Formation and Organization

Employee Resource Groups are employee-formed and employee-led. Employee Resource Groups must:

  1. Be formed around a shared characteristic or common interest that can positively affect professional development or retention. Examples include, but are not limited to, national origin, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, being a working parent, veteran status, and religion/faith based, or caring for aging family members while working.

    Be open to all College classified, administrative exempt, and faculty employees and non-student volunteers. As required by state and federal law and College policy, Employee Resource Groups may not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, veteran’s status, sex, national origin, sexual orientation or disability. Be composed of only College employees and volunteers as described above. Guest speakers may be invited to Employee Resource Group meetings.

  2. As required by the Executive Ethics Act, Employee Resource Groups may not use College resources to support or oppose any ballot proposition or candidate for public office. Additionally, Employee Resource Groups may not be formed to promote or benefit any private company or organization. 
  3. Employees interested in forming an Employee Resource Group should complete an Employee Resource Group Application located on the Intranet. Please contact if you need assistance locating this form. The application is then submitted to Human Resources for preliminary approval based on the Employee Resource Group guidelines and criteria. Once a request has been preliminarily approved, it is then moved on to the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Council, which will make a final recommendation to Executive Officer of EDI for final approval. Employees must articulate how the group’s formation relates to college mission fulfillment, professional development and retention. When approval processes are finalized, the group will be welcomed as an official Employee Resource Group and bound by College policies and use of College resources as listed in this document.

College Resources Available to Employee Resource Groups

Employee Resource group members may formally or informally mentor others, provide informal training or collaborate with other various departments such as Human Resources, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, or Employee Learning and Development departments. By doing so, this will enhance employee professional development to support the mission, vision, and employee professional success of the college.  Employee Resource Groups are voluntary, organized by their respective members, but not supervised by Pierce College personnel. ERG’s and their members can choose, but are not required, to select an executive or departmental sponsor to help support the sustaining and legacy of their ERG network. Their meetings and other efforts positively affect the work environment and contribute to Pierce mission, core values, and overall college strategic planning goals, including helping to recruit and retain high quality, highly skilled diverse workforce (providing employees with the skills, knowledge and tools they need to be successful) promoting equity, inclusiveness, and cultural responsiveness across the organization.

Pierce College has determined that Employee Resource Group meetings and informal mentoring and training activities meet mission goals by empowering employee professional development, contribute to enhancing employees’ professional role in the college, and are reasonably related to a number of other official College purposes. In accordance with State Ethics rules, Employee Resource Groups are authorized to make use of the following state resources for the listed purposes:

Physical Space:

  1. College shared space, including conference and break rooms, may be used for group meetings on a space available basis. Because shared space is limited and priority for use must be given to the performance of college business, it is possible that a scheduled Employee Resource Group meeting will be bumped when a room is necessary for college business.
  2. Other college space (generally office space or cubicles) may be used when providing mentoring with permission from appropriate departments leaders.

Employee Time:

  1. Meetings, informal mentoring, and training may occur during regular working hours and employees may be granted up to four hours per month to participate in ERG events or meetings. Time allotted for participation can be adjusted per supervisor’s approval on a case-by-case basis. Participation in Employee Resource Group activities may not interfere with the performance of the employee’s regularly assigned duties. Adjunct faculty (like other employees in overtime-exempt positions) who choose to participate will not receive any additional compensation beyond their regular contracts. Employees who are overtime-eligible are reminded that any time spent engaged in college-sponsored activities constitutes work time. Such work, like all assigned work performed by overtime-eligible employees, is subject to requirements of the college overtime rules.
  2. Employees preparing meeting agendas and/or training materials may use work time to prepare with approval from their supervisors. 
  3. While supervisor approval is not required to join an Employee Resource Group, employees should make their supervisors aware of their participation in an ERG. An employee’s participation should not interfere with performance of the employee’s assigned work. Where an employee’s performance is affected by participation, supervisors may limit use of work time on Employee Resource Group activities in order to improve performance.

Computer, Electronic Mail, and Telephones:

  1. College computers may be used to prepare meeting agenda and/or training materials.
  2. Email and phones may be used to hold meetings by teleconference, convey information about upcoming meetings, communicate with one another between meetings, communicate with speakers or potential speakers, and provide advice and mentoring to others.

The college anticipates that some Employee Resource Groups and/or Employee Resource Group members will ask to participate, or be invited to participate, in the development of college-sponsored training programs and in college outreach and recruitment. When Employee Resource Group members are involved in such College management, approved training or recruitment and outreach they are performing college assigned work. As such, they will be able to make use of the same resources provided any employee performing the assigned tasks. 


The College may make resources available for Employee Resource Group use as outlined in this policy.

Employees wishing to form an Employee Resource Group must present their request, which must articulate how the proposed group meets mission, enhances professional development, consistent with policy guidelines on formation and organization, to Human Resources for submission, to the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Council, and then to Executive Officer of Equity Diversity and Inclusion.

Employees participating in Employee Resource Groups must comply with all Pierce College policies.

Employees participating in Employee Resource Group activities must ensure that this participation does not interfere with their regular work assignments.

*Overtime-eligible employees must ensure that time spent participating in formal, College-sponsored activities is performed in accordance with the college overtime rules.

Supervisors are responsible to ensure that a supervisee’s participation in Employee Resource Group meetings and activities does not interfere with the performance of that individual’s regularly assigned duties.