Sandra Bledsoe

How Often Should Sexual Harassment Training Be Conducted

Harassment Training should be conducted at least once every three years to all employees.

The primary purpose of harassment training is to provide employees at every level with a good understanding of their co-workers and appreciate everyone regardless of their gender. The training explains the many repercussions of harassing behavior and strategies to prevent this illegal behavior.

The vital goal of a business owner or management is to keep the workplace safe and comfortable, with as little interpersonal friction as possible. Achieving that goal entails giving various sorts of presentations and instructional sessions to staff workers at all levels, including harassment prevention training. Determining how frequently to offer anti-harassment training is a paramount concern.

Benefits of Conducting Sexual Harassment Training

Recurring harassment prevention training has the advantage of creating a more employee-friendly work atmosphere. From a management standpoint, the training minimizes the company’s likelihood of facing legal action due to a harassment allegation.

A regular sexual harassment training can serve as a deterrent to allegations of carelessness.

First, an employer provides a sense of direction to safeguarding employees against sexual harassment by teaching all workers the types of behavior that are not permitted in the workplace.

The regular mandated training will assist the employer in insulating itself from claiming that it was tolerant of sexual harassment and carelessly failed to prevent it by making it very clear via the usual compulsory training procedure that the business takes sexual harassment seriously and has enacted a policy forbidding sexual harassment. Almost one 32% of 1,078 Society for Human Resource Management members made adjustments to sexual harassment prevention training in the previous year.

Sexual harassment in the workplace exposes firms to legal responsibility and makes employees less productive. According to 2007 research conducted by three psychologists at the University of Calgary, sexually harassed employees are less engaged in their employment. Those who feel appreciated work more, but employees who have been sexually harassed are less likely to be productive.

Sexual harassment is also to blame for higher absence rates. Employees who have been sexually harassed are more likely to use sick time to recover from the stress of being harassed. Therefore, the inability to regulate regular sexual harassment training raises an employer’s sick leave expenditures, including the cost of replacing harassed staff with temporary workers.

  • General time frame

Following an initial harassment prevention training session, holding refresher sessions on a yearly basis is a prudent course of action. Employees sign acknowledgment papers in their personnel files pertaining to the accomplishment of an annual training program as part of the procedure. Because the consequences of harassment fluctuate based on an employee’s position in a corporate hierarchy, it is typically best to establish programs that are especially suited to particular departments and levels of the organization.

The training requirements differ from one state to the next. The frequency requirements in New York, California, and Maine vary. Employers in New York are obliged to provide yearly sexual misconduct prevention training to all employees, with the first training exercises completed by October 9, 2019.

In the following years, it may be dependent on the calendar year, the anniversary of each employee’s commencement date, or any other date selected by the company. Employers should give training to new employees as soon as feasible after they are hired.

Anti-harassment training should be delivered biannually and then within six months of hiring in California. If all personnel are trained every two years, the activity may be monitored by the anniversary date or training year.

Maine mandates that training should be completed within one year of starting work. Following that, the company may train employees on a yearly basis, as long as no individual is outside the yearly compliance window.

  • New hires

Anti-Harassment and discrimination training should always be included as part of a new hire’s onboarding process. Trainers teach the fundamentals of appropriate behavior to newly hired workers throughout this first harassment prevention training procedure. Outlining what is and is not appropriate workplace behavior at the start of a person’s job term should limit the frequency of impermeable behavior.

  • Resource materials

Between official harassment prevention training and instructional sessions, it is critical to ensure that staff has continued access to relevant resources. These materials can be found in an employee handbook, the personnel office, or the human resources director.

Any training must include and explain:

  • The meaning of sexual misconduct as defined under the Fair Employment and Housing Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • The laws and case-law doctrines that ban and prohibit sexual harassment.
  • How Sexual harassment can happen in a variety of ways?
  • Victims of sexual harassment can seek redress via a variety of channels, including the courts.
  • Preventing Sexual Harassment Strategies.
  • The responsibility of supervisors to disclose harassment.
  • Harassment in the real world; the grievance process’s lack of anonymity.
  • Resources for victims of harassment, especially who to file a complaint with.
  • Employers’ responsibilities in dealing with harassing behaviors.
  • What to do if a superior is accused of sexual harassment?
  • The components of an excellent anti-harassment policy, as well as how to implement it.

Finally, any training should contain Assessment questions.

  • Skill-building exercises to measure knowledge and application of knowledge.
  • Hypothetical situations involving harassment with discussion questions.

Misconceptions Regarding Sexual Harassment Training

While media coverage of harassment has increased awareness, some people believe that it is being exaggerated. This is a risky way of thinking. Harassment is a significant issue in business, as well as for those who are subjected to harassing conduct.

Supervisors can be held liable for harassment that happens while they are on the job, with the average judgment against them being about $50,000. Companies are frequently responsible for far more. Even when judicial rulings do not go that far, alleged harassers and corporations nearly always lose public opinion.

It is a common misperception that harassment prevention training is too expensive. A company may provide relevant, practical training at a meager cost. Furthermore, when compared to the possibility of saving considerable sums of money fighting a harassment claim or lawsuit, the cost of training constitutes a reasonable investment.

Employers should assess their present training and examine whether and how they may be more successful for their unique workforce and workplace. We move toward a future more focused on establishing a happy and inclusive workplace rather than simply complying with the law. Employers without current training programs could, of course, consider making training a requirement.


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