Washington enacts new law regarding sexual harassment training in certain industries for companies with at least one employee.
On May 13, 2019, Washington state enacted SB 5258, a new law regarding sexual harassment training in certain industries. The law takes effect January 1, 2020 and applies to employers in retail, the hotel, motel, security and property services contractor industries that employ at least one person. A property services contractor is a person or entity that employs workers that provide commercial janitorial services, with some exceptions.
The law defines an employee as an individual employed as a janitor, security guard, hotel or motel housekeeper, or room service attendant, and who spends a majority of working hours alone, or whose primary responsibility involves working without another coworker present. An individual employed as a security guard is covered under the law, regardless of whether the individual is employed by a private security company or by a single employer.
New Policy and Training Requirements
Covered employers must:
These measures are required to prevent sexual assault and sexual harassment, prevent sexual discrimination and educate the workforce about protections for employees that report violations of a state or federal law, rule, or regulation.
New Reporting Requirements
The law also requires property services contractors to submit information to the state Department of Labor and Industries, including:
Hotels and motels with 60 or more rooms must comply with the new law by January 1, 2020. All other covered employers must comply by January 1, 2021.
The new law will be codified in chapter 49.60 of the Revised Code of Washington.