sexual harassment state training requirements

2019 State-specific sexual harassment training requirements (United States)

Sexual harassment affects more than just the employees involved—it affects your entire organization. Besides causing emotional duress and decreased performance, lawsuits resulting from sexual harassment are stressful and expensive. Sexual harassment prevention training can help build awareness as well as provide guidelines on what to do when encountering these situations. Not only is it the right business decision, but many states require companies to offer sexual harassment training for employees

OpenSesame offers a wide variety of online sexual harassment prevention courses applicable in any business context. For states without specific requirements, many OpenSesame sexual harassment prevention courses will help you meet your training needs. Learn more about the requirements in the states you operate to ensure your organization is in compliance, and your employees stay safe, happy, and productive. 

To learn more about how OpenSesame can help your organization meet your sexual harassment prevention training needs, contact us at (503) 808-1268 or visit www.opensesame.com.

State Sexual harassment prevention training requirements Additional information
Alabama Recommended, not required. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Alaska Recommended, not required. Alaska State Commission for Human Rights
Arizona Recommended, not required. Arizona Attorney General
Arkansas Recommended, not required. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
California

(AB 1825, AB 2053 and S.B. 396, S.B 1343)

Employers with 50 or more employees must provide two hours of mandatory sexual harassment training to supervisors within six months of becoming a supervisor, and at least once every two years. There is no requirement that all 50 employees or contractors work at the same location or all in California. Training is also required by all public employers regardless of the number of employees. 

Cal. Gov Code §12950. AB 2053 amends Cal. Gov Code §12950 to “also include prevention of abusive conduct as a component of the training and education…”

New in 2018, Senate Bill 396 Chapter 858 requires that anti-harassment training include a portion on harassment-based gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. 

Starting 1 January 2020, Senate Bill 1343 lowers the number of employees to five and includes one hour of training to non-supervisors in the mandate. Training must be provided every two years.

Provide two hours of interactive training, which also addresses other types of harassment, to supervisory employees every two years. Training must also include remedies available to victims and must include practical examples illustrating harassment. AB 2053 adds abusive conduct, or bullying, to the training requirement. Additional information on FEHA and S.B. 396 requirements: Fair Employment and Housing Commission.

1 January 2020: provide at least one hour of training to all non-supervisory employees within six months of assumption of position.

In the OpenSesame catalog: filter by AB1825/AB2053 to find sexual harassment prevention courses that meet these requirements.

Colorado

(Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s Discrimination Rules)

No requirements but the state encourages all employers to take necessary steps to prevent sexual harassment, including sensitizing employees to sexual harassment issues.

3 Colo. Code Regs. § 708-1, Rule 80.11(C).

Colorado.gov
Connecticut

(Connecticut Human Rights and Opportunity Act)

Beginning 1 October 2019 employers with three or more employees now must provide two hours of sexual harassment training to all employees. For existing employees, this training must be provided by 1 October 2020. All employees hired on or after 1 October 2019 must receive the training within six months of hire. 

Additionally, all Connecticut employers, regardless of size, are now required to provide sexual harassment training to supervisory employees. This training must be provided by 1 October 2020, or within six months of an employee assuming a supervisory role. 

Training must address state and federal laws prohibiting sexual harassment, definitions, types of conduct that constitutes sexual harassment, and remedies available to victims. This can be elearning if it is possible for employees to ask questions and receive answers.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-54(15)(B).

Conn. Agencies Regs. § 46a-54-204.

Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities

OpenSesame course that meets the requirements: 

Connecticut Sexual Harassment Training for Supervisors

Delaware Effective 1 January 2019, all employers with 50 or more employees must provide sexual harassment training for all employees and supervisors (excluding applicants and independent contractors). The training must be interactive and conducted for new employees within one year of the commencement of their employment. 

Existing employees must receive training within one year of the effective date of the statue (1 Jan 2020). New supervisors must receive additional interactive training within one year of the commencement of their supervisory role; existing supervisors must receive training by 1 Jan 2020.

This supplemental training must cover the specific responsibilities of a supervisor in preventing and correcting sexual harassment as well as the legal prohibition against retaliation. These employee and supervisor training programs must be repeated every two years. (HB 360)

Delaware Office of Human Relations

House Bill 360

OpenSesame courses that meet the requirements: 

Common Ground: 2019 Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention – Employee Course 

Common Ground: 2019 Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention – Supervisor’s Course (AB1825/AB2053)

District of Columbia Recommended, not required. District of Columbia Office of Human Rights
Florida

(Public Personnel of Florida’s Administrative Code)

All supervisors in executive branch agencies must receive training on affirmative action and equal opportunity, which includes sexual harassment. 

Fla. Admin. Code, Tit. tit. 60L, § 21.004.

