Updated March 31st, 2020

Anti Sexual Harassment Training By State

Anti sexual harassment training is becoming a very important topic for all employers and employees. Employees are demanding training, and states are making sure that employers comply.

In this article you will find a complete guide to understand Sexual Harassment Training by state.

We will go over what your state requires, why, and what are the penalties for not doing sexual harassment training.

Why Sexual Harassment Laws Are Changing?

Sexual Harassment claims have increased substantially. There are many reasons for this increase in claims.

There have been many recent high profile harassment cases. Cases like Harvey Weinstein, and terms like Quid Pro Quo, that have kept harassment topic on everyones mind. These type of cases have made it obvious that there needs to be a change in the laws.

According to Bloomber Law “The EEOC saw a 13.6 percent increase in workers alleging sexual harassment from fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2018”.

Reporting Claims

Even-though claims are growing, it is estimated that only 15% to 20% of workers who experience sexual harassment report it, said Victoria Lipnic, the EEOC’s acting chairwoman. That is not a statistic that makes anyone happy.

So states are taking a more direct approach and changing sexual harassment laws and regulations.

Many states have already imposed a deadline to train all of their employees in anti-sexual harassment.

Before we get started on the list you should know that most state have some sort of requirement or guideline for training. In addition, there are more and more states adopting required training.

So if you are an employer want to be in the safe side, you should have your employees do the training. It’s very likely you will be required to do it eventually.

Sexual Harassment Training By State

Sexual Harassment Training By State

What States Have A Requirement Already?

All states have different rules of who needs to take sexual harassment training and under what circumstances.

But we will start with a simple list of states with requirements in place to make sure you are aware.

Then we will go in more depth as to what other states have other requirements.

The next list shows which states require all public and private employees to do a sexual harassment training:

This list keeps growing every year, so make sure you know the rules in your state.

Also there are states that only require public employees to do the training.

Required Sexual Harassment Training For State Employees

The following is a list of State that require public employees to do the training. That means in the next states private businesses do not have to provide training.

  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington

As you can see the list is very extensive. And many states will be joining this list and the previous one very soon.

Recommended Sexual Harassment Training By State

There are other states that only have recommend training, but do not require it.

  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Oregon
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia

States with new laws coming soon.

What Are The Penalties By State?

So we went over the states that have a requirement, now let’s look at penalties if you do not comply.

Each state can impose it’s rules and penalties. But to give you an idea on how much penalties are, we will give you a few examples.

However, the largest penalty happens if you do not do the training and you have a lawsuit in your workforce. Lawsuits can mount up very quickly.

The Fines

“The fines start at $100 per employee for the first violation and goes up from there (fines go up per number of violations such as not training, not providing a sexual harassment prevention policy and not supplying a complaint form with fines being compounded per employee).  So for a mid size company, fines can be in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Source here.

Penalties in California

In California the main penalty comes in your increase liability. You will very likely not only need to pay lawsuits, but also attorney fees, which can be substantial.

Penalties In Illinois

“Employers who do not provide compliant training will be subject to civil penalties, including a $500 penalty to businesses with less than 4 employees, or a $1,000 penalty to those with 4 or more employees. Penalties for subsequent violations can rise to $5,000 per violation.”

Penalties in Maine

  • First violation: Fine of $1,000
  • Second violation: Fine of $2,500
  • Third or subsequent violation: Fine of $5,000

The previous are just some examples of what fees and penalties look like.

The penalties imposed by the state are not all you have to worry about. A lawsuit can completely shut down a business.

Sexual Harassment Training By State & Deadlines

Here is a list of deadlines by state to make sure you do not miss yours. These are for the states that require private companies offer training.

New York Deadline

As of April 1, 2019, employers are required to train every employee each calendar year. By December 31, 2019, employers must have trained all of their employees.

The training is required for employers who had 15 or more employees at any given point in the previous calendar year.

More info for New York.

California Deadline

The was a new law that extended the deadline in California to Jan. 1, 2021. Employers with five or more employees have to provide at least two hours of sexual-harassment-prevention training to supervisory employees and one hour of training to nonsupervisory employees.

For more info on new laws in California.

Illinois Deadline

All employers have to train all employees in Illinois each year. All training needs to be done by is December 31, 2020.

More info on Illinois Deadline.

Connecticut Deadline

“Effective October 1, 2019, the Act expands this requirement such that employers with three or more employees must provide sexual harassment training to all employees by October 1, 2020.” More info on Connecticut laws.

Delaware Deadline

The law requires any public or private sector employer with 50 or more employees in the State of Delaware to provide harassment prevention training.

More info on Delaware laws.

Maine Deadline

Training in Maine is required for employers with 15 or more employees .

Why You Should Do Harassment Training?

First of all, training your employees on anti-harassment practices will create a much better environment for all your employees.

It’s clear that most employees want a good environment for all their employees. While your employees are happy and safe, your company will work better in every way.

However, if you fail to do the proper training, not only will you pay penalties and fines, but also you increase your liability. For example in New York city civil penalties can go up to $250,000 in the case of a willful violation.

That’s why providing the right training to your employees will help protect employers from additional lawsuits.

What Does A Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Looks Like?

There are many aspects to a sexual harassment lawsuit. Next is an example of what an employer can be sued for:

Back Pay

It includes the value of wages, salary, and fringe benefits the claimant would have received during the period of discrimination from the date of termination.

Compensatory Damages

These are damages based on emotional distress, pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Attorney’s Fees

An employer can be liable for attorney’s fees, which can be substantial.

Punitive Damages

Punitive Damages are a punishment for behavior, and they are limited to cases in which the employer’s discrimination is intentional.

Front Pay

Compensation for future losses.

Injunctive Relief

Common examples of injunctive relief include reinstating a terminated employee or ordering the employer to prevent future discrimination.

Average Sexual Harassment Claim

In reality, the average sexual harassment claim can cripple any business. There are limits to sexual harassment claims for punitive damages for employers with:

  • 15-100 employees, the limit is $50,000.
  • 101-200 employees, the limit is $100,000.
  • 201-500 employees, the limit is $200,000.
  • more than 500 employees, the limit is $300,000.

Data source.

However, that is not the only amount you can receive. Some claims have been very large, including a case that was $1.5 million.

Can your business afford one of these claims?

Liability can be significantly reduced by doing a few things.

Additional Requirements

Additionally, anti sexual harassment isn’t the only requirement you need to do as an employer. There are many steps you need to take to make sure you comply with the law, and to make sure you lower your liability.

Notices & Posters

There are required posters & notices you need to display. For example all employers in NY City are required to display anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities notices in both English and Spanish.

Check out our Free Sexual Harassment Prevention Posters.

Proper Way To Report Harassment

Also many states require a way to report harassment. Handling these reports is a very delicate topic, and it needs to be properly addressed.

In NYC you can report it to their portal at: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/cchr/law/sexual-harassment-report-harassment.page

Create Your Policy

Your company will need to create a proper policy on sexual harassment. Many states require an employer to have a policy on how to handle harassment.

At Harassment Alert we offer a policy generator that will help you create your custom policy for your company.

Final Word

As you can see there are many different requirements for anti sexual harassment training by state. However, now you should have a better understanding of what you need for your company and employees.

At HarassmentAlert.com we offer a complete solution to sexual harassment in the workplace.

In our platform you will get:

Start your training now, and get your company in compliance, with no hassle.

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