Question of the Month

May 2018

Question
In your area, must a company provide mandatory anti-harassment/discrimination training for employees?
Answer from Alabama

No in Alabama.

For more information please contact Mike Thompson at mthompson@lehrmiddlebrooks.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from California

California companies with 50 or more employees are required by law to provide two hours of sexual harassment prevention training to all supervisors in California within six months of hire or promotion, and every two years thereafter.  Training is not required for non-supervisors.

For more information please contact Michael Foster at mfoster@fosteremploymentlaw.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Florida

No in Florida.

For more information please contact Wayne Helsby at whelsby@anblaw.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Georgia

No, Georgia has no mandatory training requirement on harassment or discrimination.

For more information please contact Doug Duerr at duerr@elarbeethompson.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Hawaii

No in Hawaii.

For more information please contact Sarah Wang at SWang@marrjones.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Kentucky

No in Kentucky.

For more information please contact Kevin Smith at wks@smithandsmithattorneys.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Maryland

No in Maryland.

For more information please contact Fiona Ong at fwo@shawe.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Massachusetts

No in Massachusetts.

For more information please contact Marylou Fabbo at mfabbo@skoler-abbott.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Minnesota

No.  In light of the recent high-profile harassment and discrimination cases, however, a lot of Minnesota companies are engaging outside counsel to review and update its employee handbooks and to provide in house anti-harassment/discrimination training.

In addition, Minnesota courts have adopted the Faragher-Ellerth affirmative defense for claims of harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Minnesota Human Rights Act when the employer can show that it: (1) exercised reasonable care to prevent (i.e. training) and correct promptly any sexually harassing behavior; and (2) the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer or to avoid harm otherwise.  Accordingly, it is in Minnesota employers’ best interest to ensure that it has provided proper anti-harassment training as it can serve as an affirmative defense under certain circumstances. 

For more information please contact Tom Revnew at TRevnew@seatonlaw.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Nevada

All employees of the State of Nevada are required to complete a certified course “concerning the prevention of sexual harassment” within six months of their appointment to state service. State employees are further required to take a certified refresher course on sexual harassment prevention once every two years thereafter. See NAC 284.496.

While private employers are not legally obligated to administer harassment or discrimination training to their employees, the Nevada Equal Rights Commission encourages them to do so and offers training services free of charge. See Training and Outreach, Nevada Equal Rights Commission, http://detr.state.nv.us/Nerc_pages/training_and_outreach.htm (last visited April 9, 2018).

For more information please contact Gregg Kamer at gkamer@kzalaw.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from New York

While, as of April 2018, New York State law does not currently require employers to provide mandatory anti-discrimination/harassment training, the New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo recently reached agreement on a budget bill that requires the New York State Department of Labor (“NYDOL”) to develop a model sexual harassment prevention policy and training program in consultation with the State Division of Human Rights. Under the law, employers will be required to adopt the NYDOL’s model policy and training program (or develop their own policy and training that meet or exceed the requirements of the NYDOL’s) and provide annual training to employees that includes: an explanation of sexual harassment; examples of prohibited conduct; information regarding conduct by supervisors and supervisors’ responsibilities;  information about state and federal statutes regarding sexual harassment, employees’ rights, available remedies, and all available forums for adjudicating complaints. Employers will be required to provide training on an annual basis. These requirements are scheduled to take effect  on October 9, 2018. See Bill No. S07507-C / A09507C (codified as New York Lab. Law § 201-g). Local law may impose additional requirements. For example, the New York City Council recently passed legislation that would, effective April 2019, require private employers with 15 or more employees to provide interactive sexual harassment prevention training annually and to new employees (with exceptions for new hires who have received recent training from a prior employer). See Int. 632-A. As of this writing, the bill was awaiting the Mayor’s signature.

For more information please contact Nick Bauer at NBauer@cfk-law.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from North Carolina

No in North Carolina.

For more information please contact Bryan Adams at bryan.adams@vradlaw.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Oregon

While Oregon law does not include any specific sexual harassment or discrimination training requirements, both the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines strongly recommend training for employees.  The training should explain the employer’s harassment policies and procedures so that all employees understand what is prohibited conduct and know how to complain about it.

Moreover, any Oregon employer with 15 or more employees will trigger the federal training requirements under Title VII, and accordingly, should ensure compliance with those requirements.

For more information please contact Naomi Johnson at njohnson@bullardlaw.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania does not require mandatory anti-harassment/discrimination training of private sector employers.

For more information please contact John Ellis at jellis@ufberglaw.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Texas

No in Texas.

For more information please contact John Freeman at jfreeman@keyharrington.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Virginia

No in Virginia.

For more information please contact Susan Carnell at scarnell@lorengercarnell.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Washington

No; this is not required in Washington.

For more information please contact Ken Diamond at ken@winterbauerdiamond.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

Answer from Wisconsin

No in Wisconsin.

For more information please contact Laurie Petersen at LPetersen@lindner-marsack.com

*Disclaimer: All answers to the Question of the Month are current the day on which they are posted. After this date, the information may subsequently change as a result of laws or rulings. For the most current information, please contact the responding lawyer for each state in which you are interested.

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