NAVEX Global is not a law firm and does not offer legal advice. The below information on US legislation is for reference only and should not be understood as legal advice. Please consult your legal advisor or general counsel for further information on these laws and on whether and how they may or may not impact your organization.
U.S. Federal Government
Workplace harassment is a form of discrimination and often the vehicle through which a person attempts to or successfully exerts control over another through sexual harassment, bullying, religious or ethnic stereotyping, gender bias or political speech. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against job applicants or employees due to a person’s race, color, religion, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability or genetic information. Generally speaking, most employers in the U.S. with at least 15 employees are covered by most discrimination laws, which apply to all types of work situations, including hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages and benefits.
AB 1825: Includes a definition of sexual harassment and detailed training requirements. Requires organizations with 50 or more employees (including temporary and contractual employees) to provide at least two hours of harassment training every two years to all employees with supervisory responsibilities
AB 2053: Extends on AB 1825 to require training for managers on abusive conduct.
Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA): Protects employees from discrimination or harassment based on their race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation and military/veteran status.
FEHA requires organizations with five or more employees to create policies detailing avenues for sharing complaints, complaint management processes, reporting requirements and anti-retaliation standards.
SB 396: Mandates that employers provide harassment training that addresses gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.
SB1343: Requires employers to provide all employees with one hour and all supervisors with two hours of anti-harassment training every two years.
Connecticut enacted a new state law in June 2019 that addresses sexual harassment in the workplace. The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) manages the requirements. These include two hours of anti-harassment training for all supervisors as well as for employees in any organization with three or more employees in Connecticut.
The Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act (DDEA) requires all organizations with at 50 or more employees provide interactive training and education to employees regarding the prevention of sexual harassment.
In 2019, Illinois has passed SB75, which includes the Workplace Transparency Act (WTA), which requires anti-harassment training for all employees in Illinois, including any employees with 20 or more calendar weeks in a year in Illinois.
The Maine statute mandating training applies to all employers with 15 or more employees. Supervisors and managers must receive specialized training that addresses their specific roles and responsibilities.
New York State
The 2018 regulation establishes that all employees and managers must receive annual harassment training, completed by October 9, 2019.
NAVEX Global enables organizations to address these and other ethics and compliance requirements through our market-leading hotline and incident management solution, policy management solution, third-party risk management and eLearning training solution.
Our anti-harassment training course, Workplace Harassment, has been updated at a 24 month cadence for more than 15 years. The current editions of the course, WPH7 and WPH8, align to the requirements of changing state laws and other anti-harassment regulations.
Please consult with your counsel to define which state and local laws apply to your organization, and what your obligations are to align to them. The law firm of Baker McKenzie partners with NAVEX Global, and regularly advises businesses on issues of sexual harassment, ethics and compliance.