Section1. Chapter 15A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition is hereby amended by adding the following section:-
Section 45. (a) As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meaning unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
“Sexual harassment”, is unwanted or offensive sexual behavior that has the purpose or effect of creating a hostile or stressful living, learning, or working environment, or whenever toleration of such conduct or rejection of it is the basis for a personnel or academic decision affecting an individual. Examples of behavior that may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, sexual advances, any form of retaliation or threat of retaliation against an individual who rejects such advances, sexual epithets, jokes, or comments, comment or inquiry about an individual’s body or sexual experiences, unwelcome leering, whistling, brushing against the body, sexual gestures, and displaying sexually suggestive images.
“Awareness programming”, institution wide or audience specific programs, initiatives, and strategies that increase audience knowledge, share resources to prevent and reduce the occurrence of sexual harassment and to promote safety and respect.
“Primary prevention programming”, initiatives and strategies informed research or assessed for value, effectiveness or outcome that are intended to stop sexual harassment through the promotion of positive healthy behavior.
“Bystander intervention”, bystander intervention as defined in 34 CFR 668.46.
“Responsible employee”, an employee who has the authority to take action to redress sexual harassment, who has been given the duty of reporting incidents of sexual harassment or any other sexual misconduct by students to the Title IX coordinator or other appropriate school designee, and who a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty.
(b) All trainings and policies adopted by the institution of higher education under this section shall comply with Title IX of the federal Higher Education Amendment of 1972, Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, and related regulations and guidance, concerning sexual harassment involving a student of the institution, both on and off campus.
(c) Each institution of higher education shall provide: (i) mandatory annual sexual harassment primary prevention and awareness programming for all students, faculty, and staff that includes: (a) information about particular types of conduct that constitute sexual harassment; (b) strategies for bystander intervention; (c) cultural awareness training regarding how sexual harassment may impact a student or employee differently depending on the person’s cultural background; (d) ways to communicate sensitively and compassionately with a reporting party of sexual harassment including, but not limited to, an awareness of responding to a reporting party with consideration of that party’s cultural background and providing services to or assisting with locating services for the reporting party; (e) information on options relating to the reporting of an instance of sexual harassment, the effects of each option and methods to report an incident of sexual harassment, including confidential and anonymous disclosure; and (f) the name, contact information, and role of the confidential resource advisor; and (ii) opportunities for ongoing sexual harassment prevention and awareness campaigns and programming.
(d) Annually, by June 30, an institution of higher education shall prepare and submit to the department of higher education, the department of public health, the clerks of the senate and house of representatives, and the senate and house chairs of the joint committee on higher education a report that includes the following information: (i) the numbers of students and employees who successfully completed the mandatory sexual harassment training versus the number of students and employees who were subject to this chapter; (ii) the total number of allegations of sexual harassment reported to the institution’s Title IX coordinator by a responsible employee, student, faculty member, or other employee of the institution; (iii) the number of reported cases referred for investigation by local or state law enforcement; (iv) the number of students or employees found not responsible for violating an institution’s policies prohibiting sexual harassment; and (v) the number of the students or employees separated from the institution as a result of a finding of responsibility for violating an institution’s policies prohibiting sexual harassment. The report shall provide information in a de-identified manner that complies with state and federal privacy laws.
Section 3. This act shall take effect on July 1, 2020.
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