A new reporting requirement will take effect on January 1, 2020
During the 2019 Texas legislative session, Senate Bill 212 was passed into state law. This new law requires all employees of Texas universities to report incidents of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking allegedly committed by or against a student or employee, to a Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator. Under this new law, an employee who fails to report or falsely reports such an incident will also be subject to criminal liability (misdemeanor) and termination of employment.
SB 212 Highlights
- The bill requires an employee who in the course and scope of employment, witnesses or receives information regarding an incident that the employee reasonably believes constitutes sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking, and which is alleged to have been committed by or against a person who is a student or employee of the institution at the time of the incident, must promptly report the incident to the institution’s Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
- If an employee is required to report and fails to make a report, or with the intent to harm or deceive, knowingly makes a report that is false, then the offense is a Class B misdemeanor; If it is shown at trial that the employee acted with an intent to conceal the incident, then the offense is a Class A misdemeanor.
- The institution will be required to terminate an employee whom the institution determines, in accordance with the institution’s disciplinary procedure, to have committed the offense of failing to report or making a false report to the institution.
- The Title IX Coordinator must submit a written report of the reports received by the institution, to be submitted quarterly to the President.
- At least once during each fall or spring semester, the President will be required to submit to the Board of Regents, and post on the institution’s website, a report that must include:
- The number of reports received by the institution;
- The number of investigations conducted as a result of those reports;
- The disposition, if any, of any disciplinary processes arising from those reports;
- The number of those reports for which the institution determined not to initiate a disciplinary process, if any; and
- Any disciplinary actions taken regarding failure to report or false reports to the institution.
- The institutional implementation requirements of this bill will take effect January 1, 2020.
- Employees who have been designated as confidential employees are required to report the type of incident only.
- Students who are also employees are strongly encouraged, but not required, to report.
In order to fully understand the requirements of the law, the manner in which reports can be made to UTEP’s Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators, and resources and support available at UTEP for those who have been impacted by sexual misconduct, all UTEP employees are strongly encouraged to participate in a Title IX training session. Please click here to register for a Title IX training.