Sexual Harassment Training

The trend continues: three more states now require large and small employers to train their employees to prevent workplace sexual harassment.

Connecticut

As part of the Time’s Up Act, Connecticut employers with at least three employees need to provide sexual harassment training. This includes training on the illegality of sexual harassment and remedies available to victims. The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities’ two-hour training must be completed for all existing employees by October 1, 2020. All new employees hired on or after October 1, 2019, must receive this training within 6 months of their start day. Employers with fewer than three employees are required to provide the training only to supervisory employees. At least every 10 years, employers need to provide supplemental training on updates to federal and state statutory provisions. Failure to provide the training will be considered a “discriminatory practice” and could result in a fine up to $1,000.

Connecticut employers also have new notice requirements, including a mandatory sexual harassment policy email to new employees as well as a new compulsory poster about “the illegality of sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of harassment.”

Delaware

Under the Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act, employers with 50 or more employees must have all employees, including full-time, part-time, seasonal, temporary employees, interns, and apprentices, receive interactive training on sexual harassment. Independent contractors and job applicants need not be counted toward the numerosity requirement. The training must be completed within 1 year of hiring for new employees; all existing employees were to have been trained by January 1, 2020.

There are different training requirements for non-supervisory and supervisory employees. Non-supervisory employees must be trained on the following topics:

  • the illegality of sexual harassment,
  • the definition of sexual harassment using examples,
  • the legal remedies and complaint procedures available to employees,
  • contact information for the Delaware Department of Labor, and
  • the legal prohibition against retaliation.

In addition to these topics, supervisory employees must also receive training on a supervisor’s specific responsibilities.

Illinois

The Illinois Workplace Transparency Act requires all Illinois public and private employers—of any size—to provide sexual harassment training. The minimum standards training must be provided by December 31, 2020, and each year thereafter. Restaurants and bars must provide supplemental sexual harassment training. The minimum training standards include information on the following:

  • an explanation of sexual harassment under the Illinois Human Rights Act;
  • examples of conduct that constitutes unlawful sexual harassment;
  • a summary of relevant federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and the remedies available to victims; and
  • a summary of the employer’s responsibilities for prevention, investigation, and corrective measures for sexual harassment.

If an employer fails to provide this training, the employer will be notified and given a 30-day cure period. If it fails to comply within 30-days, it may be subject to civil penalties.

What Should Employers Do

In each of these states, employers should review their existing policies and training materials to ensure compliance with the new requirements. Poster Compliance Center makes it easy to keep up with the constantly changing labor law posting requirements. Visit the 1-Year Compliance Plan website for all mandatory state and federal poster requirements, which includes free updates for 12 months from the date of your purchase.