Sandra Bledsoe

Maine Workplace Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

Maine Workplace Sexual Harassment Training Requirements has specific laws that may vary from other state labor laws.

In general, sexual Harassment is one of the forms of sex discrimination that violates Title 5 such as requests for sexual favors, unwelcome sexual advances, non-consensual touches, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s work performance, an individual’s employment, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. 4 in 10 people in Maine experience sexual harassment at work at least once a week.

Sexual Harassment can occur in numerous circumstances, including but not limited to the following:

  • The victim and the harasser, maybe a woman or a man or the other gender. 
  • The harasser can be anyone from the workspace such as a supervisor, an agent or employee, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee.
  • The victim is not required to be harassed but can be anyone impacted by the offensive conduct.
  • Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without any economic effects to or discharge of the victim.
  • The harasser’s conduct must be non-consensual.

To eradicate sexual Harassment, prevention can be the best tool. Employers should take necessary measures to prevent sexual Harassment in their company completely from occurring. They should strictly make a statement about how sexual Harassment will not be tolerated at any cost, as 63.8% of people believe that reporting sexual harassment puts their job at risk.

They can introduce sexual harassment training which would be given to every employee. An effective and efficient complaint and grievance process should be established. Whenever any complaint or grievance is reported, immediate and appropriate action should be taken to ensure a safe space for all.

What is Maine Sexual Harassment Training?

Maine sexual harassment training at the workplace is a training program made mandatory by the federal and state governments. This training program is meant for both employees and supervisors in Maine. This was essential because 57.6% of women and 18.8% of men have reported being a victim of sexual harassment at the workplace.

There is a liberty to you if you wish to add any company-specific sexual harassment policies to the training program while abiding by the standard guidelines issued by the authorities. 

It is a high-priority program that aims to build a safe and harassment-free environment for everyone based on a strict code of conduct. 

Minimum Standard Requirements for Sexual Harassment Training in Maine

Title 26 M.R.S.A. §807 makes it mandatory for all companies with 15 or more employees in the workplace to complete the sexual harassment training. Within one year of employment, the person should have completed the education and training required.

All the employees are to be notified about the following information in writing form:

  • Sexual Harassment of any kind is illegal.
  • The definition of sexual Harassment, as per Maine’s State Law.
  • A detailed description of sexual Harassment (with listed examples)
  • The procedure of filing complaints available for the employees.
  • The legal recourse and complaint filing procedure available.
  • The directions for the contact with the Commission.
  • Protection against retaliation. (Title 5, section 4553, subsection 10, paragraph D).

If you are the employer, supervisor, or manager, then you would have to complete additional training concerning your responsibilities as someone who is in the power of initial judgment and action.

Apart from your training, you will have to offer sexual harassment prevention training to your employees.

What Training is to be provided by the Employer?

The training program must include:

  • Sexual Harassment is illegal; the definition of sexual Harassment is stated by the state and federal laws and federal regulations, including the Maine Human Rights and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 United States Code, Title VII, Sections 2000e-17.
  • The employer shall conduct an additional training program for the supervisors and managers within one year of commencement of employment. This training program must include specific responsibilities of supervisors and managers and the methods that these employees must take to ensure immediate and appropriate corrective action in addressing sexual harassment complaints.

What are other Requirements Mandatory for training?

  • Posting requirement

The leader or the employer has to post a poster at a prominent and accessible location in the workplace. The poster will be required to provide minimum the following information:

  • Sexual Harassment is illegal.
  • The description of sexual Harassment as stated by the state and federal law along with relevant examples.
  • The process of filing a complaint through the Commission and the directions on how to communicate with the Commission.
  • The readability of this poster may meet but must not exceed the 6th-grade literacy standard.

 

  • Training Records Requirements

It is a mandate for employers to maintain a detailed record of workplace sexual harassment training. There should be a proper record maintained of all the employees who underwent the training program. These records are required to be maintained by the employer for at least three years. Also, the records must be submitted immediately upon the request of the Maine Department of Labor.

These were all mandatory requirements in terms of the training’s frequency and format. Apart from that, Maine does not impose any other specific requirements.

What will happen if You don’t Abide by the Law?

Any employer found to be not providing the required training may pay a fine of:

  • First Time: A fine of $1,000
  • Second Time: A fine of $2,500
  • Third Time or frequent violation: A fine of $5,000

You may fall into significant severe trouble if you miss or fail to provide the required training in your organization.

Who Can Provide the Training in Maine?

Any employer can provide the training. However, it is mainly suggested by the state of Maine that the employers must go for interactive training. Such web-based training would allow the trainees to submit their questions and get a respective response for them.

Why is it essential to Provide Sexual Harassment Prevention Training?

It is a well-known fact that prevention is the best way to minimize the cases of Harassment in your company or workplace. It is imperative to ensure a safe and pleasant environment for your employees. This will make them feel better hence directly uplifting their productivity and make their work experience better, which would be conveyed to others at ground level.

Good communication and training will also help you in avoiding more considerable and more hectic problems. By abiding by laws and establishing the proper procedure and policies, you will be able to avoid problems like:

  • Retaliation to employees: Retaliation mainly means an adverse action taken by an employer against an employee or an applicant when they engage in legally protected action—for example, terminating an employee.
  • Your liability as an employer: Complying with the laws is essential when you are an employer. There are always massive liabilities on you, especially when you know that a small mistake might cost you your whole business because of heavy penalties.

The cases of sexual Harassment have risen over the years; hence it is high time that we should stop ignoring them and step up for a change. These training programs will increase people’s knowledge and decrease the levels of a heinous crime. 


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