KCC 2.15 training: Protecting immigrants, refugees, and limited English speakers

On Feb. 26, 2018, the Metropolitan King County Council adopted ground-breaking immigration legislation designed to protect everyone’s safety and civil rights. While still adhering to federal law, King County Code 2.15 Immigrant, Refugees and Language Access Ordinance (KCC 2.15) prevents the use of County funds and resources on federal immigration enforcement and outlines the steps the County uses to protect immigrants and refugees seeking services from the County, or who are victims or witnesses of crime.

“This legislation was developed with consultation from community organizations and leaders that advocate for equitable public policy,” said Hamdi Mohamed, Policy Advisor for the Office of Equity and Social Justice (OESJ), ”including Washington Defenders Association, the Public Defenders Association, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Colectiva Legal, ACLU, and OneAmerica. This collaboration helps ensure that the ordinance reflects the needs and desires of those we serve.”

Over the last decade, King County gained more than 200,000 new residents, half of which were foreign-born, speaking more than 170 languages, adding tremendous diversity to the local economy, political climate, and social fabric.

“I’m thankful to live in a place where we are working together to build a community where all are truly safe and genuinely belong,” announced Anita Whitfield, Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer. “This ordinance provides King County departments and agencies with guidance to ensure we’re respecting the safety and civil rights of our immigrant and refugee communities, so we can live our values of being an inclusive and racially just place.”

“As government employees and public servants our first task is to ensure all people, especially our immigrant and refugee neighbors, feel safe when they’re engaging with us and asking for services. By completing this training, we are one step closer to making King County a welcoming place where every person can thrive,” Whitfield added.

Training for County employees

As part of this ordinance, all County employees are required to take a brief training to ensure compliance with the Code.

Current County employees must complete the training by April 1, 2022, and any new hires will need to complete the training within 120 days of hire. ​​​​​​​Employees will be paid for their time taking the training and will work with their supervisors to fit it into their schedule.

“By completing this training, we are one step closer to making King County a welcoming place where every person can thrive,” Whitfield concluded.

Training timeline

Online training through NEOGOV Learn will be available to all employees with computer access beginning this month. Employees with computers will receive an email from NEOGOV with instructions when the training has been assigned to them and steps to complete the training. The online training consists of a six-minute video and educational resources. 

Beginning in Nov., alternative methods to take the training (for example, paper-based or a slide presentation) will be available for employees who work non-standard hours or in an environment outside of an office, for employees without access to computers, and for those who may require accommodations. Employees who need to use an alternative format should work with their supervisor or Human Resource Manager to receive support.

“We have been working with agencies and departments across the County to plan for this enterprise-wide training. We’ve made significant improvements including providing information in an audio-visual format and large print, as well as offering translations in the top six languages used by County employees,” said Senayet Negusse, Language Equity Program Manager in the Office of Equity and Social Justice. “OESJ will continue to work with HR Managers and King County agencies so that all employees have equitable access to essential information provided in this training.”

Be on the lookout for additional information about this training. If you have any questions, please reach out to Hamdi Mohamed at hamdi.mohamed@kingcounty.gov.