Harassment Training Requirements by State

An updated list of state-specific harassment training requirements

harassment training requirements by state

Employer responsibilities on workplace harassment

Employers have the responsibility to keep the workplace safe and respectful by taking necessary measures to prevent all forms of harassment, bullying, and violence from occurring at work. This employer obligation is not only ethical, but also lawful since it is tied to employment law compliance. 

Among the many facets of laws that govern operations of businesses or companies, those that pertain to harassment prevention may arguably be the most overlooked, or even ignored by employers. But that should not be the case; it is crucial for employers to fully understand their responsibilities under federal and state laws.

Aside from declaring the illegality of employment discrimination and harassment, some statutes may include specific requirements for conducting various forms of workplace harassment prevention training. Keeping track of these regulations can help employers realign their strategies with mandated and recommended practices against offensive behavior in the workplace.

workplace harassment ends nowAn element of our mission at Project WHEN is to bring employers and employees alike to this kind of vital information to elevate awareness on the importance of eliminating workplace harassment. More information on how to get involved with us can be found at the bottom of this page.

In this post, we will explore best practices for harassment training which is recommended at the federal level. We have also prepared a list of training categories required in each state. Please click on any of the links near the bottom of this page to see what requirements are applicable in your state.

 

Harassment training recommendations from the EEOC

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) is a federal agency responsible for enforcing laws that protect applicants and employees from discrimination due to their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. Aside from handling discrimination charges, a huge portion of their work is advocating for harassment prevention through research, community outreach, and developing educational resources for the public.

The agency never failed to express how important it is for employers to have anti-harassment strategies that are consistently and properly enforced. In a report released by the EEOC Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace, several recommendations for dealing with harassment were offered, including the value of providing harassment training.

Anti-harassment Compliance Training

anti-harassment compliance trainingAlthough there is a need for further empirical data on the most effective types of training to prevent harassment, the EEOC took note of anecdotes from employers and trainers. Based on this anecdotal evidence, they determined that compliance training is an important part of any harassment prevention efforts. However, conducting training and calling it a day is simply not enough. Its effectiveness is amplified if it is treated as a part of a holistic effort instead of a stand-alone solution to eliminate the problem. 

Furthermore, to be more effective, training programs should include certain components that are related and directed toward specific goals. Below are the findings of the EEOC based on insights they have gathered from practitioners.

Contents of Successful Compliance Training for Employees and Managers

  • Given that compliance training is about educating employees what harassment may look like, it should not solely focus on the definition set by the law. It is great to know what specific conduct is considered illegal. However, employees should also learn certain behaviors that may not be deemed unlawful but are considered unacceptable and, if left unchecked, may lead to illegal harassment.
  • Considering the first bullet point, it is also important for employers to clarify what practice or conduct are not categorized as harassment.
  • Compliance training should be conducted in consideration of the unique situations or characteristics of the workplace. It is not ideal to follow a one-size-fits-all approach.
  • Through compliance training, employees must be familiarized with both their rights and responsibilities should harassment occur in the workplace. The training should include information on how victims and witnesses can report a harassment incident internally.
  • The process of formally filing for complaints should be crystal clear to employees. They must be informed on how complaints will be investigated and be assured that they will not be retaliated against for reporting an incident.
  • In addition to general compliance training for all employees, managers and supervisors must be trained on how to address behavior or conduct that may lead to unlawful harassment. 
  • Compliance training must instill a sense of accountability on all members of an organization, especially on managers and supervisors. When senior leaders at the top of the corporate hierarchy are held accountable, employees will be assured that the company or organization takes harassment seriously and that it will not be tolerated in the workplace.

