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PAT Council Updated on Harassment-Free Workplace Training

By Lori Wright, Media Relations
June 10, 2009

An online course on discrimination and harassment prevention that all UNH employees will be required to take was presented at the monthly PAT Council meeting June 3. With a goal of 100 percent participation, the training aims to provide a harassment-free workplace.

Donna Marie Sorrentino, UNH director, Affirmative Action and Equity, gave an overview of the new initiative adopted by USNH as a way to help prevent discrimination and sexual and discriminatory harassment.

The course, provided by Workplace Answers, a Web-based compliance training company, will be evaluated by a pilot group before being rolled out to the entire university system.

It takes about 1 ½ hours to complete the training. It doesn’t have to be done in one sitting.

A team from HR reviewed online programs before deciding on Workplace Answers. It was decided to go with a commercial product rather than one that was UNH-specific to help keep costs down.

An email reading “UNH discriminatory harassment course registration” will alert employees when the course is ready to be taken. Workers will be asked to take it within 30 days. Reminders will be sent until it is complete. HR will be able to tell who has and has not taken the training.

The target date for staff is July. Faculty members will take the course in October. All faculty and staff in supervisory roles will have to take additional training geared toward supervisors.

Because of their teaching assistant positions, graduate students also will be required to take the course.

Employees will be able to review their responses after taking the training but there isn’t a mechanism to make suggestions.

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

In other news, Rick MacDonald, PAT representative to the Transportation Policy Committee, reported the idea of a new transportation fee is no longer being considered; a second ticket machine for the Downeaster is being added at the Dairy Bar; and there will be an increase in bus services on Routes 3, 4, and 5.

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