Sexual harassment training laws 2020: What changed?

Update: Take a look at your state labor law guide to see if there are any predictive scheduling laws in your state as of 2021. 

With a continued nationwide effort to shed light on sexual harassment in the workplace, several states implemented sexual harassment training laws in recent years. Therefore, California, Connecticut, Delaware, and Illinois joined Maine and New York in the group of states who require employers to provide sexual harassment prevention training to employees. 

Here is a list of what the new laws are for each state. Remember, you should always consult a lawyer if you have questions on upcoming or existing legislation. 

Sexual Harassment Training Laws by State

California 

Employers with five or more employees are required to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment training to all staff members with supervisor duties. They must also provide at least one hour of training non-supervisor employees by January 1, 2021. After that, the training must be given once every two years. 

All new employees must be trained on sexual harassment within six months of their hire date. 

The training must include: 

  • Practical guidance on the prevention and correction of sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, and the remedies available to the victims of sexual harassment.
  • Training on not just sexual harassment, but harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.
  • Practical examples aimed at instructing supervisors in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation that is presented by experts in the field. 

Luckily, the state released free sexual harassment training programs for employers, which you can find on the California Department of Fair Housing and Employment website. You don’t need to sign up for anything to utilize the courses. Simply click on the link above, and you’ll have access to the course on both your computer or mobile device.

At the end of the training, you will receive a certificate of completion. You can either have your employees save, print, take a screenshot, or email the certificate. You must keep a record of the training for all of your employees for at least two years.

Connecticut 

Connecticut employers with three or more employees must provide two hours of sexual harassment training to all existing employees by January 1, 2021. Employees must complete the training by October 1, 2020, or within six months of hiring thereafter. Employers could face fines up to $1,000 if the required training is not provided. 

Delaware 

Delaware employers with 50 or more employees must have all new employees trained within a year of their hire date and every two years after that in addition to having all current employees trained as of January 1, 2020. 

The state law, which went into effect on January 1, 2019, requires that all full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary employees participate in interactive training. 

According to the law, requirements for the training include: 

  • The illegality of sexual harassment
  • The definition of sexual harassment with examples
  • The legal remedies and complaint process 
  • Instructions on how to contact the Delaware Department of Labor
  • The legal prohibition against retaliation. 

Illinois 

As of January 1, 2020, all Illinois employers must provide sexual harassment training to employees as part of the Workplace Transparency Act. The Illinois Department of Human Rights designed a free online training program, which you can download on their website.  Employers can also opt to buy courses created by a private company. 

Employers will have until the end of 2020 to train all of their employees. Newly hired employees will have 90 days to complete the training. 

Remember this is not official legal advice. If you have any concerns about minimum wage laws, it’s best to consult an employment lawyer. 

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