Sandra Bledsoe

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements By State: Everything You Should Know

Sexual harassment training requirements change based on a state’s labor laws. Sexual harassment training trains employees on nonconseual behavior and provides tools to fight and stop acts of injustice.

Several States in the US have made sexual harassment training mandatory. Delaware, New York City, Maine, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Washington State, and New York State have deemed sexual harassment training a requisite for workspaces.

Sexual harassment is a prevalent problem in the workplace and in another environment. The following statistics demonstrate the seriousness of the problem: 

  • 81% of women and 43% of men have been survivors of sexual harassment.  
  • In America, 25 to 85% of women survived sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • 7 out of 10 people believe that most organizations do not take workplace sexual harassment seriously.
  • 63% of women survivors and 79% of men survivors of sexual harassment did not file a report.

Statistics show the deeply embedded, pervasive nature of sexual harassment at the workplace. It includes several transgressions which make the workplace very unsafe. By enforcing companies to incorporate sexual harassment training, States seek to reduce these numbers. 

 

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in States

California 

 

In California, any employer with five or more employees must provide sexual harassment training.

Requisites of sexual harassment training in California

  • Employers with five or more employees must subscribe to sexual harassment training by January 1, 2021.
  • Sexual harassment training should be provided within six months of the joining date of employees.
  • The training should be taken every two years by the employees.
  • Employees in the position of a supervisor or senior must complete at least two hours of classroom training. This includes an interactive and educational training program that teaches about sexual harassment.
  • Other employees must complete one hour of classroom training.
  • Both new supervisory and nonsupervisory employees must be trained within 6 months of their joining date.
  • Training and seasonal employees, including any employee hired to work for less than 6 months, must also attend the sexual harassment training program. They can be trained within 30 calendar days after their joining date or within 100 hours worked.

 

Connecticut

Every employer in Connecticut must provide sexual harassment training to employees. These laws were effective October 1, 2019.

Requisites of sexual harassment training in Connecticut

  • Every Connecticut employer must provide sexual harassment training to employees in a supervisory role by February 9, 2021 (extended by Executive Order). 
  • Connecticut Employers must provide sexual harassment training to employees within 6 months of their joining date.

For employers with more than 3 employees in Connecticut, these requirements are necessary:

  • Two hours of training necessary for all organizations with 3 or more employees.
  • All existing employees must have attended sexual harassment training by 2021 (as extended by Executive Order).
  • Existing employees must be retrained every ten years.
  • Employees hired after or on October 1, 2019, must go through sexual harassment training within 6 months of their joining period.
  • Employees hired on or after October 1, 2019, must be retrained every ten years.
  • Employees who have received a two-hour training after October 1, 2018, need not be retrained.
  • Employers must keep track of training records for at least one year.

 

Delaware

Organizations with 50 or more employees must provide sexual harassment training.

Requisites of sexual harassment training in Delaware

  • Delaware was one of the earliest proponents of sexual harassment training in the US.
  • Sexual harassment training is compulsory for organizations with 50 or more than 50 employees.
  • This law is effective from January 1, 2019.
  • It is the employer’s responsibility to provide interactive and educational sexual harassment training to all employees in both supervisory and nonsupervisory roles.
  • Existing employees in Delaware must be trained by December 31, 2019, and retrained every two years.
  • New employees hired after January 1, 2019, must be trained within the first year of their joining period and retrained every two years.
  • Employees in supervisory roles must undergo additional training to prevent and minimize sexual harassment and retaliation. They must be retrained every two years.

 

Illinois

Sexual harassment training is mandatory for every employer in Illinois.

Requisites of sexual harassment training in Illinois

  • The new laws about sexual harassment training in the workplace are effective January 1, 2020.
  • All employers in Illinois must provide sexual harassment training to all employees annually.
  • Illinois Department of Human Rights has developed a model sexual harassment training program.
  • Employers can subscribe to the above model or undergo training that exceeds the minimum standards provided by the model training.
  • Restaurants and bars have special requirements which are tailored to prevent harassment in bars and restaurants. This requirement includes dating crimes in the hospitality industry. A written sexual harassment policy in English and Spanish is mandatory in bars and restaurants. 

 

Maine

Employers in Maine with 15 or more employees must provide sexual harassment training for all.

Requisites of sexual harassment training in Maine

  • Employers in Maine must ensure that employees undergo sexual harassment training within a year of their joining date.
  • Employees in the positions of supervisors and managers need additional training to educate them about how to address sexual harassment complaints. They should be trained within a year of their joining period or promotion.
  • Employers must have records of the sexual harassment training program for at least three years. These records must be available as they will be requested for inspection.

 

New York State

All NY State employers must provide sexual harassment training.

Requisites of sexual harassment training in New York State

  • All NY employees must have undergone a sexual harassment training program by October 9, 2019. They must also undergo retraining annually.
  • New employees should be trained as soon as possible after their joining date.
  • Workers irrespective of their status as an immigrant and part-time, temporary, and seasonal workers must be trained.
  • Training must be interactive and require employee participation.
  • Sexual harassment training can be web-based.
  • Employers should include training provided in the language of the employee.
  • Employers are encouraged to maintain records of the training. They should also have a signed acknowledgment that all employees have read the sexual harassment prevention policy of the firm.

 

New York City

Every employer in New York City must also comply with the laws mandated by New York State. 

New York City requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide sexual harassment training in the workplace.

Requisites of sexual harassment training in New York City

  • Employers in NYC have more requirements under the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act.
  • All employers must train employees on an annual basis, effective April 1, 2019. New employees in NYC must undergo sexual harassment training as soon as possible.
  • Part-time and temporary employees and independent contractors who work more than 80 hours in a calendar year or 90 days must also be trained.
  • Sexual harassment training should also cover bystander intervention and the prohibition of retaliation.
  • Information should be provided on the complaint procedure available through the NYC Commission on Human Rights, the New York State Division of Human Rights, and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Employees must keep all records of training for a minimum of three years. Records can be electronic and should be available for inspection on request.

Sexual harassment training is indispensable today, even if it is not mandated by a state. In addition to the above states, Washington, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Vermont, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Utah have made sexual harassment training compulsory. By promoting sexual harassment training, organizations can change a hostile work environment into a safe, inclusive environment. 


-->