Principles for the Structure of a Successful Compliance Training

  • Those at the highest levels must be deeply and visibly involved in training programs to cultivate trust and send the message that leadership is genuinely committed to  eliminating existing harassment, as well as preventing further occurrences of unwanted behaviors in the future.
  • Mandatory anti-harassment training must be conducted regularly and key messaging should be reinforced.
    • Annual training, at minimum, should be conducted. Check any state-specific requirements for training, as regulations may differ in the state where your headquarters is located and the various company locations where employees work.
    • Training new hires is often overlooked; mandatory anti-harassment training should be incorporated into all employees’ onboarding programs.
    • Separate training modules should be available for employees and for managers.
    • As individuals are promoted from positions as individual contributors to managerial roles, anti-harassment training for managers is a critical activity to prepare them for future success. 
  • Training sessions should be conducted live and interactively by qualified trainers so that employees will understand what conduct is considered unacceptable through realistic examples. In the event that the employer is unable to have a live trainer, online training should be tailored to the realities of a specific workplace.
  • Employers should evaluate the results of the training to be able to identify what’s working and what’s not.
  • Reinforcement of the training content plays an important part in sustaining positive outcomes.

 

Other types of training

Since organizational culture has a significant impact on the existence of issues such as harassment, discrimination, or bullying, the EEOC Select Task Force recommends two types of training that may help organizations create a culture of respect in the workplace. Although more research needs to be done to evaluate the effectiveness of these trainings, these can contribute to the prevention of workplace harassment by addressing the culture within the workplace. 

Workplace Civility Training

Rather than focusing only on the legal aspect of harassment and discrimination, workplace civility training is mainly conducted to instill respect and civility in the workplace. Although it has not been determined as a harassment prevention tool per se, the EEOC Select Task Force believes that it can complement compliance training. 

The primary focus of workplace civility training is to demonstrate how civility and respect is lived out in the workplace, thus empowering all members of the organization to embody it. Contents of workplace civility training include workplace norms, appropriate and inappropriate behaviors in the workplace, and may even feature training focused on skills such as interpersonal skills, conflict resolution, and effective supervisory techniques.  

Bystander Intervention Training

Bystander intervention training for witnesses and observers is usually provided in schools as part of a violence or sexual assault prevention strategy, but increasingly is recognized as a critical element of workplace anti-harassment training. This type of training can increase employees’ sensitivity to forms of harassment that may be happening around them and empower them to take action rather than simply standing by. 

Contents of such training may include identifying what constitutes an offensive behavior based on a person’s protected characteristic under employment non-discrimination laws, and elaborating ways on how to respond upon witnessing a harassment incident.

 

Recommended EEOC Resources

Below are other helpful resources from the EEOC for providing harassment training in organizations.

 

What are the harassment training requirements by state?

state harassment training requirementsWhile not all states have set mandatory guidelines for anti-harassment training, most states still emphasize its importance. Where it is not required, it is highly encouraged. Click on any of the links below to see what requirements are applicable in your state.

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY

➤ Alabama

The State of Alabama does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but prevention is recommended.

➤ Alaska

The State of Alaska does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but prevention is recommended.

➤ Arizona

The State of Arizona does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but prevention is recommended.

➤ Arkansas

The State of Arkansas does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but prevention is recommended.

➤ California

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in California

Sexual harassment training is mandatory in California. Under the California Government Code section 12950.1 as amended by Senate Bill No. 1343, employers with five or more employees are required to provide interactive sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training by January 1, 2021. 

Who must receive this training? Nonsupervisory employees must receive at least one hour of training and two hours for those in supervisory roles once every two years. For both new nonsupervisory and supervisory employees, training must be provided within six months of being hired or assuming the supervisor position. 

Training must include information about the federal and state laws on the prohibition and prevention of sexual harassment, as well as the remedies available to victims. Harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, including practical examples of each should also be a component of the training.

The state also requires that the training be led by a “qualified trainer,” which may include an attorney who has practiced employment law for at least two years, a human resources professional who has at least two years of practical experience in harassment prevention training, or any other person who has been trained by a qualified trainer.

Workplace Violence Training Requirements in California

The state of California mandates workplace violence training as part of the Cal/OSHA (California Division of Occupational Safety and Health) Violence Prevention in Health Care Standard. According to the California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 3342, aside from providing training to employees, covered health care employers are required to implement an effective workplace prevention plan and maintain a violent incident log.

