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.

State

Sexual harassment 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)

Employers with fifty 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…”

For detailed AB 1825 and AB 2053 compliant suggestions, see our post: Updates to California Sexual Harassment Training: AB 1825, AB 2053, FEHA. New in 2018 is S.B. 396 which requires that anti-harassment training include a portion on harassment-based gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.

More about S.B. 396: Senate Bill No. 396 – Chapter 858.

Provide two hours of interactive training, which also addresses other types of harassment, to employees in supervisory roles 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. See more about FEHA and S.B. 396 requirements here:

Fair Employment and Housing Commission.

In the OpenSesame catalog, you can use filter by AB 1825 or AB 2053 to find appropriate sexual harassment prevention courses quickly and easily.

Colorado

(Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s Discrimination Rules)

No requirements but 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).

Nothing required.

Colorado.gov

Connecticut

(Connecticut Human Rights and Opportunity Act)

All employers with 50 or more employees must provide two hours of sexual harassment training for supervisors within six months of the start of each supervisor’s employment. This can be elearning if it is possible for takers to ask questions and receive answers.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-54(15)(B).

Conn. Agencies Regs. § 46a-54-204.

Course that fills requirement: 2017 Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention Simulation – Supervisor’s Course (AB1825/AB2053)

Provide two hours of harassment prevention training to all employees in supervisory roles within six months of the beginning of employment. Training must address state and federal laws prohibiting sexual harassment, definitions, types of conduct that constitutes sexual harassment, and remedies available to victims.

Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities

Delaware

Recommended, not required.

Delaware Office of Human Relations

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 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).

Nothing required. Prevention is strongly encouraged.

Hawaii Civil Rights Commission

Idaho

Recommended, not required.

Idaho Commission on Human Rights

Illinois

(Illinois Human Rights Act)

Every state executive department, state agency, board, commission, and instrumentality must develop a written sexual harassment policy and post it in a prominent and accessible location and distribute to employees in a manner to ensure that all employees see it. They must all provide sexual harassment training as part of all ongoing or new employee training programs.

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

Make sexual harassment training in the workplace part of ongoing and new employee training programs.

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.

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

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 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

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 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 have received 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 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 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

None but Wisconsin 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