Acceptable Work Sites

Acceptable Work Sites support efficiency and productivity, attracting and retaining skilled labor and rising diversity and a culture of inclusion.




With a more diverse workforce, we want to ensure that our construction work sites are respectful and appropriate. The City of Seattle has implemented stringent standards for acceptable behavior on City construction work sites that prohibit bullying, hazing and related behaviors—particularly those based upon race, immigrant status, religious affiliation, gender identity or sexual orientation. Contractors of each tier must ensure an appropriate, productive and safe environment for all workers.

What does it cover?

Acceptable work site contract provisions on City construction projects apply to the prime and all subtier contractors, covering not only the construction site itself, but also any offices or other locations used in conjunction with the project. An acceptable work site is free from behaviors that may impair production and/or undermine the integrity of working conditions.

The intent of the person who appears to violate the acceptable work site provisions is not a measure of whether such behaviors are appropriate; rather the standard is whether a reasonable person should have known that such behavior would cause a worker to be humiliated, intimidated or otherwise treated in an inappropriate, discriminatory or differential manner.

City responsibilities

  • Educate bidders and winning contractors and subcontractors at pre-bid meetings, pre-construction meetings and union pre-job meetings.
  • Provide education and outreach materials.
  • Conduct site visits to observe and interview workers and WMBE contractors.
  • Foster collaboration between City staff, union representatives and contractor ombudsmen.

Contractor responsibilities

  • Notify employees of the standards and protections.
  • Post required poster at work site.
  • Establish and maintain an appropriate, productive and safe environment.
  • Consider preventative measures such as offering training on managing difficult situations.
  • Ensure work site assignments that promote positive mentoring and worker guidance.
  • Report observed violations to Purchasing and Contracting (PC).
  • Provide documents and unfettered work site access to PC to monitor and/or investigate.
  • Complete remedial action (to be approved by PC) for complaints.

Worker responsibilities

  • Be aware of what constitutes unacceptable behavior.
  • Mentor and guide co-workers.
  • Speak up or defuse inappropriate activity.

Workers should report any violation or any behavior that gives the appearance of a violation, to their supervisor, superintendent, project manager, trade union representative, human resources department or the City contract compliance investigator.


The City prohibits retaliation against any worker bringing a complaint or assisting in the investigation of a complaint. Contractors of each tier bear responsibility for preventing such retaliation, even if it occurs beyond the boundaries of the work site.



For more information, contact the contract compliance lead, Michael DeGive, at 206-386-4128 or