State-Specific Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

Sexual harassment, unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that may be physical, verbal, or visual, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII, as it’s popularly known, is federal legislation that protects every employee in every state from discrimination based on one of the following protected classes: sex, race, color, national origin, and religion.

Anti-Sexual Harassment Training

Title VII is administered by the EEOC (the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), and while neither the law nor the EEOC require specific anti–sexual harassment training from employers, such training is crucial to help prevent abusive conduct and lessen an employer’s legal liability should violations of the law occur.

Other federal law prohibits discrimination nationwide on the basis of additional protected classes: pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; age (for people 40 or older); disability (physical and mental); and genetic information.

State-Specific Legislation

More and more, individual states have added their own legislation and protected classes, and have instituted training requirements to prevent sexual harassment in their workplaces. Please note that cities, counties, and municipalities may have additional laws and requirements.

ATS Media has compiled this information to help you navigate training requirements and protections state by state, so that you can make informed decisions regarding the best training for your organization. While we have made every attempt to ensure the accuracy of the information, and to obtain it from reliable sources, ATS Media is not responsible for any errors or omissions herein. Follow the Resource links below for the most complete information about your state’s statutes and training requirements, and contact one of our training experts for further guidance.

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law. Harassment complaints are handled by the EEOC.

Resources:

https://www.eeoc.gov/field/birmingham/index.cfm

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation):

marital status, changes in marital status or parenthood

Resources:

http://humanrights.alaska.gov

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law. The Arizona Civil Rights Act prohibits sexual harassment for all employers with 1 or more employees.

Resources:

https://www.azag.gov

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Gender

Resources:

https://www.workplacefairness.org/file_AR

Training requirements for all employees, managers, and supervisors: Interactive training required for all employees in organizations with at least 5 employees and all public employees regardless of size of organization. The training may be completed by employees individually or as part of a group presentation, and may be completed in shorter segments, as long as the applicable hourly total requirement (see below) is met.

Training requirements for managers and supervisors only: 2 hours interactive sexual harassment training every 2 years, starting within 6 months of hire

Training requirements for nonsupervisory employees: 1 hour of sexual harassment training every 2 years, starting within 6 months of hire

Note regarding non-employees and employers: An employer that failed to take corrective action may be held responsible for sexual harassment of non-employees (e.g., interns, contractors, vendors, volunteers, and other third parties).

California sexual harassment law also applies to so-called “gatekeepers” to employment, such as venture capitalists, investors, elected officials, lobbyists, directors, and producers.

Employers are prohibited from requiring employees to sign non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Ancestry, medical condition, marital status, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, military and veteran status. California also specifically prohibits racial discrimination based on hair texture and so-called protective hairstyles such as braids, locs, and twists.

State-mandated training topics:

  • Abusive conduct (bullying)

  • Gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation

  • Transgender rights*

  • Effects of harassment

Resources:

*https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2017/11/DFEH_E04P-ENG-2017Nov.pdf

https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/employment/

https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2018/12/SB_1343_FAQs.pdf

https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2017/06/DFEH-Workplace-Harassment-Guide-1.pdf

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Ancestry, creed, marriage to a co-worker, sexual orientation

Resources:

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdle/discrimination-harassment-mistreatment

Training requirements for all employees, managers, and supervisors: For organizations with at least 3 employees, 2 hours interactive sexual harassment training within 6 months of hire

Employers must post notices to employees concerning the illegality of sexual harassment and remedies available to its victims. Notices must include the address and telephone number of the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities; a statement that Connecticut law requires that a formal written complaint be filed with the Commission within 300 days of the date the harassment occurred.

State-mandated training topics:

  • Remedies for victims of sexual harassment

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Sexual orientation, civil union status, marital status, gender identity and expression, learning disability

Resources:

www.ct.gov/cho/lib/chro/sexharassposter_6_11.pdf

Training requirements: Legislation HB360 mandates anti–sexual harassment training for employees in Delaware organizations with at least 50 employees, and for employers with 4 or more employees within the state when a harassment violation occurred.

Workers covered by HB360 in addition to those already included in the Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act (DDEA) are state employees, unpaid interns, applicants, joint employees, and apprentices.