Who must receive workplace violence training? All employees of employers covered by the statute must be initially trained on the employer’s workplace prevention plan and other related topics. Section 3342 also details the training required according to the specific duties of employees and the risk associated with it. 

Employees involved in patient contact activities must receive annual refresher training on the topics discussed in the initial training, including the evaluation of the employer’s workplace violence prevention plan. For employees who are specifically involved in confronting or controlling persons exhibiting aggressive or violent behavior, initial and refresher training must specifically discuss how to safely handle violent incidents.

Additionally, it is a must for employers to clearly elaborate on site-specific procedures, hazards, and prevention methods during these training sessions. There is no specific requirement on how long the training should be conducted.

➤ Colorado

The State of Colorado does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but prevention is strongly recommended. As stated in the Code of Colorado Regulations, Rule 20.6, employers are encouraged to take all necessary steps to prevent discrimination and harassment from occurring in the workplace. These steps can include “affirmatively raising the subject, expressing strong disapproval, promulgating and distributing an anti-discrimination policy, training, developing appropriate sanctions, informing affected individuals of their right to raise and how to raise the issue of discrimination, and developing methods to sensitize all concerned.”

➤ Connecticut

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in Connecticut

Connecticut is another state where sexual harassment training is mandatory. The “Times Up Act,” an amendment to the state’s sexual harassment law signed through Public Acts 19-16 and 19-93, establishes significant changes on training requirements that employers should take into account. The law, which took effect on the 1st of October 2019, states the following key requirements:

  • Employers must provide a copy of information on the illegality of sexual harassment and remedies available to victims to a new employee within three months of being hired. The copy can be distributed in three ways: 1) through e-mail with subject line that includes words similar to “Sexual Harassment Policy,” 2) posted on the company’s website, 3) or an employer can send employees a link to the related webpage of Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO).
  • Employers with three or more employees must provide two hours of sexual harassment training to all their existing employees (supervisory and nonsupervisory roles) by October 1, 2020. Employees hired on or after October 1, 2019 must be provided such training within six months of their start date.
  • If an employer has less than three employees, two hours of training must be provided to all employees in supervisory positions by October 1, 2020. New supervisory employees must receive such training within six months of assuming the position.
  • Employers covered by this law are also required to provide “periodic supplemental training” every ten years to refresh employees on the training contents or reinforce key information.
  • Contents of the training must include information regarding the federal and state statutory provisions on sexual harassment and remedies available to victims.

➤ Delaware

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in Delaware

Delaware’s Discrimination in Employment Act includes regulations that pertain to sexual harassment training. Under this statute, employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide interactive training concerning the prevention of sexual harassment.

Who must receive such training? All existing employees of covered employers must be provided training by January 1, 2020 and new employees must receive training within one year of being hired. Additional interactive training must be provided to supervisory employees by January 1, 2020, while new supervisors must be trained within one year of assuming the supervisory position. All employees must be trained every 2 years after the initial training.

The topics discussed in the training should include the illegality of sexual harassment, definition of sexual harassment with practical examples, remedies available to victims, complaint process, legal prohibition against retaliation, and directions on how to contact Delaware’s Department of Labor. Additional training for supervisors should clearly establish their responsibilities in preventing and addressing sexual harassment incidents.

➤ Florida

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in Florida

The State of Florida has sexual harassment training requirements that only apply to certain agencies. As outlined in the Public Personnel Rules of Florida’s Administrative Code, all supervisors in executive branch agencies must be provided with training on the principles of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action, which includes sexual harassment training.

➤ Georgia

The State of Georgia does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but prevention is recommended.

➤ Hawaii

The State of Hawaii does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but it is emphasized in Hawaii’s Administrative Rules §12-46-109 that the best tool for eliminating sexual harassment is prevention. The Hawaii Civil Rights Commission encourages employers to establish prevention programs which can include training employees on sexual harassment policies and grievance procedures and training supervisors on their responsibilities in dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace.