Provide training on affirmative action and equal opportunity, including sexual harassment.

Florida Commission on Human Relations

Georgia Recommended, not required. Georgia Commission on Equality
Hawaii

(Hawaii Administrative Rules)

No requirements but the state encourages employers to take any necessary preventative measures against sexual harassment because prevention is the best way to eliminate sexual harassment. Suggested methods include raising the issue, condemning sexual harassment, and discussing employees’ rights in sexual harassment incidents.

Haw. Admin. Rules § 12-46-109(g).

No requirements but prevention is strongly encouraged.

Hawaii Civil Rights Commission

Idaho Recommended, not required. Idaho Commission on Human Rights
Illinois

(Illinois Human Rights Act)

Effective 1 January 2020, SB75 requires all employers to provide sexual harassment prevention training to all employees within the state each year. The annual required sexual harassment training program must include:

  • An explanation of sexual harassment.
  • Examples of conduct that constitutes unlawful sexual harassment.
  • A summary of federal and state statutory provisions, including remedies available to victims of sexual harassment.
  • A summary of the responsibilities of employers for prevention, investigation, and corrective measures of sexual harassment.

Additionally, owners of restaurants and bars are now required to provide industry-specific sexual harassment training annually to all employees, available in both English and Spanish.

Ill. Comp. Stat., Chap. 775, § 2-105(B)(5).

SB75, the Workplace Transparency Act, which amends the Illinois Human Rights Act, requires annual sexual harassment prevention training to all employees in Illinois.

Illinois Department of Human Rights

Indiana Recommended, not required. Indiana Civil Rights Commission
Iowa

(Executive Order)

The directors of each department within a state agency and their employees must attend affirmative action, cultural diversity, and sexual harassment prevention training. Provide department directors with affirmative action, cultural diversity, and sexual harassment prevention training.

Iowa Civil Rights Commission

Kansas Recommended, not required. Kansas Human Rights Commission
Kentucky Recommended, not required. Kentucky Commission on Human Rights
Louisiana Recommended, not required. Louisiana Commission on Human Rights
Maine

(Sexual Harassment Training and Education in the Workplace Law)

All employers with 15 or more employees who are located in or doing business in the state of Maine must train all employees about sexual harassment within a year of the beginning of their employment. Supervisors and managers must receive additional training within one year of assuming their positions.

26 Me. Rev. Stat. § 807(3).

Training must encompass the definition and illegality of sexual harassment under state and federal laws, samples of sexual harassment, the employer’s complaint process, legal recourse and complaint process, and the protection against retaliation. 

Maine Human Rights Commission

Maryland

(Maryland Commission on Human Relations)

No requirements, but when deciding a sexual harassment case, the Maryland Commission on Human Relations will favorably consider steps employers took to prevent sexual harassment. Suggested steps include:

  • Establishing and implementing personnel policies regarding sexual harassers.
  • Establishing a complaint process that employees may access if they believe they have experienced sexual harassment.
  • Making staff aware of personnel policies, and training staff to recognize and avoid sexual harassment.
No requirements but prevention is strongly encouraged.

Maryland Commission on Civil Rights

Massachusetts

(Massachusetts Fair Employment Practice Act)

No requirements, but employers are encouraged to provide sexual harassment training to new employees within one year of employment. Employers are also encouraged to provide additional training for managers and supervisors that describes the specific responsibilities of managers and supervisors in sexual harassment incidents. This training should also occur within a year of the commencement of managerial or supervisory duties.

M.G.L. c. 151B § 3A(e).

Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
Michigan

(Michigan’s Disability Bias Law)

The Department of Civil Rights is required to provide education and training programs to all employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies in order to help them understand the requirements.

Act. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann., § 37.1212.

Michigan Department of Civil Rights
Minnesota Recommended, not required. Minnesota Department of Human Rights
Mississippi Recommended, not required. Mississippi Department of Human Services
Missouri Recommended, not required. Missouri Department of Labor & Industrial Relations
Montana Recommended, not required. Montana Department of Labor & Industry
Nebraska Recommended, not required. Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission
Nevada

(Nevada Administrative Code)

All state employees must take a certified sexual harassment class within six months of their appointments and must take a certified refresher sexual harassment course every two years after they take the first one. An appointing authority can order any employee to retake a course or to take additional courses.

Nev. Admin. Code ch. 284, s. 496.

Nevada Equal Rights Commission
New Hampshire Recommended, not required. New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights
New Jersey

(Gaines v. Bellino)

Required for all state agencies. All state employees must take a certified class on sexual harassment within six months of their employment and take a refresher course every two years thereafter. New Jersey Division on Civil Rights
New Mexico

(State Code)

Primary and secondary education providers and centers are required to train all school personnel at least once a year.