Training requirements for all employees, managers, and supervisors: For new employees, after 6 months of continuous employment, training is required within 1 year of hire, and every 2 years thereafter. For existing employees training is required within 6 months of assuming their supervisory position and every 2 years thereafter.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Sexual orientation, marital status, family responsibilities, reproductive health decisions, gender identity, veteran status

State-mandated training topics for all employees:

  • Illegality of sexual harassment

  • Definition and examples of sexual harassment

  • Legal remedies and complaint process available to employees

  • Contact information for the Department of Labor

  • Retaliation

State-mandated, interactive training topics for managers and supervisors:

  • Responsibilities of a manager or supervisor to prevent and stop sexual harassment

  • Illegality of retaliation

Resources:

https://statehumanrelations.delaware.gov

Training is required for government employees only: All new District employees are required to take a course on sexual harassment within 14 days of hire; existing employees are required to take a refresher course at least once every 2 years.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Sexual orientation, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity or expression, familial status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income, status as a victim of an intrafamily offense, place of residence or business

Resources:

https://ohr.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/ohr/publication/attachments/LawsAndRegs-SexualHarassmentPolicy.pdf

Training is required for government employees only: Anti–sexual harassment training is required for supervisors in executive branch agencies.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Marital status

Resources:

https://fchr.myflorida.com

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law. Harassment complaints are handled by the EEOC.

Resources:

https://www.eeoc.gov/field/atlanta/index.cfm

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law. Sexual harassment–prevention education is strongly encouraged.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, or domestic or sexual violence victim status

Resources:

http://labor.hawaii.gov/hcrc/files/2013/01/INFOsh-1.pdf

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Women are protected from discrimination based on so-called fetal protection policies.

Resources:

https://humanrights.idaho.gov/Idaho-Law/Types-of-Discrimination/Sex

Training is required annually for all employees (including short-term and part-time employees and interns, but not independent contractors), government agencies, and lobbyists. Additional training must be provided by restaurants and bars specific to their industry, within 30 days of hire and every 2 years thereafter.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, order of protection status, military status, unfavorable discharge from military service, victims of gender violence

Resources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/dhr/Pages/default.aspx

Training is requirement for government employees only: Computer-based training is required for all new state employees, with an emphasis on civility. Managers and supervisors must receive additional anti–sexual harassment training.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Sexual orientation and gender identity (with protection exemptions for religious beliefs), ancestry, veteran status

Resources:

https://www.in.gov/icrc

Training is required for state employees only: Iowa agency departmental directors and their employees are required to attend sexual harassment–prevention training.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Creed, gender identity, sexual orientation

Resources:

https://icrc.iowa.gov/your-rights/iowa-civil-rights-act

Training is required for government employees only: Kansas executive branch agencies are required to undergo annual anti–sexual harassment training.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): HIV/AIDS, military service or status. (While Kansas does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation, several cities in the state do.)

Resources:

http://www.khrc.net

Training is required for government employees only: Varies by agency

Resources:

https://kchr.ky.gov

Training is required for government employees only: State and local government agencies are required to have anti–sexual harassment policies that include a process for handling complaints, and mandatory annual prevention training.

Louisiana law prevents people accused of sexual misconduct from moving forward with lawsuits for slander, defamation, or libel against an alleged victim until the complaint is resolved. It also allows a court to dismiss a nondisclosure agreement if it prevents someone from sharing information about criminal activity.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Sickle cell anemia traits

Resources:

http://gov.louisiana.gov/page/lchr

Training requirements for all employees, managers, and supervisors: Organizations (not including religious and fraternal nonprofits) with at least 15 employees located or doing business in Maine must train all employees about sexual harassment within 1 year of hire.

Training requirements for managers and supervisors only: Additional training, including definition of sexual harassment under state and federal law, examples of sexual harassment, employer complaint process, legal recourse, and retaliation protection, within 1 year of assuming position

State-mandated training topics:

  • Remedies for victims of sexual harassment

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation):

Sickle cell anemia traits, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression

Resources:

www.maine.gov/mhrc/guidance/sexualharassment.htm

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law; when deciding a sexual harassment case, the Maryland Commission on Human Relations will consider steps employers took to prevent the harassment such as:

  • Establishing and implementing policies regarding sexual harassers.

  • Establishing a complaint process for employees who encounter sexual harassment.

  • Informing staff of relevant policies, and training them to recognize and prevent sexual harassment.

Resources:

https://mccr.maryland.gov

Training requirements: Training is not required by law, but training of all employees, managers, and supervisors is encouraged.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation, for Mass. employers with at least 6 employees): ancestry, gender identity, criminal record (inquiries only), mental illness, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, active military personnel

Resources:

https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-commission-against-discrimination

Training is required for government employees only: All legislators and staff members are required to participate in anti–sexual harassment training once a year.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): sexual orientation, gender identity, height, weight, marital status, partisan considerations

Resources:

https://www.michigan.gov/mdcr

Training is required for government employees only: See https://mn.gov/admin/employees/hr/new-employees/required

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Creed, marital status, familial status

Resources:

https://mn.gov/mdhr

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law.

