SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICIES AND TRAINING - April 21, 2017
Historically, employers have experienced a spike in sexual harassment and similar complaints after the report of high profile cases in the media. Think Anita Hill/Clarence
Thomas and Paula Jones/President Clinton, among others. Given the recent controversy surrounding Bill O’Reilly and Fox News, we can expect a similar phenomenon.
Most employers know that they can help protect themselves from liability by implementing anti‐harassment policies and conducting periodic anti‐harassment training. Indeed, for decades Massachusetts employers have been legally required to implement a sexual harassment policy containing certain, prescribed information. What many employers do not know, however, is that other states now require similar policies, and some states even mandate periodic training. More specifically:
- As of 2016, California now requires written sexual harassment policies containing certain information. Note that given these specific requirements, a policy that is compliant in Massachusetts may not be compliant in California.
- Vermont now requires a written sexual harassment policy.
- California, Connecticut and Maine all require employers of a certain size to provide periodic anti‐harassment training to supervisory employees.
In light of current events, it is a good time to ensure that your anti‐harassment policy is current and compliant in all jurisdictions in which you do business. You also should ensure that your training plans and programs are compliant. We would be happy to assist you in these matters. Note that we frequently provide harassment training around the country, for which we offer alternative billing arrangements (such as fixed fees).
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