Updated March 31st, 2020
Sexual Harassment Training In Maine
In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about sexual Harassment Training in Maine.
We will cover:
- What Are The Requirements?
- Who Needs To Do It?
- What Are The Deadlines?
- Why Is It Important?
- What Are The Penalties & Fees?
By answering the above questions, it should give you all the information as an employer or employee to make the right choices. This way you will make sure you comply with the law.
Introduction to Sexual Harassment Training In Maine
First of all, sexual harassment training is an incredibly important aspect of keeping a happy and safe work environment.
In recent years there has been a rise in sexual harassment in the workplace, and states are taking action.
There are currently six states that require Sexual Harassment Prevention Training:
If you live or have a business in Maine, we will look into what this means to you. But we always have to start with the basics.
What is Sexual Harassment?
According to Maine’s government website:
“Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title 5. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.”
One of the shocking statistics is that, in 2018, the Equal Opportunity Commission reported 7609 sexual harassment charges. This means that there were a whopping 13.6% more cases than the reported figure in the previous year.
Now, let’s look at sexual harassment in the State of Maine.
What Are The Minimum Standards Required In Maine?
Title 26 M.R.S.A. §807 requires that every employer with 15 or more employees in the workplace must complete training. The education and training must happen within one year of hire.
Also all employees must be notified in writing about the following information:
- Sexual harassment is illegal
- A definition of sexual harassment in Maine’s state law
- Description of sexual harassment (with examples listed)
- The complaint process available to the employee
- Legal recourse and complaint process available
- Directions of how to contact the Commission
- Protection against retaliation (Title 5, section 4553, subsection 10, paragraph D)
If you are a supervisor or a manager, you would be required to complete additional training regarding your specific responsibilities.
Also you will need to offer sexual harassment prevention training to your employees.
What Training Do Employers Need To Provide In Maine?
In Maine, training must be provided for businesses with 15 or more employees.
HarrasmentAlert.com provides compliant online sexual harassment training.
Training will need to include:
- The illegality of sexual harassment; the 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.
- A description of sexual harassment, utilizing examples; the internal complaint process available to the employee; the legal recourse and complaint process available through the commission; directions on how to contact the commission; and the protection against retaliation as provided under Title 5, section 4553, subsection 10, paragraph D.
- Employers shall conduct additional training for supervisory and managerial employees within one year of commencement of employment that includes, at a minimum, the specific responsibilities of supervisory and managerial employees and methods that these employees must take to ensure immediate and appropriate corrective action in addressing sexual harassment complaints.
- Education and training programs conducted under this subsection by the State, a county or a municipality for its public safety personnel, including, but not limited to, law enforcement personnel, corrections personnel, and firefighters, may be used to meet training and education requirements mandated by any other law, rule or other official requirement.
Which Employees Need To Get Trained In Maine?
Maine State Law says ALL employers with over 15 employees need to provide training. Also any new employee that gets hired will need to be trained within a year.
There are two different trainings:
- Supervisor Employees
- Non-Supervisor Employees
Other Requirements In Maine?
Posting requirement: An employer needs to post in a “prominent and accessible location in the workplace” The poster will provide at a minimum, the following information:
- The illegality of sexual harassment.
- A description of sexual harassment, utilizing examples;
- The complaint process available through the commission; and directions on how to contact the commission.
- The text of this poster may meet but may not exceed 6th-grade literacy standards.
- Provided annually
- All employees must receive individual written notices.
- Includes at a minimum the following information (Source):
- the illegality of sexual harassment
- the definition of sexual harassment under state law
- a description of sexual harassment, utilizing examples
- the internal complaint process available to the employee
- the legal recourse and complaint process available through the commission
- directions on how to contact the commission;
- the protection against retaliation as provided pursuant to Title 5, section 4553, subsection 10, paragraph D. This notice must be initially provided within 90 days after the effective date of this subchapter. The notice must be delivered in a manner to ensure notice to all employees without exception, such as including the notice with an employee’s pay.
- Employers shall use a checklist to develop a sexual harassment training program and shall keep a record of the training,
- Records must include employees who have received the required training.
- Training records must be maintained for at least three years.
- Records must be made available for department inspection upon request.
What Happens If I Don’t Train My Employees?
An employer who does not provide the required training may pay a fine of:
- First violation: Fine of $1,000
- Second violation: Fine of $2,500
- Third or subsequent violation: Fine of $5,000
So any large organization can run into significant troubles if you miss training.
Who Can Provide Sexual Harassment Training In Maine?
Any employer can provide training. However, the state of Maine suggests that employers use interactive training. Such as web-based training, that allows trainees to submit questions and to receive a response.
This requirement of interactive training is very important.
Also you want to make sure that who ever you pick for your training has the right credentials. Training is only valuable if your employees really learn.
Why Is Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Important?
It’s very simple. Prevention is the best way to minimize the chances of harassment in your company.
Also it’s important for your employees. You need to have a pleasant work environment where every employee feels safe. This safety will all your employees feel better, work better, and interact positively with everyone.
In addition, good communication and training will avoid bigger problems. By having the right procedures and policies you will avoid problems like:
- Retaliation To Employees
- Liability To You As The Employer
Let’s dig in further.
Liability To The Employer
Being that every employer has to prevent, there is a massive increase in liability if you do not comply with the law.
Claims on sexual harassment in Maine can be quite large, and they can cripple any business.
Retaliation in the Workplace
Retaliation in the workplace takes place when an employer takes adverse action against an employee or an applicant when they engage in it is legally protected. The following are examples of retaliation:
- Terminating employees who engage in legally protected actions
- Demoting employees who engage in legally protected actions
- Suspending employees who engage in legally protected actions
- Negatively evaluating such employees
- Refusing to hire such employees, or to consider them for hiring.
- Failure to give equal consideration in making employment decisions.
- Adversely affecting working conditions or otherwise denying any employment benefit and failure to make impartial employment recommendations.
What Are My Options For Sexual Harassment Training In Maine?
We offer not only training but also a complete solution to your sexual harassment in the workplace.
With us you also get:
Small video sections designed to help all employees learn quickly, efficiently, and from any place.
Custom Policy Generator & Manager
Not only do you have a duty to prevent sexual harassment with training, but you also have to have the right policies in place to make sure that every employee knows how to act and react.
With us, you will get an entirely anonymous Denouncement portal, but it will help properly handle any sexual harassment cases.
Compliance Follow Up
You do not want the liability of your employees not doing their training. We offer a simple way to keep track of every employee, their status with the training, and making sure that they perform every step that they are required.