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Discrimination and Harassment Training Online Now

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
August 5, 2009

All UNH and UNH Manchester benefit-eligible staff members with email accounts have now received their personalized link to the required course on discrimination and harassment prevention aimed at making UNH a harassment-free workplace.

In case you missed it, the email is from Workplace Answers and the subject line reads “UNH Discriminatory Harassment Course Registration for [name].”

Faculty members will take the mandatory training in October. Nonbenefited workers will take it at a later date.

The online course attempts to help people recognize situations considered unlawful harassment and show them how to prevent, and report, unwelcome behavior. Nobody gets graded and the results aren’t revealed. It’s all about the education.

Unlawful harassment is behavior that is offensive to a reasonable person, severe or pervasive, and related to a protected category.

Those categories include sex, race, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation and marital status. Age, pregnancy and infertility also are protected. That means things that seem benign, like age jokes, could get someone in trouble.

And rude or obnoxious behavior? It’s not always considered harassment. Neither, necessarily, is a one-time comment. It depends on the situation.

Resolving harassment may be as simple as asking the person to stop whatever it is they are doing. Or, a person may feel the need to discuss the situation with a supervisor or report the incident to HR’s Affirmative Action and Equity director.

During the training, problem scenarios are presented for employees to evaluate before answering the corresponding questions that indicate whether the scene describes harassment or any type of discrimination. An explanation of the correct answer is given.

It takes about 90 minutes to complete the course. Supervisors need to take an additional section that takes another 45 minutes. The work doesn’t have to be done in one sitting and you can use any computer.

Employees have 30 days to complete the course. Email reminders will be sent by Workplace Answers, the Web-based compliance training company conducting the training, until the employee has finished.

A team from HR reviewed online programs before deciding on Workplace Answers.

A list of frequently asked questions can be found at http://www.unh.edu/hr/pdfs/online-discriminatory-harassment-prevention-training-faqs.pdf

For questions regarding content contact Donna Marie Sorrentino at 2-2930 or dms@unh.edu. For technical problems call Christina VanHorn at 2-0519 or email Chris.VanHorn@unh.edu.


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