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Harassment Policy

Unanimously adopted by the Whatcom County Democrats Executive Board at its July 25, 2018 meeting


Whatcom Democrats commits to an open and welcoming environment where all members and guests are expected to make participation in any and all of our activities a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, level of experience, ability, socioeconomic status, nationality, personal and/or physical appearance, race, religion or lack thereof, or sexual identity and orientation.

We will not tolerate any form of harassment in our activities.

In particular, avoidance of sexual harassment requires the following:

  • Respect others’ personal space.

  • Make physical contact with others only after receiving their consent.

  • Recognize that a person under the influence cannot provide reasonable consent.

  • Consent can be instantly revoked and prior consent, intoxicated comments and/or actions are not consent.

  • Refrain from sexually suggestive comments, emails, social media messages, or texts without consent.

  • Anyone who is in a supervisory position (e.g. in a campaign) should not make sexually suggestive comments to, or seek in any way to seduce someone in a subordinate position.

The Whatcom Democrats, acting through the Chair and E-Board, will exercise our inherent rights as a deliberative assembly to discipline members and guests for serious or repeated violation of this Policy. A member or guest who violates this Policy at a Whatcom Democrats activity, meeting, or while working or volunteering on a campaign hosted in our office, may be asked to leave the activity. The E-Board may remove a person who continues to violate this Policy, or whose violation is especially severe, from a party post. It may also ban such person from participation in our activities, or from working or volunteering in our office.

This Policy is not addressed at criminal behavior, which should be reported to the police. It is addressed at behavior that is inappropriate but falls short of criminal behavior. Because there are no criminal sanctions involved, the appropriate test for actions by the E-Board in the preceding paragraph is not the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard used in criminal proceedings that could lead to deprivation of liberty. Instead, the standard is “a preponderance of the evidence,” meaning it is more likely than not, which is the standard used in civil proceedings.

We recommend and look to the definitions and guidelines for sexual harassment at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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