Responsible Employees to Report Sexual Misconduct
SB 212 requires employees to “promptly report” certain incidents (described below) “to the institution’s Title IX coordinator or deputy Title IX coordinator.” Failure to do so can lead to administrative penalties, termination, and potential criminal sanctions.
Employee Reporting Obligation
According to Title IX, a "responsible employee" is an employee:
- Who has the authority to take action to redress sexual harassment/violence, or
- Who has been given the duty of reporting incidents of sexual harassment/violence or any other misconduct by students to the Title IX Administrator or other appropriate school designee, or
- That a student/employee could reasonably believe has either the authority or the duty listed above.
WBU requires all faculty members, administrators, supervisors, and any employees who have responsibility for student welfare to promptly report information about any incident of Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence to WBU as provided below, unless the employee is required by law to keep that information confidential by virtue of his or her professional role (e.g. the employee received the information in his or her role as a psychological counselor or a pastoral counselor).
The role of a responsible employee is to report allegations of sexual harassment/violence that takes place on or off campus to the Title IX Administrator to maximize the institution's ability to investigate and potentially address and eliminate sexual harassment/violence. The responsible employee should NOT attempt to determine if the harassment/violence actually did occur, or if a hostile environment is being created.
The information that should be reported includes all the relevant information that the individual has shared and that may be useful in the investigation. This includes names of the alleged perpetrator, the student/employee who experienced the alleged harassment/violence, any other student/employee involved, and the date, time, and location of the alleged incident.
Responsible employees should explain to the student/employee that they are not a confidential resource before a student/employee reveals something that they may want to keep confidential. If a person begins talking about the incident(s) with no warning, interrupt immediately (but nicely) and inform them that the conversation cannot be considered confidential. Assure them that you want to be supportive, but if they do not want the incident(s) to potentially be reported then they should make an appointment with a confidential resource. In emergency situations, where a person's health or safety is in immediate danger, call 911.
A report to the Title IX Administrator does not necessarily lead to a full investigation. Any action is typically determined based on the complainant's choices. However, the Administrator will make a safety assessment to determine if there is a safety risk to the community. If it is likely that there is continued risk, the Title IX Administrator may have to proceed without the complainant's consent.
Authority: Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S. C. 1681-1688)
Source: OCR Questions & Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence
For questions or to make a report, contact the Title IX Administrator.