Am I Required to Conduct Harassment Training?

03.30.21Baylee Davies

Am I Required to Conduct Harassment Training?

In recent years, many employers have recognized a greater responsibility in understanding their role in preventing harassment and providing a respectful and protected workplace. They want their employees to feel protected and to ensure their supervisors are acting in a respectful manner. In addition, many states have provided requirements for employers to provide their employees with the necessary training and resources to prevent harassment while at work. Often these requirements differ from state to state. The following states have specific training requirements employers must meet.

  • Employers with 5 or more employees are now required to provide training to both employees and supervisors
  • California has training duration requirements 
    • One hour for employees
    • Two hours for supervisors
  • Employees must be trained within six months of their hire date or promotion to a supervisory position and they must be retained every two years
  • The definition of an employee is broad and includes temporary, seasonal or any employee hired to work less than six months. These employees must be trained within 30 calendar days after their hire date or within 100 hours worked, whichever comes first.
  • Training must include information on Abusive Power, Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Gender Identity Expression Discrimination
  • The harassment workshop is not compliant if the trainer does not meet the California-specific requirements on who can act as a trainer.
  • Employers with three or more employees are required to train all employees and supervisors
    • Supervisors are required to be trained by employers with less than three employees
  • The training duration for both supervisors and employees is two hours
  • New employees must be trained within six months of hire
  • Retraining should be periodically and not less than every 10 years
  • Employers with 50 or more employees are required to train employees and supervisors. New employees and supervisors must be trained within one year of hire or promotion
  • Delaware does not have a duration requirement, but supervisors must be trained on their responsibilities and retaliation prohibitions
  • Employees must be retrained every two years
  • The training provided must be interactive
  • Employers are required to train employees and supervisors. Supervisors that live in another state but manage employees in Illinois must be included in the training
  • Illinois does not have a duration requirement
  • Employees must be retrained annually
  • Employers of restaurants and bars have specific requirements that they must meet
  • Employers with 15 or more employees are required to train employees and supervisors 
    • The training must include 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
  • Maine does not have a duration requirement 
  • Supervisors must receive additional training addressing methods they must take to ensure immediate and appropriate corrective action in addressing complaints
  • Employers must provide training to all employees within one year of their start date or promotion to supervisor
  • Employers in New York must provide training to all employees and supervisors including part-time, temporary and seasonal employees
  • Training Requirements:
    • The training provided must be interactive, and it is important to note that the training videos provided by the state do not meet requirements of interactive if used by themselves
    • Supervisor training must include additional responsibilities related to supervisory duties
    • Training needs to be modified to reflect the work of the company and include industry-specific scenarios
    • Training must include contact information for the specific name(s) and office(s) that employees file their complaints to. Employers may utilize a complaint form for this, but employees are not required to put the complaint in writing
    • Provide employees with an opportunity to ask questions during the training and questions must be answered as soon as possible
  • New York does not have a duration requirement
  • Employees must be retrained annually
  • New employees must be trained as soon as possible after their start date
Other States to Note

While Maryland does not have formal training requirements it is important to note that in cases of sexual harassment judges will look more favorable on employers who take steps to prevent sexual harassment including:

  • Establishing and implementing personnel policies regarding sexual harassment
  • Establishing a complaint process for employees that believe they have been harassed
  • Making employees aware of and training on their employers policies

Oregon does not have a formal training requirement for employers, but employers were required to adopt a written anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policy by October 1, 2020.

Don’t see your state listed? Then your state only recommends you provide training but does not have specific requirements you must meet!

How SDHRC Can Help

We are experts at providing harassment training that meets all States requirements!

Our “Online Anti-Harassment Training” is offered to help educate employees about sexual and discriminatory harassment in the workplace virtually. The length of this training is 1 hour, while supervisor training is 2 hours. This training can be completed in English or Spanish.

Our “Onsite Anti-Harassment Training” shares the same goals as the online version, but it is conducted on-site by our HR experts. Each session includes 1 hour for the group of employees and an additional hour for management. At a max of 25 employees per class, training courses are small and create a perfect environment for questions and synergy.

About the Author

Kelly Dingess, “Goalkeeper”

Kelly is an HR Consultant who brings 14 years plus of experience in HR. Kelly’s extensive experience includes recruiting, benefits, employee relations as well as new insurance provider transitions and on-boarding program creation. In addition to these amazing skillsets, Kelly is a mom of 2 and loves playing soccer.