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State-By-State Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

State-by-StateChecklist(570x320)

The information below summarizes the requirements of sexual harassment training for those states where such training is mandatory or encouraged by state law. If a state is not listed, then that state does not have a law requiring sexual harassment training. Nevertheless, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission strongly encourages all employers to provide sexual harassment training to all employees as a key component of a sexual harassment prevention program.

STATE SUMMARY OF REQUIREMENTS
California
Which employers must provide training?

All private employers with 50 or more employees (including full-time, part-time and temporary employees and contractors). There is no requirement that all 50 employees or contractors work at the same location or work in California. Training is also required by all public employers regardless of the number of employees.

Who must be trained?

Supervisory employees.

When must training be provided?

Supervisors must receive two hours of training every two years. New supervisors must receive training within six months of assuming their supervisor position.

What topics must be included in the training?

Generally, the training must encompass federal and California law definitions of sexual harassment, and principles concerning the prohibition and strategies for the prevention of unlawful sexual harassment. The training must also address the remedies available to victims of sexual harassment, and must include practical examples illustrating sexual harassment.

How long should the training session last?

Not less than two hours.Further details can be found in the applicable regulations here: http://www.fehc.ca.gov/pdf/SexualHarassmentTrainingRegulations

Colorado Colorado encourages employers take all “steps necessary to prevent sexual harassment from occurring, such as affirmatively raising the subject, expressing strong disapproval, developing appropriate sanctions, informing employees of their right to raise and how to raise the issue of harassment under the Act, and developing methods to sensitize all concerned.”
Connecticut
Which employers must provide training?

All employers with 50 or more employees. Public employers — see below.

Who must be trained?

Supervisory employees.

When must training be provided?

New supervisors must receive training within six months of assuming their supervisory position. Additional training every three years is encouraged, but not required by law.

What topics must be included in the training?

In general, the training must address state and federal laws prohibiting sexual harassment, the definitions of sexual harassment, types of conduct that may constitute harassment, the remedies available to victims of sexual harassment, penalties to which harassers are subject, and strategies for preventing sexual harassment.

How long should the training last?

Not less than two hours. Public employers must provide three hours of diversity training to supervisors and non-supervisors. The training must include information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning discrimination and hate crimes directed at protected classes and remedies available to victims of discrimination and hate crimes, standards for working with and serving persons from diverse populations, and strategies for addressing differences that may arise from diverse work environments. Training must be given to new employees and supervisors within the first six months of employment.

Florida Only supervisors in executive branch agencies are required to receive training on affirmative action and equal opportunity, which should include training on sexual harassment.
Hawaii Hawaii’s Administrative Rules maintain that “prevention is the best tool for the elimination of sexual harassment. Employers should affirmatively raise the subject, express strong disapproval, develop appropriate sanctions, inform employees of their right to raise and how to raise the issue of sexual harassment, and take any other steps necessary to prevent sexual harassment from occurring.” Guidance from the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission states that such programs should include training of supervisory employees about their responsibilities, and training of all employees about sexual harassment policies and grievance procedures.
Illinois All employees of every state executive department, state agency, board, commission, and instrumentality must maintain and carry out a sexual harassment program, including developing and posting a comprehensive written sexual harassment policy, and providing training on sexual harassment prevention and the sexual harassment policy. The training must be provided as a component of all ongoing or new employee training programs.
Iowa All management and supervisory employees of the Executive branch are required to attend training covering affirmative action, cultural diversity, and discriminatory harassment prevention.
Maine
Which employers must provide training?

All public and private employers with 15 or more employees.

Who must be trained?

All employees and supervisors.

When must training be provided?

The training must be conducted within one year of the commencement of employment.

What topics must be included in the training?

Generally, the training must encompass the definition, and illegality, of sexual harassment under state and federal laws, samples of sexual harassment, the employer’s complaint process, legal recourse and complaint process, and the protection against retaliation. Supervisors and managers must also received specialized training addressing their specific responsibilities as supervisors/managers and methods to ensure immediate and appropriate corrective action in addressing sexual harassment complaints.

How long should the training session last?

