State laws and training requirements
Grace Hill Updates Sexual Harassment Training and Policies
in Response to Key State Legislative Changes
Are you concerned about staying up-to-date with anti-harassment legislation? You should be. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, things are moving quickly, especially at the state level. But rest assured, Grace Hill has you covered!
Anti-harassment policies and training help reduce your legal risk and ensure that employees understand how to act appropriately and deal with harassment, should it happen to them or someone else. Additionally, sexual harassment training is required in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New York, and New York City. And, it will be required in Illinois starting in January 2020.
Connecticut, New York, and Illinois have recently passed significant anti-harassment legislation, and in response, Grace Hill will release revised Sexual Harassment training on October 1.
Here are the highlights:
- One significant change is that employers with 3 or more employees are now required to have 2 hours of sexual harassment training for all employees, not just supervisors. Grace Hill’s training has been expanded to meet the 2-hour requirement.
- Additionally, Connecticut recently passed legislation regarding employer posting requirements, expanded protections for employees reporting alleged discrimination, expanded potential damages, and increased time to file a discrimination complaint. Grace Hill’s training has been updated to address these legislative changes.
- One significant change is that New York no longer requires that harassment be “severe or pervasive” to be illegal. This is a departure from federal law and is an important change for employers to be aware of because it increases their potential liability. Grace Hill’s training has been updated to address this new standard.
- Another significant change is that employers are now required to provide employees with their anti-harassment policy and the information provided in the training in the following languages: Bengali, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Italian, Korean, Polish, Russian, and Spanish. Grace Hill’s Sexual Harassment training and policies include a “translate” feature so training and policies can be translated to these and many other languages.
- Grace Hill’s training has also been updated to cover recent legislation relating to potential awards to victims of harassment, expanded definition of an employer, and increased time to file a harassment complaint.
- As of January 2020, Illinois joins the growing list of states that require private employers to provide sexual harassment training. Grace Hill has added an Illinois-specific version of the Sexual Harassment training to cover the required topics.
- In the new Illinois-specific training, updates have been made to cover recent legislation regarding notice requirements, expanded protections to include perceived membership in a protected class, clarification that “working environment” is not limited to the physical location where the employee works and allowing certain non-employees to bring harassment claims in 2020.
At Grace Hill, we will continue to vigilantly monitor federal and state legislative changes and keep you informed along the way.
Later this year, we will provide additional state-specific sexual harassment policies and a resource for employers to clarify recent state laws around restricting arbitration and non-disclosure agreements. Stay in close touch with us in November and December for more great content from Grace Hill on these critical topics.
Please also keep your own legal counsel close at hand as new legislation passes.
Thank you for all you do to keep your entire organization current and compliant. Grace Hill is proud to be your trusted compliance partner.