USF staff members ordered to complete sexual harassment training

All USF faculty and staff must score at least a 70 percent on a ten-question quiz about sexual assault. ORACLE PHOTO/CHAVELI GUZMAN

The Division of Human Resources is taking steps toward the prevention of discrimination and harassment in the workplace by providing a mandatory sexual harassment training for all USF employees.

A letter from Human Resources was sent out on Sept. 18 requiring that all employees complete the Sexual Harassment Prevention Training by Oct. 31.

According to Donna Keener, assistant vice president of Human Resources, the training will help increase the level of awareness of sexual harassment in the USF community and make sure that the university is being proactive regarding the topic.

“With this training, we want to increase the level of awareness, be proactive and educate our community on awareness and prevention methods,” Keener said. “It’s always beneficial for an organization to educate their community on this topic.”

The training covers the definition of sexual harassment, identifies potentially harassing behaviors and explains USF policies and how to report such behaviors. According to the letter, it will serve as a helpful tool for all staff and faculty to understand their roles and responsibilities in the prevention of discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

The sexual harassment prevention training is being offered for the first time as an online course for all staff and faculty. In years past, Human Resources offered a typical classroom training in which, depending on the type of position that each employee held, was not always mandatory.

According to Keener, the online course creates an ease for employers to go through the training and complete the mandatory 10-question quiz, which can be taken as many times as they want in order to pass with a 70 percent.

Human Resources worked with individuals internally to make sure that the training conveys the USF brand. Together with IT, both departments worked to put together the program so it could be delivered online and to make sure that the training would reach all the 15,000 employees currently working at USF.

The training will be available online and it will take up to 45 minutes to complete. Once an employee completes the training and the mandatory quiz, the completion will be recorded on their GEMS Training Summary.

In the event that an employee does not complete the training after the deadline has passed, Human Resources will run a report to verify who still needs to complete the training and then reach out to those employees. According to Keener, they would would follow up with those employees to make sure they complete as soon as possible.

“Overall, the feedback has been very positive,” Keener said. “Multiple people reached out to the Division of Human Resources saying that they are very appreciative for USF taking these measures to guarantee a safe workplace for all faculty and staff.”