Across the country, many states have begun making updates to their harassment laws. If your organization operates in one of these states, that could have an impact on your hiring and training practices – especially if your state is one that mandates harassment training. Two topics that factor into these updates are expansions to protected classes and more states passing the CROWN Act.
What Are Protected Classes?
Protected classes are groups of people who share certain common identifying traits or characteristics and are legally protected from discrimination based on those characteristics. The definition for protected classes can vary by state, but at a minimum must include the following, per federal guidelines:
- Sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity)
- National origin
- Age (40 or older)
- Genetic information (including family medical history).
Many states are expanding protection to other classes. Make sure you know the protected classes in your state, and always keep in mind that harassing behavior is never acceptable, whether it targets a protected class or not. The laws protecting these classes from harassment also protect them from retaliation when filing complaints, so be sure any complaints you receive are handled properly in order to prevent any form of retaliation.
What is the CROWN Act?
The CROWN Act stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, and it prohibits racial discrimination based on someone’s hairstyle or texture. This Act was initiated to prevent discrimination in schools and the workplace. California was the first state to pass legislation related to the CROWN Act, but since then Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and the US Virgin Islands have all passed their own legislation.
Prevent Harassment with Online Training
The more information employees have, the more empowered they will be. Online harassment training through a learning management system is efficient and effective. Online learning also provides flexibility in how and when users can train, as well as the ability to track training and certifications. When laws change, you can take advantage of your LMS’s document library or document acknowledgement features to ensure all employees are aware of updates as soon as possible.
Online Harassment Training from Ready Training Online
At RTO®, we’re committed to helping you create and maintain a respectful workplace while complying with federal and state laws. Our online harassment prevention training program uses real-world examples to teach employees how to recognize harassment and help prevent it. State-specific sexual harassment prevention training is also available.