➤ Idaho

The State of Idaho does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but prevention is recommended.

➤ Illinois

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in Illinois

Under the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA), as amended by Workplace Transparency Act (Public Act 101-0221), every employer with one or more employees working in the State of Illinois are required to provide sexual harassment prevention training at least once every calendar year. All employees must have received training by December 31, 2020 and annually thereafter. 

The Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) offers a model sexual harassment training program for all employers which can be downloaded for free in PowerPoint or PDF format, and meets the standards outlined in Section 2-109(B) of IHRA. Employers have the option to either use it or develop their own program as long as it equals or exceeds the standards indicated in the said law. Contents of the model program that employers should take into account when creating their own program are as follows:

  • An explanation of sexual harassment consistent with the IHRA
  • Examples of unlawful sexual harassment conduct
  • A summary of federal and state statutory provisions regarding sexual harassment and the remedies available to victims
  • A summary of employer responsibilities in the prevention, investigation, and corrective measures of sexual harassment

In addition to these requirements, the Illinois sexual harassment law has set additional regulations for employers in the restaurant and bar industry. In compliance with Section 2-110 of the IHRA, restaurants and bars must provide supplemental sexual harassment training to employees at least once a year. The IDHR also provides a free model sexual harassment training program for bars & restaurants. The training must include the following information:

  • Specific conduct, activities, or videos related to the restaurant or bar industry
  • An explanation of manager liability and responsibility under the law
  • English and Spanish language options.

If an employer violates these regulations, a notice giving the employer 30 days to comply will be issued. Failure to comply within this time frame will result in IDHR petitioning for entry of an order imposing a civil penalty against the employer.

➤ Indiana

The State of Indiana does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but prevention is recommended.

➤ Iowa

The State of Iowa does not have any specific harassment training requirements, but according to the Iowa state policy, all employees in the executive branch are encouraged to attend training about equal opportunity, affirmative action, diversity, and prevention of discrimination and harassment.

➤ Kansas

The State of Kansas does not have any specific harassment training requirements for private employers. However, it does have regulations for those in executive branches. Under Executive Order 18-04, all employees and interns in all executive branch departments and agencies are required to complete annual training sessions covering sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation policies.

In addition to this requirement, the Executive Order also mandates all executive branch departments and agencies to review and update their sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation policies at least once every three years or more frequently as necessary.

➤ Kentucky

The State of Kentucky does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but prevention is recommended.

➤ Louisiana

The State of Louisiana does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but prevention is recommended.

➤ Maine

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in Maine

As outlined in Maine’s Sexual Harassment Law Title 26 Sec. 807, employers with 15 or more employees working in the State of Maine are required to provide education and training program to employees within one year of being hired. The training must cover the following topics:

  • Illegality of sexual harassment
  • Definition of sexual harassment under state and federal laws and federal regulations, including the Maine Human Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 United States Code, Title VII, Sections 2000e to 2000e-17
  • Description of sexual harassment through examples
  • Internal complaint process that employees can use
  • Legal recourse and complaint process available through the Maine Human Rights Commission
  • Directions on how to contact the said commission
  • Protection against retaliation as provided under Title 5, section 4553, subsection 10, paragraph D

Employers must also provide additional training for employees in supervisory and managerial roles within one year of assuming their positions. The training should cover their responsibilities and methods that they can utilize to ensure that sexual harassment complaints within the workplace are addressed immediately and appropriate corrective actions are executed.

➤ Maryland

The State of Maryland does not have specific harassment training requirements under a statute, but prevention is highly recommended. As part of their Community Outreach and Education program, the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights provides training support to agencies, businesses, and organizations throughout the state. The commission offers training modules on sexual harassment prevention, employment discrimination prevention, and other important topics.

➤ Massachusetts

Sexual harassment training is not required in the State of Massachusetts, but it is highly recommended. Under Massachusetts General Law Title XXI, Chapter 151B, Section 3A, employers and labor organizations are encouraged to provide training and education programs for new employees/members within one year of being hired or being a member. 

