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UW-Madison works to prevent sexual harassment

August 22, 2017 By Carrie Lynch Springer

UW-Madison takes the issue of sexual harassment very seriously. We know sexual harassment occurs and that it is under-reported; which is why we are doing more to help prevent sexual harassment and provide a safe and respectful work environment for everyone.

One of the most important ways to improve our work environment is educating our staff about the problem of sexual harassment. UW–Madison is requiring every employee to complete the online course “Preventing Sexual Violence and Harassment at UW–Madison” this fall. If you have not completed the training, please do so at your earliest convenience. You can find more information about the course here. All UW–Madison employees are required to complete this training by Sept. 30.

We provide everyone who reports sexual harassment and violence with information about their rights, options, and resources available to them for support. We are also providing new resources to make sure people know where they can report harassment.

There are numerous confidential reporting options for students and staff who have experienced sexual harassment so they can choose a process that is comfortable for them.

Employees can report sexual harassment to the human resources office in their department or the Office of Workforce Relations, and students can report to the Dean of Students. Anyone can make a report to the Office of Compliance.

Title IX and EEO investigations are now being handled in the newly created Office of Compliance. This will provide better oversight and a more consistent response across campus to ensure everyone who reports sexual harassment feels safe and supported.

Once harassment is reported, if the individual wants to pursue a formal investigation, the Office of Compliance staff will investigate and make recommendations for discipline or other action. If the complaint does not rise to the level of discrimination, the Office of Compliance can still make recommendations to address unprofessional behavior.

Frequently, complainants choose not to engage the formal investigation process, which requires the complainant to name the respondent and the respondent to be aware of the complainant’s allegations. They can choose an alternative resolution process, which may involve protective measures for the complainant or an educational conversation with the respondent by the Title IX coordinator or human resources. Even if there is not a formal investigation, the university will provide confidential support from the Employee Assistance Office, the Ombuds Office, or University Health Services.

We will continue to evaluate and improve our programs where needed. If you have any suggestions, concerns, or questions regarding our policies or training requirements, please contact the Office of Compliance.