For thousands of organizations across the country, sexual harassment training deadlines are closing in. Have all of your employees completed workplace harassment training? Regardless of whether it’s mandated, or if employees are working onsite, from home or in different locations, sexual harassment training for all employees and managers sends a strong message about the organization’s commitment to creating a respectful, diverse and inclusive workplace.
Here’s a list of states with fast-approaching deadlines:
Deadline: December 31, 2020, and then annually
Under Illinois’ Workplace Transparency Act, all employees must complete sexual harassment prevention training by December 31, 2020 and then be retrained annually. This includes short-term and part-time employees and interns. The Illinois Department of Human Rights also recommends training independent contractors, who are working at an employer’s workplace or interacting with staff.
- Illinois restaurants and bars also need to provide sexual harassment training to employees that covers specific material relevant to the restaurant or bar industry.
- All licensed professionals regulated by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) need to complete 1 hour of sexual harassment training annually to fulfill the continuing education requirement.
Deadline: February 9, 2021 (as extended by Executive Order)
Connecticut’s Time’s Up Act requires all employers of all sizes to provide 2 hours of interactive sexual harassment training to supervisors by February 9, 2021 (as extended by Executive Order), or within 6 months of an employee taking on a supervisory role. Employers with 3 or more employees must provide two hours of training to all employees.
- Employers are encouraged to keep training records for a minimum of one year.
Deadline: January 1, 2021, and then every 2 years
California law requires employers with 5 or more employees to train all employees and supervisors by Jan. 1, 2021, and then every 2 years.
- Supervisors must complete at least 2 hours of sexual harassment prevention training, and nonsupervisory employees must complete at least 1 hour of training.
- Seasonal and temporary employees must receive 1 hour of training within 30 calendar days or 100 hours, if they work for less than 6 months.
- New hires must receive training within 6 months of their start date.
- Employers must retain employee training records for a minimum of 2 years.
Since January 1, 2020, California law SB 970 requires hotel and motel employers to provide at least 20 minutes of human trafficking awareness training to each employee who is likely to interact or come into contact with victims of human trafficking.
New York State
All employees must be trained every year
NY State requires all employers in New York to conduct sexual harassment training for all workers on an annual basis. This includes part-time, temporary and seasonal workers, regardless of their immigration status.
- The training must be interactive and require some level of employee participation
- Employers should provide training in the language spoken by their employees.
- Employers are encouraged (not required) to keep a copy of training records and a signed acknowledgment that employees have read the organization’s sexual harassment prevention policy.
New York City
All employees must be trained each calendar year
In addition to complying with NY State training requirements, NYC employers with 15 or more employees have other requirements under the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act.
- Employers must train independent contractors if they work more than 80 hours in a calendar year and for at least 90 days.
- Training must explain how to engage in bystander intervention.
- Training records must be kept for a minimum of 3 years.
Delaware and Maine
Delaware and Maine also require sexual harassment training for new hires and supervisors.
Delaware law mandates employers with 50 or more employees to conduct interactive training and education to all employees and supervisors within the first year of their start date, and then every 2 years. Supervisors must receive additional training on their responsibilities to prevent and correct sexual harassment and retaliation.
Maine requires employers with 15 or more employees to conduct training within 1 year of hire. Supervisory and managerial employees must also receive additional training on their specific responsibilities to address complaints of sexual harassment. Employers must keep training records for at least 3 years.
Of note to employers in certain industries in Washington State:
A new law that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, requires hotels, motels, retailers, security guard entities and property-services contractors to train managers, supervisors and employees on preventing sexual assault, sexual harassment and sexual discrimination in the workplace. Employers must also educate their workforce on the protections for employees who report violations of a state or federal law, rule or regulation.
End-of-year-deadlines are approaching for thousands of HR professionals and their organizations to train employees on sexual harassment prevention. Regardless of whether it’s mandated — or whether employees are onsite or working from home — sexual harassment training sends a strong message about the organization’s commitment to creating a respectful, diverse and inclusive workplace.