UC to Roll Out Online Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

The UC Office of the President (UCOP) will soon launch a revised mandatory online sexual harassment prevention training program for all supervisory employees, including faculty, at all campus locations. UCOP will roll out the revised training program to all UC supervisory employees the week of September 10. A version for faculty will follow shortly thereafter. This program, developed with a vendor, Workplace Answers, helps UC comply with state law (AB 1825), which became effective in January 2005. The law requires employers with 50 or more employees to offer supervisors at least two hours of mandatory training in sexual harassment prevention every two years. The definition of "supervisor" under AB 1825 is very broad. It includes not only those who hire or fire employees, but also individuals who assign or direct the work of others. For purposes of this law, the University has determined that all faculty members are considered supervisors because they supervise teaching or research assistants, and thus they are subject to the mandatory training requirement. The supervisors and faculty who are required to take the course this year will be sent an email from Judy Boyette, associate vice president, Human Resources and Benefits at UCOP, with a personalized link to the online training course. Periodic reminders will be sent to those who have not completed the course. Monitoring Compliance Although UC and its 10 campuses have sexual harassment prevention policies and proactive education programs, the law requires employers to take a more thorough approach in monitoring compliance. The new UC online program will help keep a record of who has and hasn't been trained. This year, UC will offer two versions of the online training - one for administrative and medical center supervisors and one for faculty. A separate version for medical center supervisors is forthcoming. All versions of the online course are fully interactive and customized to include UC work scenarios. Like the 2005 version, the revised 2007 online training will help supervisors and faculty recognize and prevent sexual harassment situations in the workplace. The training also addresses discrimination and retaliation issues, as required by AB 1825. Importantly, the program will not certify a "trainee" until he or she completes the entire course, which is designed to take at least two hours. In fact, the program includes a clock to track the time spent on the course. The course can be taken from any computer with Internet access and does not have to be taken in one sitting. For those who need to return to the training, the program will take them to where they last were in the course. Supervisors who completed the initial training in 2005 must now take the 2007 version of the follow-up sexual harassment prevention course. The deadline for completing the 2007 training is Monday, Dec. 31. New supervisors must receive training within six months of assuming supervisory duties. The new program will be the only UC online training program that satisfies the requirements of the law. In-person training, as long as it is at least two hours long, is still acceptable. Since supervisors are required to take the course every two years, newer supervisors who were required to take sexual harassment prevention training in 2006 or later will not have to take the revised course this year, they will, however, be required to complete a course two years from the year they last took it. UCOP also launched a sexual harassment prevention training website this month. It includes policies, reporting procedures, frequently asked questions and answers, and other information. Related Links: University of California Sexual Harassment Policy (pdf)