Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Complying with Title IX’s New Mandate for Annual Training for All Employees 

The new Title IX rules require that educational institutions provide annual Title IX training to all employees. You must train your school’s employees annually on: 

  • Your school’s obligation to address sex discrimination in its education program or activity. 
  • The scope of conduct that constitutes Title IX sex discrimination, including the definition of sex-based harassment. 
  • School personnel’s duties when they have information about conduct that reasonably may constitute sex discrimination, including when they have a duty to notify the Title IX Coordinator.  
  • School personnel’s duties and obligations when a student or legal guardian informs them of the student’s pregnancy or related condition. 

When do you have to train all employees? 

All employees must receive Title IX training annually. The Department of Education anticipates that educational institutions will incorporate this training into existing training sessions provided each year to school personnel. The new Title IX rules are effective August 1, 2024. Your best bet is to train your personnel when they return for the 2024–2025 school year, as part of the other local, state, or federally-required training.  

For new employees, prompt training upon hiring is required. Educational institutions should integrate Title IX training into their onboarding procedures or new employee orientation to ensure compliance.  

Be sure to maintain documentation of both the training materials and employees’ completion of this training. This documentation can serve as crucial evidence in the event of an Office for Civil Rights complaint or Title IX lawsuit.  

Is there a specific way we have to do this training? 

No. The new Title IX rules provide no requirements regarding how you train school personnel. Educational institutions are empowered to determine the most suitable approach that aligns with the unique needs of their educational community. The new rules state only the topics upon which all school personnel must receive training and that training be provided on an annual basis. 

Your educational institution can provide this training in-person at a new employee orientation, at annual faculty or staff training sessions, or as part of your beginning of the year training at the campus or department level. While in-person training is an option, logistical challenges may prompt schools to opt for alternative methods, such as video-based training accessible via training hubs or professional development portals.  

Educational institutions may choose to engage external trainers or purchase training materials from third-party vendors. But the new rules do not require that schools do so. 

Why did the Department of Education require annual all employee training? 

In the preamble to the new Title IX rules, the Department of Education explained the significance of annual all-employee training to ensure all personnel understand their institution’s Title IX obligations. Properly trained personnel are better equipped to identify and address incidents of sex discrimination to foster a safe and supportive learning environment for students. All-employee training makes certain that “those most likely to interact with students in their day-to-day work have the training necessary to understand their role in ensuring [their school’s] Title IX compliance.” 

When school personnel are not adequately trained, this can result in responses to sex discrimination that are inadequate or improper. By training all school personnel regarding their duties and obligations under Title IX and the new rules, it is more likely that schools will adhere to the non-discrimination mandate under Title IX and ensure that education programs and activities operate free from sex discrimination. 

We already provide sexual harassment or child abuse prevention training. Isn’t that enough? 

Most educational institutions already require that all personnel receive training regarding sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or bullying. Most K-12 schools also provide training on preventing, reporting, and responding to allegations of child abuse. You may believe that since you already provide this training, there is no further action required. 

You should proceed with extreme caution on this assumption. While those trainings are important, they don’t necessarily cover all the bases when it comes to Title IX. The new Title IX rules require that all employees receive training on specific subject matters. Generic training modules might focus only on discrimination or sexual harassment in the employment context or overlook specific nuances of Title IX’s non-discrimination mandate. And child abuse training does not provide information regarding Title IX’s broader non-discrimination mandate or the obligations of K-12 personnel under Title IX that differ significantly from their obligations to report suspected child abuse. 

You should make sure that the training your institution provides to all employees is specific to Title IX and satisfies all the training requirements in the new rules. 

Can Thomson & Horton help us with the required all employee training? 

Yes; we’ve got you covered! Thompson & Horton offers tailored solutions to assist education institutions fulfill their training obligations. We have all employee video trainings for K-12 schools and all employee video trainings for colleges and universities. This training can be uploaded to your institution’s training portal for easy use for all employees.

Our all employee video training covers all required topics outlined in the new rules: the obligation to address sex discrimination; the scope of conduct that constitutes Title IX sex discrimination and sex-based harassment; employee’s duties when they have knowledge of sex discrimination, and employee’s duties regarding students and employees who are pregnant or suffer from pregnancy-related conditions. Thompson & Horton’s all employee video training provides guidance on preventing, identifying, reporting, and responding to sex discrimination to help your institution ensure its Title IX compliance.  

Additionally, we offer customized options, including comprehensive civil rights training for all employees, to align training content with your institution’s specific Title IX policies and procedures.   

For more information about our all employee video training solutions, please visit our website at thlaw.com/AllEmployee or email us at titleix@thompsonhorton.com