Not specified.

Maryland Maryland encourages employers to take steps to prevent sexual harassment. When analyzing a sexual harassment case, the Maryland Commission on Human Relations will favorably consider the preventative steps the employer has taken, including training.
Massachusetts Massachusetts encourages employers to conduct an education and training program for new employees, supervisors, managers and members within one year of their hiring or promotion.
Michigan Under its Disability Bias Law, Michigan requires the department of civil rights to offer training programs to employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies to assist them in understanding the requirements under the law.
Nevada Nevada encourages private employers to take steps necessary to prevent sexual harassment from occurring.Nevada requires all state employees to take a certified class on sexual harassment within six months of their appointment, and to attend a refresher course every two years thereafter.
New Jersey New Jersey does not have a statutory requirement regarding sexual harassment training. However, the New Jersey Supreme Court has analyzed what steps employers should take to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, including having effective complaint procedures and training supervisors. In its decision, the court also noted the importance of making such training available to all employees. See Gaines v. Bellino, 801 A.2d 322 (N.J. 2002).
New Mexico New Mexico requires that primary and secondary schools provide sexual harassment education to all licensed school personnel at least once a year by attending periodic training or reviewing sexual harassment literature.
North Carolina All state agencies must develop a “plan on unlawful workplace harassment,” which should include training and other methods to educate state employees.
Ohio The Ohio Administrative Code states “prevention is the best tool for the elimination of sexual harassment. An employer should take all steps necessary to prevent sexual harassment from occurring, such as affirmatively raising the subject, expressing strong disapproval, developing appropriate sanctions, informing employees of their right to raise and how to raise the issue of harassment…and developing methods to sensitize all concerned.”
Oklahoma State personnel who investigate complaints of discrimination are required to be trained in the areas of equal employment opportunity (including sexual harassment), discrimination, and burdens of proof.
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania requires all Commonwealth employees to be educated in sexual harassment. Training and education can be done via orientation sessions, videos, formal training, discussions, written materials, and individual counseling.Guidance from the state’s agency notes that “prevention is the best tool for the elimination of sexual harassment. An employer should take all steps necessary to prevent sexual harassment from occurring, such as affirmatively raising the subject, expressing strong disapproval, developing appropriate sanctions, informing employees of their right to raise and how to raise the issue of harassment under Title VII and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, and developing methods to sensitize all concerned.”
Rhode Island State employees are required to attend sexual harassment prevention and EEO training annually.Private employers are encouraged to conduct education and training for all employees within the first year of employment covering topics including sexual harassment and retaliation, examples of sexual harassment, the range of consequences for employees who are found to have committed sexual harassment, internal complaint procedures, and the identity of appropriate state and federal employment discrimination enforcement agencies, and instructions on how to contact them. Employers are also encouraged to provide additional training to supervisors addressing specific responsibilities and methods to address sexual harassment complaints.
Tennessee State employees are required to receive sexual harassment training. The state’s Department of Personnel is required to assist each department and entity of the state government with planning and conducting sexual harassment prevention training workshops for all public employees.
Texas All state employees and supervisors must receive employment discrimination and sexual harassment training within 30 days of starting employment, and must receive refresher training every two years.
Utah All state employees and supervisors must receive harassment prevention training within 90 days of hire and refresher training at least every three years. The training should cover the types of protected class harassment, retaliation, how to report harassment and make complaints (internally and with the state agency), and special in-depth training for supervisors. All training programs must be approved by Utah’s Department of Human Resource Management and Risk Management.
Vermont Vermont encourages employers and labor organizations to conduct an education and training program on sexual harassment for new employees within one year of the start of employment or membership, and to provide supervisory employees training on specific responsibilities and methods to ensure immediate and appropriate corrective action in addressing sexual harassment complaints.
Washington Per Executive Order, Washington requires all state agencies to “conduct training and education for all employees in order to prevent and eliminate sexual harassment in the organization.”
Wisconsin Wisconsin advises employers to “provide training to sensitize employees on the issue of harassment and periodically remind them of your strong desire to maintain a harassment free workplace.”