As of the beginning of 2022, employers in California are now required to formally train their employees on sexual harassment prevention. If you’re not in California, don’t think you’re off the hook. Several other states have already passed similar legislation that requires training, including Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, and New York. Many more are sure to follow suit. Employers in states without sexual harassment prevention training can take a lesson from states that have already passed requirements. Being proactive with your training will not only help you protect your staff and business from the consequences of harassment, it can also put you ahead of the game if mandates are passed in your state.
What Should Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Include?
In California, sexual harassment prevention training must cover these topics:
- What sexual harassment is, based on the law.
- What the law says about the prohibition of harassment.
- Examples of harassing conduct, including harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.
- What victims can do if they’re harassed, including filing a complaint at the state or federal level.
- Resources for victims of harassment, including how to report it.
- Strategies to prevent harassment.
- Supervisors’ obligation to report harassment.
- The limited confidentiality of the complaint process.
- Best practices for employers to correct harassing behaviors.
- What to do if a supervisor is personally accused of harassment.
- Elements of an effective anti-harassment policy and how to use it.
- Definition and examples of “abusive conduct” as defined by law.
Sexual harassment prevention training in California must be interactive and at least one hour in length. Supervisors are required to complete an additional hour of training that covers more specifics about their role in preventing harassment, investigating harassment complaints, and implementing remedial measures. The law also requires all employees be re-trained every two years.
Recent Changes to Harassment Laws
California, in addition to several other states, has recently adopted new laws or expanded existing laws related to sexual harassment prevention. Common in many states now is the prohibition of non-disclosure provisions in settlement and employment agreements. In California, the “Silenced No More” Act extends this injunction to all workplace discrimination or harassment settlements, not just those related to sexual harassment. California has also led the way on adoption of the CROWN Act, which stands for “Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair.” CROWN Acts across the country prohibit harassment or discrimination based on natural hair styles and hair texture.
Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Online
Many employers in states with harassment prevention training requirements turn to online training to efficiently and effectively train employees. Learning management systems also have tracking and reporting capabilities employers need to prove they’ve trained their employees. RTO® offers sexual harassment prevention training specific to the requirements in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, and New York, in addition to courses that can be used by employers in any state. Click here to watch a preview of online harassment prevention training.