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2019 Harassment Policy Change Business Owners Need to Know

anti harassment policy

In light of the #MeToo movement, there has been a heavy push to design policies that help to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Since 2017, the rate of sexual harassment lawsuits has increased more than 12 percent, a massive jump to a statistic that had gone largely unchanged for the previous five years. That increase has pushed many states to add new laws requiring preventive training.

Workplace harassment prevention training helps to ensure employees understand sexual harassment laws, avoid demoralization in the workplace, minimize legal liability, and avoid negative public attention and monetary damages that may be awarded in litigation.

Implementing and staying up to date on these policies is easier for large corporations than it is for small, independent businesses. But if you’re an independent business owner, don’t panic. We’re outlining the states these new harassment prevention laws are impacting and how you can stay compliant.

Not sure how to handle changing HR policies? Get one solution for every HR task and never worry about missing a new employment law change again. 

 

States Where Harassment Prevention Training is Not Required: 

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
  • Harassment prevention training is not required but is a recommended best practice.

 

 

States Where Anti-Harassment Training of Some Form is Required:

California
  • Beginning January 1, 2020, employers must provide training for seasonal, temporary, or other employees that are hired to work for less than six months, within 30 calendar days of hire.
  • By January 1, 2021, employers must provide required training to all supervisory and nonsupervisory employees within six months of employment or assuming a supervisory position.
Colorado
  • Colorado regulations encourage employers covered under the Colorado Fair Employment Practices Act to “take all steps necessary to prevent discrimination, including harassment, from occurring,” including training.
Connecticut
  • Employers with three or more employees must provide required harassment prevention training to:
    • Existing employees within one year of October 1, 2019.
    • Employees hired on or after October 1, 2019, within six months of the employee’s hire date.
  • Employers with less than three employees must provide harassment prevention training to:
    • Existing supervisors within one year of October 1, 2019.
    • New supervisors, within six months of assuming a supervisory position; or supervisors hired on or after October 1, 2019, within six months of the supervisor’s hire date.
Delaware
  • All employees:
    • Within one year of beginning employment for new employees.
    • Within one year of the law’s effective date for existing employees.
  • Special training requirements for supervisors:
    • Within one year of beginning employment as a supervisor for new supervisors.
    • Within one year of the law’s effective date for existing supervisors.
District of Columbia
  • Harassment prevention training required for business owners, managers, and tipped employees.
Illinois
  • Required for all employees.
Maine
  • All new employees within one year of beginning employment. Additional requirements for supervisory and managerial employees within one year of beginning employment.
Massachusetts
  • All new employees within one year of beginning employment. Additional training for new supervisory or managerial employees within one year of beginning employment.
New York State 
  • All employees working any portion of their time in New York. The NYDHR advises employers to train new employees “as soon as possible.”
New York City
  • All employees, including interns, within New York City working more than 80 hours in a calendar year and have worked for at least 90 days.
  • Employers must also train independent contractors that:
    • Have performed work in the furtherance of the business for more than 90 days and more than 80 hours in a calendar year; and have not already received the mandated annual training elsewhere.
Rhode Island 
  • All new employees within one year of beginning employment. Additional harassment prevention training for new supervisory or managerial employees within one year of beginning employment.
Vermont
  • All new employees within one year of beginning employment. Additional harassment prevention training for new supervisory or managerial employees within one year of beginning employment.
Washington
  • Hotels and motels with 60 or more rooms must provide the required training to all managers, supervisors, and employees by January 1, 2020.
  • All other covered entities must provide the required training to all managers, supervisors, and employees by January 1, 2021.

 

 

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