Since the Vinson case more than 40 years ago, and after Anita Hill, and more recently Harvey Weinstein, sexual harassment in the workplace remains pervasive.1 Several states now mandate workplace sexual harassment prevention training. As the #MeToo movement continues to shine a spotlight on sexual harassment in the workplace, some states and localities have responded with mandatory sexual harassment training requirements. Each law varies in the amount, type and format of training it requires, but they all work toward combating the same issue.
All employers in the state of New York and California are now required to provide sexual harassment prevention training to all employees in both supervisory and non-supervisory positions. Employers in New York must complete the training by October 9, 2019, while employers in California now have until January 1, 2021. The California deadline was moved out a year, as the state was not ready. The trainings will need to be state-specific, as each state has its own content requirements.
New York State and New York City have separate requirements for employers to provide anti-harassment training to their employees. Employers in New York City will need to comply with both sets of law. All employees in the state of New York must be trained, including part-time workers, seasonal workers, temporary workers, and minors. New York City specifies that any employee that works for more than 80 hours and at least 90 days in a calendar year must be trained. Both the State and the City also recommend training non-employees such as independent contractors or freelancers who interact with the employer’s employees, because liability for their actions may also be imposed on the employer. Employers in New York City must keep a completion certificate or signed employee acknowledgment of the training for at least three years. Employers in New York State outside of New York City are not required to keep a record, but the State recommends doing so.2
In California, companies with at least five employees must provide anti-harassment training to all employees, including part-time, seasonal, and temporary workers. Anti-sexual harassment training was previously required only for supervisors in California, but the law has expanded to require training for non-supervisors as well. Unlike New York, California does not require training for non-employees such as independent contractors or freelancers. In CA, harassment training must be completed for applicable employees. Both supervisory and non-supervisory employees must be trained within 6 months of assuming their position. Beginning January 1, 2021, seasonal or temporary employees, or any employee that is hired to work for less than six months, must be trained within 30 calendar days after the hire date or within 100 hours worked, whichever occurs first. After January 1, 2021, California employees must receive training once every two years.
California Employees in supervisory roles must receive at least two hours of training, while employees in non-supervisory roles must receive at least one hour of training per training cycle. Trainings may be completed by employees individually or as part of a group presentation, and may be completed in shorter segments, as long as the applicable hourly total requirement is met. Trainings must be “effective interactive training,” which is defined in detail in the California regulations to include in-person training by a qualified trainer, and e-learning or webinars with quiz questions and the opportunity to ask questions. The regulations also state that only certain attorneys, human resources professionals, harassment prevention consultants, and professors may serve as a harassment prevention trainer. California employers must keep documentation of the training for at least two years. 3
Other states with mandated harassment training are Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, and Maine. ClearPath is in the process of publishing a cheat-sheet matrix with all the details for all the states. If you would like to receive a copy of this when it is complete, please contact us.
ClearPath provides sexual harassment training to our contingent workers and helps you stay compliant with these laws. We can help you design a solution pertaining to your contingent workers and relieve this burden by outsourcing your back-office Human Resources and Payroll functions to our Employer of Record service. Contact us to learn more about how our expert personalized service can let you get back to focusing on your business goals. Work with a leader in the industry for outsourced Human Resources and Payroll functions associated with W-2 and 1099 contingent workers. Let ClearPath be the path to your peace of mind. For other questions about assessing your workforce or conducting a review of your current hiring processes, the ClearPath team can assist you.
This blog article is for general information purposes only and does not provide an in-depth review of sexual harassment training laws. It should not be solely relied upon or substituted for legal or professional advice. Use of the information provided is at your own risk.