Revised Employee Training Module Now Available | Electronic News
West Virginia University has taken over the employee training module originally titled “Discrimination & Harassment Prevention & Meridians: Title IX”. This initial training was temporarily halted to correct factual errors later discovered in the training and to shorten the duration of the training to accommodate employee schedules.
Revised training now focuses primarily on Federal Title IX and related regulations. It also reviews some relevant content from WVU Board of Governors Rule 1.6 – Rule Regarding Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Misconduct, Harassment, Retaliation and Relationships.
Employees who have not yet taken or completed the training, which now takes about 30-45 minutes, should have received an email that the revised training is available. Employees who have already completed the module do not need to repeat the training.
Additionally, the University would like to clarify and correct some information found in the original training.
First, in the initial training, there were several fill-in-the-blank sections asking WVU employees to share their personal thoughts or experiences in response to certain questions. It is important that employees understand that the reflections provided are not reviewed. Information submitted in the Reflections of the Training Module does not constitute a report to WVU and will not be reviewed.
Reports of inappropriate behavior or actions that have occurred at WVU should be submitted separately through the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Division. Claim Form or contact Title IX Coordinator James Goins at 304-293-8386 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Second, some sections of the original training module included data and statistics. However, the module did not attribute this data or statistics to any source, potentially creating confusion among WVU employees. Data and statistics reflect national data and are not specific to WVU.
Third, the “Meridian: Title IX” portion of the original training first used the term “mandatory reporters” to describe persons required to report alleged breaches of Rule 1.6. However, the term used by WVU is not “mandatory reporters”, but “responsible employee”. Later in the slide, the content shifted to using the term “responsible employee”. However, the definition provided was not accurate. The definition of “responsible employee” of Rule 1.6 East:
employees in managerial or supervisory positions, or who have significant responsibility for the welfare of students or employees. Specifically, this term includes: Title IX Coordinator; Deputy Title IX Coordinators; University police; Senior Staff of Residence Life, Student Life and Sports; senior university staff, including senior staff of each college or school; Resident Assistants; Faculty; and sports team coaches and their staff.
Fourth, the initial training asked a participant to click on the “WVU Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy”. The University does not have a policy by this name, which may have caused confusion. The link takes participants to Rule 1.6. Although this policy describes what constitutes sexual harassment at WVU and states that it is prohibited conduct, it is not titled “Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy” and has broader content than just sexual harassment.
Fifth, as part of initial training, there is an emphasis on documenting inappropriate behavior in the workplace and potentially entailing a requirement for individuals to investigate this behavior themselves. However, individuals should not conduct their own investigations into inappropriate behavior. On the contrary, if an employee thinks something inappropriate is happening, they should immediately submit an AIR Claim Form or contact Title IX Coordinator James Goins at 304-293-8386 or email email@example.com. In short, West Virginia University strongly believes that harassing and discriminatory behavior should be immediately reported and investigated by neutral investigators.
Finally, in the initial training, behaviors associated with harassment and discrimination were described as “illegal”. The term “unlawful” generally means that the behavior constitutes a crime. Although harassment and discrimination, as discussed in the context of this training, are inappropriate and constitute conduct that is not permitted on our campus, they are generally not crimes without additional facts present, which the initial training did not distinguish.
Resources on preventing discrimination and harassment are available at security.wvu.edu.
Additional questions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.