Resources:

http://www.mdhs.ms.gov

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law. Employers are required to post notices advising all employees of their rights under the Missouri Human Rights Act and their right to be free from retaliation. Such notices must be accessible, as needed, to persons with visual or other disabilities that affect reading.*

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Gender, compensation discrimination

Resources:

https://labor.mo.gov/mohumanrights/Discrimination/employment

*https://labor.mo.gov/posters

Training requirements: Training is not required by law, but is strongly encouraged.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Creed, marital status, political belief (in government), retaliation

Resources:

http://erd.dli.mt.gov/human-rights/human-rights-laws/employment-discrimination

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law.

Resources:

http://www.neoc.ne.gov

Training is required for government employees only: All new employees, officers, appointees, board members, and volunteers in the executive branch must attend a class on sexual harassment–prevention training within 6 months of hire. Employees are

required to attend refresher training once every 2 years.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Sexual orientation

Resources:

http://hr.nv.gov/Resources/Publications/HR123/Diversity/sexualharass

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Gender identity, creed, marital status, familial status

Resources:

https://das.nh.gov/hr/sxharas.html

Training is required for government employees only: State employees are required to take a certified anti–sexual harassment class within 6 months of hire and a refresher course every 2 years thereafter.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Creed, nationality, ancestry, marital status, domestic partnership or civil union status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information liability for military service, AIDS- and HIV-related illnesses.

Resources:

https://www.nj.gov/oag/dcr/employ.html#hostile

https://www.nj.gov/lps/dcr/index.html

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law.

Note regarding NDAs: Employers cannot require that an employee, as a term of employment, sign a nondisclosure provision of a settlement agreement relating to a claim of sexual harassment, discrimination, or retaliation in the workplace.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Ancestry, serious medical condition, spousal affiliation, sexual orientation, and gender identity

Resources:

https://www.dws.state.nm.us

Training requirements for all employees, managers, and supervisors: Annual interactive anti–sexual harassment training (must include employee feedback) required for all full- and part-time employees, including those with out-of-state organization headquarters, in English and the employee's primary language.

Note regarding non-employees (e.g., interns, contractors, vendors, volunteers, and other third parties): NY law explicitly allows non-employees to sue an organization if they are sexually harassed while on the job.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Creed, sexual orientation, military status, predisposing genetic characteristics, familial status, marital status, domestic violence victim status. New York also specifically prohibits racial discrimination based on hair texture and so-called protective hairstyles such as braids, locs, twists, and afros.

State-mandated training topics:

  • Sex stereotyping

  • Remedies for victims of sexual harassment

  • State prohibition of mandatory sexual harassment arbitration and nondisclosure agreements

  • Retaliation

Resources:

New York State Division of Human Rights

www.ny.gov/sites/ny.gov/files/atoms/files/SexualHarassmentDRAFTModelTraining.pdf

New York City:

Training requirements for all employees, managers, and supervisors: In organizations with 15 or employees, annual interactive anti–sexual harassment training required for all, including interns, within 90 days of hire. Poster and info sheet required*

Note regarding independent contractors: Employers are required to provide certain independent contractors and freelancers with sexual harassment prevention training in accordance with the New York City Human Rights Law. Similar to employees and interns, independent contractors must receive this training if they work for an employer of 15 or more people, work more than 80 hours in a calendar year, and work for at least 90 days.

Managers and supervisors only: Must be trained within 6 mos. of hire

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Alienage or citizenship status, arrest or conviction record, caregiver status, credit history, gender or gender identity, marital or partnership status, salary history, sexual orientation, status as victim of domestic or sexual violence or stalking, unemployment status, veteran or active military status, sexual and reproductive health decisions

State-mandated training topics:

  • Bystander intervention

  • Remedies for victims of sexual harassment

  • Retaliation

Resources:

*https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/cchr/downloads/pdf/materials/SexHarass_Notice-8.5x11.pdf

https://www.ny.gov/sites/ny.gov/files/atoms/files/SexualHarassmentDRAFTModelTraining.pdf

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Status with regard to marriage or public assistance, or participation in lawful activity off the employer’s premises during nonworking hours which is not in direct conflict with the essential business-related interests of the employer

Resources:

https://www.nd.gov/labor/human-rights/employment-discrimination

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Military status, ancestry, (in Toledo) natural hair types and hair styles or head wraps commonly associated with race, culture or religion

Resources:

http://crc.ohio.gov

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law.

