Sexual Harassment Training Laws

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CALIFORNIA

CONNECTICUT

DELAWARE

ILLINOIS

MAINE

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California State Sexual Harassment Training Law

By January 1, 2020, an employer having five or more employees shall provide at least two hours of classroom or other effective interactive training and education regarding sexual harassment to all supervisory employees and at least one hour of classroom or other effective interactive training and education regarding sexual harassment to all nonsupervisory employees in California within six months of their assumption of a position. This training must be provided once every two years.

Employers must provide sexual harassment prevention training in a classroom setting, through interactive E-learning, or through a live webinar. E-learning training must provide instructions on how to contact a trainer who can answer questions within two business days.

Any training must explain:

  • The definition of sexual harassment under the Fair Employment and Housing Act and Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964;
  • The statutes and case-law prohibiting and preventing sexual harassment;
  • The types of conduct that can be sexual harassment;
  • The remedies available for victims of sexual harassment;
  • Strategies to prevent sexual harassment;
  • Supervisors’ obligation to report harassment;
  • Practical examples of harassment;
  • The limited confidentiality of the complaint process;
  • Resources for victims of sexual harassment, including to whom they should report it;
  • How employers must correct harassing behavior;
  • What to do if a supervisor is personally accused of harassment;
  • The elements of an effective anti-harassment policy and how to use it;
  • “Abusive conduct” under Government Code section 12950.1, subdivision (g)(2).
  • Discuss harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, which shall include practical examples inclusive of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.

Finally, any training must include questions that assess learning, skill-building activities to assess understanding and application of content, and hypothetical scenarios about harassment with discussion questions.

Employers having five or more employees must train all supervisors in California, as well as nonsupervisory employees in California. A supervisor is anyone with the authority to hire, fire, assign, transfer, discipline, or reward other employees. A supervisor is also anyone with the authority to effectively recommend (but not necessarily take) these actions if exercising that authority requires the use of independent judgment.


Connecticut Training Law

Beginning on October 1, 2019, all Connecticut employers will have to provide mandatory sexual harassment training. For employers with three or more employees, they must provide two hours of sexual harassment training to all employees. For existing employees, this training must be provided by October 1, 2020. All employees hired on or after October 1, 2019, must receive the training within six months of hire.

For employers with three or fewer employees, including family businesses where an individual is employed by a spouse, parent or child, sexual harassment training is required for all supervisory employees. This training must be provided by October 1, 2020, or within six months of an employee assuming a supervisory role.

Failure to provide the training as required will be considered a “discriminatory practice,” and will be subject to fines up to $1000, although it is unclear whether this fine will be imposed on a per-employee basis.

The content of the training shall include the following:

  • Describing all federal and state statutory provisions prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace with which the employer is required to comply, including, but not limited to, the Connecticut discriminatory employment practices statute (section 46a-60 of the Connecticut General Statutes) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. section 2000e, and following sections);
  • Defining sexual harassment as explicitly set forth in subdivision (8) of subsection (a) of section 46a-60 of the Connecticut General Statutes and as distinguished from other forms of illegal harassment prohibited by subsection (a) of section 46a-60 of the Connecticut General Statutes and section 3 of Public Act 91-58;
  • Discussing the types of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment under the law, including the fact that the harasser or the victim of harassment may be either a man or a woman and that harassment can occur involving persons of the same or opposite sex;
  • Describing the remedies available in sexual harassment cases, including, but not limited to, cease and desist orders; hiring, promotion or reinstatement; compensatory damages and back pay;
  • Advising employees that individuals who commit acts of sexual harassment may be subject to both civil and criminal penalties; and
  • Discussing strategies to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

Source: Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and Littler


DELAWARE SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING LAW

Employers in Delaware with 50 or more employees (not including applicants or independent contractors) must provide all employees with interactive training and education on the prevention of sexual harassment. Employers do not need to provide training to applicants, independent contractors or employees who are employed less than six months continuously. Employment agencies must “count and provide training to employees placed by” such agencies.

