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Employees will complete program against sexual harassment and violence

Starting in July 2017, all UW–Madison employees will be required to complete an online prevention education program called “Promoting Equity at UW–Madison by Preventing Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence.” The learning program will be hosted in Learn@UW. The Office of Compliance is working with the Office of Human Resources to manage and administer the program.

Employees will learn definitions of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking; prevention strategies they can use; where to get help; and information about reporting options.

After July, all new employees will complete the program as part of their onboarding experience.

The training complements the student (undergraduate, graduate and professional) focused prevention programs UW–Madison offers each semester, some of which are required. Some units may have training requirements in addition to this university-wide effort.

“UW-Madison’s goal is to maintain an academic and work environment free of sexual harassment and violence for all staff, faculty and students, and to give members of our campus community the tools to respond appropriately when incidents occur,” Chancellor Rebecca Blank says. “This is vitally important training to arm our employees with information to help them better understand and address sexual harassment and violence on campus.”

These prevention and training efforts are also informed by several federal, state and UW System requirements and expectations. A brief summary of relevant guidance:

  • In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education issued a Title IX Dear Colleague Letter.
  • In 2013-14, changes were made to the Violence Against Women Act that changed the prevention and training expectations for institutions of higher education pursuant to the Clery Act.
  • In 2015, the Deptartment of Education issued a Questions and Answers document that clarified many training and prevention expectations.
  • In 2016, UW System President Ray Cross endorsed a set of recommendations for UW schools that included training and prevention for all employees. The Board of Regents heard these recommendations at the December 2016 meeting.

In addition to the online program, UW–Madison provides many ongoing awareness opportunities for employees. These opportunities vary based on the school year and can include the Green Dot bystander intervention strategy, ongoing learning efforts, and one-time events such as action events, guest speakers and film screenings.

Plans are in place to have the program available in alternative formats and in languages other than English in 2018.

If you would like additional information, please feel free to contact your divisional human resources representative, or the director of the Office of Compliance, Cathy Trueba, or the director of the Office of Workforce Relations, Patrick Sheehan.

This article was originally published on the UW-Madison News website.

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