Resources:

http://www.okdrs.org/guide/oklahoma-human-rights-commission

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law. However, employers with 6 or more employees must display required posters, including the Domestic Violence, Harassment, Sexual Assault or Stalking (DVHSAS) poster available here: https://www.oregon.gov/boli/TA/Pages/Req_Post.aspx

An employer is liable for harassment by non-employees in the workplace when the employer or the employer's agents knew or should have known of the conduct unless the employer took immediate and appropriate corrective action.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation):

Sexual orientation, marital status, employment status, credit history, jury service, child support obligations, and victims of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking

Resources:

https://www.oregon.gov/BOLI/CRD/pages/index.aspx

Training is required for government employees only: Sexual harassment training is required for state agency employees, which “may consist of written materials, formal training, educational videos, orientation sessions, workplace discussions, and/or individual counseling. Education in sexual harassment issues should be considered an ongoing effort, with additional approaches used periodically to reinforce earlier education” and “to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, all managers, supervisors, and employees must be made aware of the Commonwealth’s sexual harassment policy, the steps to take when concerns arise, and our commitment to address instances of sexual harassment aggressively and equitably.”

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Familial status, religious creed, ancestry, use of guide or support animals because of the blindness, deafness or physical handicap of the user or because the user is a handler or trainer of support or guide animals is a matter of concern of the Commonwealth

Resources:

https://www.hrm.oa.pa.gov/eeo/policies-laws/Pages/default.aspx

https://www.oa.pa.gov/Policies/md/Documents/505_30.pdf

Training requirements: Legislation H8277 requires all employers to provide sexual harassment training for new employees within 3 months of hire, including additional training for supervisory personnel. Refresher training will be provided for all employees every 2 years.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Sexual orientation

All state employees are required to participate in sexual harassment training.

Resources:

http://www.hr.ri.gov

http://www.rilin.state.ri.us

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law.

Resources:

https://www.schac.sc.gov/employment-discrimination/prohibited-practices-discrimination-types/sexual-harassment

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law.

Resources:

http://dlr.sd.gov/human_rights/sexual_harrassment.aspx

Training is required for government employees only: Department of Personnel provides anti–sexual harassment training for state employees.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Creed, veteran’s status

Resources:

https://www.tn.gov/humanrights.html

Training is required for government employees only: Each state agency must provide its employees with an employment-discrimination training program with information regarding the agency’s policies and procedures relating to employment discrimination, including sexual harassment. Training must occur not more than 30 days after hire. Supplemental training is required every 2 years. Agencies must verify employee attendance.

Resources:

https://twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/sex-discrimination#sexualHarassment

Training is required for government employees only: State employers are required to provide training to prevent workplace harassment and abusive conduct, including sexual harassment, to all employees at time of hire and at least once every 2 years thereafter. The training should cover protected classed, the illegality of retaliation, and how to report harassment and make complaints.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Sexual orientation, gender identity. (Utah has also added additional protections which provide that employees may express religious and moral beliefs in the workplace in a reasonable manner on equal terms with similar expressions allowed by the employer, and that employers may not discharge, demote, refuse to hire, retaliate, or discriminate against an individual based on expressions of religious, political, or personal belief outside of the workplace.)

Resources:

https://dhrm.utah.gov/training/workplace-harassment-prevention

https://laborcommission.utah.gov/divisions/AntidiscriminationAndLabor/employment_discrimination.html

Training requirements: Training is not required by law, but employers are strongly encouraged to follow anti–sexual harassment guidelines.* State civil rights attorneys can review records related to sexual harassment and order an employer to hold sexual harassment training.

Companies cannot require people to sign away their right to report sexual harassment as part of a pre-employment contract. Vermont law protects volunteers, interns, and independent contractors as well as employees.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry, place of birth, crime victim status

Resources:

https://hrc.vermont.gov

*https://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/21/005/00495h

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Traits historically associated with race, including hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles such as braids, locs and twists

Resources:

https://www.oag.state.va.us/programs-initiatives/human-rights

Training is required for government employees only: The state of Washington requires anti–sexual harassment training for all its government employees. Contractors doing business with the state must also conduct training.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Creed, honorably discharged veteran & military status, marital status, sexual orientation and gender identity, use of a trained service animal, state employee whistleblower retaliation, healthcare whistleblower retaliation, elevator & escalator (conveyance industry) whistleblower retaliation, discrimination based on traits historically associated or perceived to be associated with race, including hair texture and protective hairstyles such as Afros, braids, locs and twists

Resources:

https://www.hum.wa.gov

Training requirements: Training is not required by law, but anti–sexual harassment education is encouraged.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): HIV/AIDS, military status, and political affiliation

Resources:

https://hrc.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx

Training requirements: Training is not required by law, but anti–sexual harassment education is encouraged.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Creed, ancestry, arrest or conviction record, marital status, sexual orientation, membership in the military reserve

Resources:

https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/er

Training requirements: Training is recommended but not required by law.

Protected classes (in addition to those covered by Title VII and other federal legislation): Creed, ancestry, military service or status, off-duty tobacco use

Resources:

http://www.wyomingworkforce.org