Given the current intense public focus on sexual harassment, we thought it might be helpful to provide a current survey of “proactive” state sexual harassment prevention laws to assist employers in knowing about those states that mandate sexual harassment prevention training, policies, posting, and notice to employees.
We are aware of seven states that have enacted legislation requiring covered private sector employers to take extra steps in combating and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. Three of these states – California, Connecticut, and Maine – have mandatory training requirements. Alaska does not require training, but it does require employers to display a poster informing employees of their right to be protected against sexual harassment. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont require employers to adopt a policy against sexual harassment, as well as encourage training for new employees, and separate training for supervisory and managerial employees.
A number of other states, including Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, encourage but do not require employers to offer sexual harassment training or to take other prevention measures.
The state laws with mandated training, notice, and policy requirements are discussed in more detail in our guide, which also includes a chart we prepared that provides an overview of the states that have mandates and those that have policies encouraging prevention efforts, along with citations to the relevant statutes.
We expect that state activity is likely to increase in the coming months, including the enactment of new prevention mandates, and we will continue to track and report on new developments as we become aware of them.
Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.