N.M.A.C. 6.60.9.9 (C)(11)

New Mexico Department of Workplace Solutions
New York

New York

(continued)

Beginning 9 October 2018, all private and public employers in the state of New York are required to conduct annual anti-harassment training for all employees and distribute a written anti-harassment policy. The deadline for the initial round of training is 9 October 2019. The training must be interactive and contain the following:

  • An explanation of what constitutes unlawful or sexual harassment
  • Examples of conduct that would be considered unlawful or sexual harassment
  • Information on state and federal laws concerning sexual harassment and resources for victims
  • Information on employees rights and forums for resolving complaints administratively and judicially

New York State Division of Human Rights

For New York City:

Beginning 1 April 2019, the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act requires all employers located in New York City with more than 15 employees, including interns, to conduct an annual anti-sexual harassment training for all employees, supervisors and managers. Employers in New York City will also be responsible for providing anti-sexual harassment training to new employees, who work more than 80 hours per year, within 90 days of their hiring date.

New York City Council

In the OpenSesame catalog: filter by New York Anti-Harassment to find courses that meet these requirements.

North Carolina

(North Carolina Administrative Code)

All state agencies are required to create an unlawful workplace harassment plan, which includes implementation of harassment training and other employee education programs.

25 N.C.A.C. 1J.1101.

North Carolina Human Relations Commission
North Dakota Recommended, not required. North Dakota Department of Labor
Ohio

(Ohio Administrative Code)

No requirements but the state suggests that employers take all necessary steps to prevent sexual harassment because prevention is the best way to eliminate it. Raising the issue of, stating disapproval of, developing sanctions against, and informing employees of their rights and how to raise the issue of sexual harassment are suggested steps.

Ohio Adm. Code 4112-5-05(J)(7).

Ohio Civil Rights Commission
Oklahoma

(Oklahoma Fair Employment Practices Act)

All state employees who investigate discrimination complaints should receive equal employment opportunity, discrimination, and burdens of proof training.

Okla. Stat. Tit. 74, § 840.21(F.1); tit. 530, § 10-3-20.

Oklahoma Office of the Attorney General
Oregon Recommended, not required. State of Oregon Civil Rights Division
Pennsylvania

(Executive Order)

State agency employees must receive sexual harassment prevention training, which may include written materials, educational videos, orientation sessions, workplace discussions, and individual counseling.

4 Pa. Code Sec. 7.595.

Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission
Rhode Island

(Rhode Island Sexual Harassment, Education, and Training Law)

No requirements but employers are encouraged to conduct education and training programs for new employees within a year of employment and provide additional training for employees in managerial or supervisory roles that describes the responsibilities of managers and supervisors in sexual harassment incidents within one year of commencement of those positions.

R.I. Gen. Laws ch. 118,§§ 28-51-2(c), 28-51-3.

Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights
South Carolina Recommended, not required. South Carolina Human Affairs Commission
South Dakota Recommended, not required. South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation
Tennessee

(Tennessee State Employees’ Sexual Harassment Law)

The state Department of Personnel must assist each department with planning and delivering sexual harassment prevention training to all public employees.

Tenn. Code § 4-3-1703.

Tennessee Human Rights Commission
Texas

(Texas Employment Discrimination Law)

All state employees must receive employment discrimination training, which includes sexual harassment issues, within 30 days of the start of employment. Training must be repeated every two years thereafter.

Tex. Lab. Code. § 21.010.

Texas Employee Rights & Laws
Utah

(Utah Administrative Code)

All state employers must provide sexual harassment training that is approved by the Department of Human Resource Management and Risk Management to all employees within 90 days of hire and a refresher training course at least every three years. 

Utah Admin Code R477-10-4.

Sexual harassment training should cover the types of protected class harassment, retaliation, how to report harassment, and make complaints.

State of Utah Labor Commission

Employee Guide to Workplace Harassment Prevention

Vermont

(Vermont Fair Employment Practices Act)

No requirements, but all employers are encouraged to provide a sexual harassment training program to all existing employees and all new employees within one year of the start of employment. Additional training for managers and supervisors is also encouraged.

Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 495h(f).

Vermont Human Rights Commission
Virginia Recommended, not required. Virginia Human Rights Council
Washington

(Executive Order)

All state employees must take sexual harassment training in order to prevent and eliminate sexual harassment. Washington State Human Rights Commission
West Virginia Recommended, not required. West Virginia Human Rights Commission
Wisconsin No requirements but the state advises employers to provide training to sensitize employees on the issue of harassment and periodically remind them to maintain a harassment-free workplace. Wisconsin’s Equal Rights Division
Wyoming Recommended, not required. Wyoming Department of Workforce Services