments if they have reasonable cause to believe that a child has suffered abuse or neglect are required to report. Read the Guide for Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect (Links to an external site.) to learn more. 

For Washington State, the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) within local communities are responsible for receiving and investigating reports of suspected child abuse and neglect. Reports are received by Children’s Administration/Child Protective Services (CPS) located in each community office and assessed to determine whether the report meets the legal definition of abuse or neglect and how dangerous the situation is.

Children's Administration offers several ways to report abuse:

Daytime - Find your local office number (Links to an external site.) to report abuse or neglect in your area.

Nights & Weekends - call 1-800-562-5624 to report abuse during the evening or on weekends.

Hotline - call 1-866-ENDHARM (1-866-363-4276), Washington State's toll-free, 24 hour, 7 day-a-week hotline that will connect you directly to the appropriate local office to report suspected child abuse or neglect.

TTY Callers - call 1-800-624-6186 to place a direct TTY call. 

Questions that will be asked when you call

  1. The name, address and age of the child.

  2. The name and address of the child's parent, guardian or other persons having custody of the child.

  3. The nature and extent of the abuse or neglect.

  4. Any evidence of previous incidences.

  5. Any other information which may be helpful in establishing the cause of the child's abuse or neglect and the identity of the perpetrator.

You do not need to have all of the above information when you call to make a report, but the more accurate information you can provide, the better equipped the offices will be to assess the child's safety.