Additional training is recommended for new supervisors and managers within one year of assuming their positions. Their training must cover information on their specific responsibilities and methods to ensure immediate response and appropriate corrective actions to sexual harassment complaints.

➤ Michigan

The State of Michigan does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but encouraged. Employers can request training from the Michigan Department of Civil Rights on topics such as disability, diversity, sexual harassment, housing, hate crime, discriminatory harassment, cultural competence, and General Civil Rights Law.

➤ Minnesota

The State of Minnesota does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but prevention is recommended.

➤ Mississippi

The State of Mississippi does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but prevention is recommended.

➤ Missouri

The State of Missouri does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but prevention is recommended.

➤ Montana

The State of Montana does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but prevention is recommended.

➤ Nebraska

The State of Nebraska does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but prevention is recommended.

➤ Nevada

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in Nevada

Private employers in Nevada are not required to provide sexual harassment training, but they are encouraged to take all necessary steps to prevent sexual harassment.

Existing regulation that pertains to sexual harassment training only applies to state employees. Under Nevada Administrative Code 284.496, a state employee must attend a certified class on sexual harassment prevention within 6 months of being appointed, and a certified refresher class/training at least once every 2 years after the employee’s initial appointment. The Division of Human Resource Management is responsible for certifying the classes/training programs.

➤ New Hampshire

The State of New Hampshire does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but prevention is recommended.

➤ New Jersey

Workplace Discrimination Training Requirements in New Jersey

All state government employees are required to be trained regarding the New Jersey State Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace within a reasonable time after being appointed. Refresher training will be required thereafter. Those in supervisory roles must be trained regularly about their obligations and duties as set forth in the state policy.

Additional training is also mandatory for state employees responsible for managing and investigating complaints of harassment or discrimination. After this, they must receive refresher training every three years.

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in New Jersey

Private employers are currently not required to provide sexual harassment training. However, there is legislation proposed by Governor Phil Murphy on February 18, 2020 aiming to overhaul New Jersey’s anti-harassment laws. One of the changes the bill introduces is requiring all public and private employers to provide training on unlawful discrimination and harassment. The proposal is yet to be signed into law.

Additionally, the New Jersey Supreme Court has concluded that to prevent sexual harassment from occuring, it is important for employers to establish effective training programs and complaint procedures for employees.

➤ New Mexico

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in New Mexico

Current sexual harassment training requirements in New Mexico do not apply to all employers. As indicated in the New Mexico Administrative 6.60.9.9 (C)(11), all licensed school personnel in primary and secondary education must be educated annually about sexual harassment prevention by attending sexual harassment training, reviewing sexual harassment literature or the EEOC guidelines found at Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations Part 1604 (29 C.F.R. Section 1604.1 et seq.), or contacting appropriate school human resources personnel.

➤ New York

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in New York State

All employers with one or more employees in the State of New York are mandated to conduct interactive sexual harassment prevention training for employees annually beginning October 9, 2018. The Department of Labor and Division of Human Rights has developed model training materials that must be used by employers and are all available for free download. Should an employer choose not to use these materials, the training must equal or exceed the following minimum standards. Training should be interactive and include information on the following topics:

  • Explanation of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Labor in consultation with the Division of Human Rights
  • Examples of conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment 
  • Federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment
  • Employees’ rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating complaints
  • Information addressing conduct by supervisors and any additional responsibilities for such supervisors

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in New York City

The City of New York also has its own training requirements. Local Law 96 of 2018 requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide sexual harassment prevention training for all employees annually starting April 1, 2019. Full-time and part-time employees who work for more than 80 hours in a calendar year must receive such training within 90 days of being hired.