Employers covered by the training requirement must meet the following requirements:

  • They must provide employees with interactive training and education on the prevention of sexual harassment.
  • Training must be conducted for new employees within one year of the commencement of their employment. Existing employees must receive sexual-harassment training within one year of the effective date of the statute (that is, by Jan. 1, 2020).

The training topics must:

  • Address the illegality of sexual harassment.
  • Define sexual harassment with examples.
  • Describe the legal remedies and complaint process available to the employee.
  • Direct employees on how to contact the Delaware Department of Labor.
  • Instruct employees that retaliation is prohibited.
  • New supervisors must receive additional interactive training within one year of the commencement of their employment in a supervisory role. Existing supervisors must receive training by Jan. 1, 2020.
  • This supplemental training must cover the specific responsibilities of a supervisor in preventing and correcting sexual harassment as well as the legal prohibition against retaliation.
  • These employee and supervisor training programs must be repeated every two years.

Source: SHRM


ILLINOIS SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING LAW

Sexual harassment prevention training shall be provided to all employees on an annual basis. This training be interactive and, at a minimum, include the following:

  • an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with this Act;
  • examples of conduct that constitutes unlawful sexual harassment;
  • an explanation of harassment based on sex consistent with this Act;
  • examples of conduct that constitute unlawful harassment based on sex;
  • a summary of federal and state statutory provisions concerning harassment based on sex, sexual harassment, and all remedies available to victims of sexual harassment or harassment based on sex;
  • a summary of employees’ rights and available remedies and forums to adjudicate complaints;
  • examples of appropriate and inappropriate conduct by supervisors;
  • and a summary of responsibilities of employers in the prevention, investigation, and adjudication of sexual harassment.

Every employer, regardless of company size, is required to establish a training program for employees and supervisors to prevent sexual harassment that equals or exceeds the minimum standards provided.

Source: Illinois State Law


Maine Training Law

In workplaces with 15 or more employees, employers shall conduct an education and training program for all new employees within one year of commencement of employment.

Training provided under this subsection must include:

  • the illegality of sexual harassment;
  • the definition of sexual harassment under state and federal laws and federal regulations, including the Maine Human Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 United States Code, Title VII, Sections 2000e to 2000e-17;
  • a description of sexual harassment, utilizing examples;
  • the internal complaint process available to the employee;
  • the legal recourse and complaint process available through the commission;
  • directions on how to contact the commission;
  • and the protection against retaliation as provided under Title 5, section 4553, subsection 10, paragraph D.

Employers shall conduct additional training for supervisory and managerial employees within one year of commencement of employment that includes, at a minimum, the specific responsibilities of supervisory and managerial employees and methods that these employees must take to ensure immediate and appropriate corrective action in addressing sexual harassment complaints.

Source: Maine Human Rights Commission


New York City Sexual Harassment Training Law

Employers with 15 or more employees are required to conduct annual anti-sexual harassment training for all employees. Effective April 2019, employers have one year to implement the training for all employees and must ensure all employees are trained annually thereafter. It must include the following elements:

  • An explanation of sexual harassment as a form of unlawful discrimination under local law;
  • A statement that sexual harassment is also a form of unlawful discrimination under state and federal law;
  • A description of what sexual harassment is, using examples;
  • Any internal complaint process available to employees through their employer to address sexual harassment claims;
  • The complaint process available through the Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights and the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, including contact information;
  • The prohibition of retaliation including examples;
  • Information concerning bystander intervention, including but not limited to any resources that explain how to engage in bystander intervention; and
  • The specific responsibilities of supervisory and managerial employees in the prevention of sexual harassment and retaliation, and measures that such employees may take to appropriately address sexual harassment complaints.

Employers shall keep a record of all trainings, including a signed employee acknowledgment. These may be kept electronically.


New York State Sexual Harassment Training Law

Every employer in New York State is required to provide employees with sexual harassment prevention training. The training must:

  • be interactive
  • include an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Labor in consultation with the Division of Human Rights
  • include examples of conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment
  • include information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment
  • include information concerning employees’ rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating complaints
  • include information addressing conduct by supervisors and any additional responsibilities for such supervisors

Each employee must receive training on an annual basis, starting October 9, 2018.