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State Requirements For Sexual Harassment Training

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June 25, 2019
Author: Ben Halverson
Organization: Lorman Education Service


According to Forbes, "38.6 million women have complained of workplace sexual harassment." The same blog has suggested the birth of the #MeToo movement has sparked global controversy on the subject. In fact, their study notes; "that years later sexual harassment is still an issue in the workplace." Many businesses have implemented sexual harassment training courses to reduce the visual costs and avoid the public scrutiny. This blog post will take a look at how sexual harassment can impact your business and the benefits of training. 

What Is Sexual Harassment  

In order to successfully combat workplace sexual harassment, you must know how it's defined. Sexual harassment is defined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as the act of unlawfully harassing an individual (applicant or employee) because of their sex. Both male and female employees can be subjected to sexual harassment, but it's more common among women (according to the number of reported cases). 

According to how sexual harassment is defined by the EEOC it doesn't have to be sexual in nature, but it can include offensive remarks about a person's sex. The most serious cases include unwelcome sexual advances, verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature, requests for sexual favors, inappropriate promises for rewards for sexual favors, transgressions, sexual abuse, and/or assault. 

Which States Are Actively Taking A Stand Against Sexual Harassment And How

Out of the 50 states in the U.S., only five states have mandatory sexual harassment training including:

  • California 
  • New York 
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Illinois   

For example, Illinois has enacted mandatory sexual harassment for all statewide employees. Failure to comply with the Ethics Act of Illinois could lead to sanctions, fines, and other penalties. Under the bill, each employee must receive training within 90 days of being hired and at least once every five years. 

California has always been at the forefront of workplace protection, and Governor Brown recently signed SB 1343 into law that requires employers with five or more employees to provide sexual harassment training courses (supervisor and non-supervisory) by January 1, 2020. 

As a part of the Human Rights Initiative, New York is focused on preventing incidents of sexual harassment by requiring mandatory training. In fact, every employer is required to adopt a sexual harassment prevention plan. If an employer doesn't adopt the plan, they must adopt a plan that meets or exceeds state regulated sexual harassment prevention measures already in place. 

Connecticut was the second states to adopt sexual harassment training back in October of 1992. Employers with 50 or moreemployees are required to provide training courses under Connecticut state law. They have set forth statutory provisions that are required by law and is focused on teaching and learning how to avoid sexual misconduct. Plus, their laws are also geared towards helping employers and employees understand what a victim of sexual harassment goes through. 

Finally, the state of Delaware requires interactive sexual harassment training. Non-supervisory employees are expected to receive 1.5 hours of training and supervisors are expected to receive 2 hours. On January 1, 2019 the Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act(DDEA) took effect to specifically address the prohibition against sexual harassment. In fact, much like New York, the laws in Delaware are focused on prevention. 

Bottom line: Every state may likely be moving to requiring some type of mandatory sexual harassment training to protect applicants and employees. With the movement of reducing harassment in every workplace, states are seeing the benefit of having training and education to help reduce harassment and gender discrimination.

If you have questions about sexual harassment training courses or need more information on how to protect your business, you're invited to contact Lorman Education Services for more details today. We specialize in convenient, 24/7 training that's compatible with all of your favorite devices. Our hands-on staff are dedicated to the accreditation needs of your business at Lorman. 

Resources:

  • https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/sexual_harassment.cfm
  • https://www.forbes.com/sites/hecparis/2018/10/22/sexual-harassment-at-work-what-the-law-says/#2f35b76523c7
  • https://www2.illinois.gov/eec/Documents/Governor%20-%20OEIG%20-%20Attachment%20D%20-%20OEIG%202019%20New%20Employee%20Sexual%20Harassment%20Training%2001-22-19.pdf
  • https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB1343
  • https://delawareemploymentlawblog.com/2019/01/02/delawares-mandatory-employee-sexual-harassment-training-law-is-now-in-effect/

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