The New York City Commission on Human Rights coordinated with New York State Division of Human Rights and Department of Labor to develop an online training that will satisfy both the state and NYC’s requirements

As outlined in NYC’s local law, the training must include information on the following:

  • An explanation of sexual harassment as a form of unlawful discrimination under local law;
  • A statement that sexual harassment is also a form of unlawful discrimination under state
  • and federal law;
  • A description sexual harassment using examples
  • Complaint process available to employees through their employers
  • Complaint process available through the commission, the Division of Human Rights and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, including contact information
  • Prohibition of retaliation, pursuant to subdivision 7 of section 8-107, and examples thereof
  • Information regarding bystander intervention
  • Specific responsibilities of supervisory and managerial employees in the prevention of sexual harassment and retaliation, and measures that they may take to appropriately address sexual harassment complaints

➤ North Carolina

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in North Carolina

The North Carolina Administrative Code 01J .1101 requires each state agency to develop workplace harassment prevention strategies which must include providing training and using other educational methods to prevent harassment and retaliation.

There are no specific sexual harassment training requirements for private employers in North Carolina.

➤ North Dakota 

The State of North Dakota does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but prevention is recommended.

➤ Ohio

The State of Ohio does not have specific sexual harassment training requirements, but it is recommended. According to the Ohio Administrative Code 4112-5-05(J)(7), employers are encouraged to prevent sexual harassment from occurring by expressing strong disapproval against it, educating employees on their rights and complaint procedures, and developing methods to sensitize employees on illegal sexual harassment.

➤ Oklahoma

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in Oklahoma

According to Oklahoma Statute Title 74 § 840.21(F.1); tit. 530, § 10-3-20, state government employees who are responsible for investigating discrimination complaints must receive training on equal employment opportunity (which includes sexual harassment), discrimination, and burdens of proof.

There are no specific sexual harassment training requirements for private employers in Oklahoma.

➤ Oregon

The State of Oregon does not have specific sexual harassment training requirements, but it is recommended.

➤ Pennsylvania

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in Pennsylvania

All state government employees are required to take the web-based course “Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Prevention.” As front liners of recourse for victims of harassment, supervisors and managers must receive different training from non-supervisory employees. Further information and training materials are available in Pennsylvania’s Office of Administration training webpage.

There are no specific sexual harassment training requirements for private employers in Pennsylvania.

➤ Rhode Island

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in Rhode Island

The State of Rhode Island does not require employers to provide sexual harassment training, but it is highly recommended. According to Rhode Island General Law ch. 118,§§ 28-51-2(c), 28-51-3, employers are encouraged to provide new employees and members with sexual harassment training within one year of being employed or being a member. Additional training is also encouraged to be provided for new supervisory and managerial employees within one year of assuming their positions, with information on their specific responsibilities and methods they can use to ensure immediate and appropriate corrective action in addressing sexual harassment complaints.

If an employer decides to conduct such training for all employees, it must include, at a minimum, information on the following:

  • A statement that sexual harassment in the workplace is unlawful
  • Unlawful retaliation
  • Description and examples of sexual harassment
  • Consequences for employees who have committed sexual harassment
  • A description of the process for filing internal complaints about sexual harassment and the work addresses and telephone numbers of the person or persons to whom complaints should be made
  • The identity of the appropriate state and federal employment discrimination enforcement agencies, and directions as to how to contact these agencies.

➤ South Carolina

The State of South Carolina does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but prevention is recommended.

➤ South Dakota

The State of South Dakota does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but prevention is recommended.

➤ Tennessee

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in Tennessee

Under Tennessee Code Annotated Section 4-3-1703, the state’s Department of Human Resources is required to assist each department and entity of state government in planning and conducting sexual harassment prevention training. The department must also develop an orientation session with appropriate materials to be distributed to new employees.

There are no specific sexual harassment training requirements for private employers.

➤ Texas

Employment Discrimination / Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in Texas

According to the Texas Labor Code Section 21.010, Texas state agencies are required to provide training on employment discrimination, including sexual harassment, to employees within 30 days of being employed. State employees who attended the initial training program must receive supplemental training every two years.

