Employers! If you practice in these states, sexual harassment training is mandatory [2019]

The #Metoo movement has undeniably affected societal norms and raised awareness in the workplace about sexual harassment. In response, workplace safety has become a priority. Many states are improving their laws to require mandatory anti-sexual harassment training for companies as small as 5 employees.

Here are the states that have updated their laws and now require employers to provide harassment training by the end of 2019:

  • New York State

New York state’s sexual harassment policy was enacted in October, 2018. It requires every employer, regardless of size, to adopt an anti-sexual harassment policy and provide training to all employees by the end of 0219. If you are a New York employer who would like details about how to comply, we have had another article to walk you through the nitty-gritty.

Required Training:
The deadline to have the required training in place for employees has been extended to October 9, 2019. Note: This is annually-based training instead of one-time training.

  • Delaware

The new Delaware sexual harassment law went into effect on January 1, 2019. However, unlike New York State, independent contractors, applicants and employees hired under 6 month are not required to be trained.

Required Training:

The training should include the following points:

  1. The laws around sexual harassment;
  2. The definition of sexual harassment using examples;
  3. The legal remedies and complaint process available to the employee.
  4. Directions on how to file a complaint.
  5. The legal prohibition against retaliation.

Some important timelines you should keep in mind if you are an employer in Delaware–

  1. Each employer must distribute the Department of Labor’s Sexual Harassment Notice to each new employee upon commencement of employment, and to each existing employee by July 1, 2019.
  2. Workplace with 50+ employees are required to complete an interactive training (at least 90 minutes and education to employees regarding the prevention of sexual harassment) on sexual harassment by the end of 2019. Additionally, training to supervisors about their responsibilities and the retaliation prohibitions is also mandatory.
  3. For new employees, the training must be provided within a year of the commencement of their employment.
  4. For new supervisors, the additional interactive training must be provided within one year of commencement of their position.
  5. For existing employees and supervisor, they must receive sexual-harassment training by January 1, 2020 (within one year of the effective date of the statute).
  6. Training should be repeated every 2 years.
  • California

The new California sexual harassment law went into effect on January 1, 2019.

By January 1, 2020, every employer in California who employs 5 or more employees, including temporary or seasonal employees, must provide at least one hour of anti-sexual harassment training for employees and at least 2 hours for supervisors. Notably this training should be repeated every 2 years for all employees. The training must also be either in a classroom setting, interactive E-learning, or a live webinar.

If you are employers or employees in New York, Delaware and California, but haven’t taken any action by now, check out this article, where we have collected a list of sexual harassment online training options. You can also check out our list of pros and cons for each course to figure out the best fit for your company.