State agencies must utilize training materials developed by the Texas Workforce Commission and require employees to sign a statement verifying their attendance at the training program. Such statement must be filed in the employee’s personnel file.

There are no specific sexual harassment training requirements for private employers in Texas.

➤ Utah

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in Utah

Under Utah Admin Code R477-15-6, all state government employees must receive workplace harassment prevention training upon hire, and at least every two years thereafter. Additional training is also required for supervisors. The training program must be approved by the Department of Human Resources Management (DHRM) and the Division of Risk Management.

There are no specific sexual harassment training requirements for private employers in Utah.

➤ Vermont

The State of Vermont does not have specific sexual harassment training requirements, but it is highly recommended.

➤ Virginia

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in Virginia

Under Virginia Code Section 30-129.4, the Office of the Clerk of the House of Delegates and Office of the Clerk of the Senate are required to provide substantially similar sexual harassment training course to Virginia legislative branch employees once every two calendar years. The training must be provided online, always available, and substantially similar to any sexual harassment training course offered through the Commonwealth of Virginia Learning Center administered by the Department of Human Resource Management.

There are no specific sexual harassment training requirements for private employers in the State of Virginia.

➤ Washington

Discrimination Training Requirements in Washington

Discrimination training is not mandatory in the State of Washington, but the Washington State Human Rights Commission (WSHRC) provides free educational and training programs/seminars to interested employers throughout the state.

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in Washington

There are no specific sexual harassment training requirements for private employers in the State of Washington, but is highly encouraged.

Existing regulations only apply to state government employees. Under Executive Order 89-01, all state agencies are required to conduct training and education programs for employees to prevent and eliminate sexual harassment in the organization.

➤ West Virginia 

The State of West Virginia does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but prevention is recommended.

➤ Wisconsin

The State of Wisconsin has no specific harassment training requirements for, but it encourages employers to provide training to employees regarding workplace harassment, including periodic reminders about the organization’s commitment to create and maintain a harassment-free workplace.

➤ Wyoming

The State of Wyoming does not have any specific requirements for harassment training, but prevention is recommended.

 

What can companies do to augment harassment training?

sexual harassment prevention trainingTo effectively prevent workplace harassment, it is essential to use a holistic approach. Law compliance is just doing the bare minimum. An organization’s prevention efforts should not just be about avoiding legal issues; these should come from a place of genuine passion to create a respectful work environment for employees. In a world full of toxic workplaces, setting a good example can go a long way.

In addition to law compliance and providing harassment training, there are a number of things that employers can do to foster a culture of respect at work. Project WHEN exists to work alongside organizations in achieving this very goal. To start getting involved, you may sign our Pledge of Commitment to demonstrate your commitment to combat workplace harassment.

We believe that systemic problems like harassment, bullying, violence, microaggression, and other forms of unacceptable behavior must be addressed holistically. This is why Project WHEN provides the opportunity for companies to become a WHEN™ Certified Organization. 

By registering in the WHEN™ Organizational Certification, companies will be guided through a data-driven assessment of their work culture and have access to diverse research findings, curated resources, EEOC guidelines, and best practices in preventing all types of workplace harassment and managing workplace change. 

Importantly, obtaining this certification will create a powerful statement to applicants, employees, customers, and the business community that the organization is serious about preventing and putting an end to workplace harassment. It will also provide the organization a means of gaining recognition for being genuinely committed to creating a respectful workplace. For more information on why you should pursue this certification and how to enroll, please refer to our WHEN™ Organizational Certification page.

Another step that organizations can take is to be a Project WHEN sponsor. If you share the same passion for preventing harassment, consider partnering with us which can be done in various ways. One of our sponsorship opportunities is hosting a Project WHEN Roundtable. We will work with you to provide an avenue for key leaders, employees, and even other businesses within your community to participate in an intimate discussion on harassment challenges facing workplaces today and what can be done to combat those. Further information can be found in our sponsorship page.

If you find value in what we do, you can help us further our work by making a tax-deductible donation. Your contribution will help us spread the important message of ending workplace harassment now.