The new Delaware statute requires employers with 50 or more employees in Delaware to provide sexual harassment training for all employees and supervisors, making Delaware the fifth state to statutorily mandate anti-harassment training for managers, and the second state to require such training for all employees. The Delaware law will become effective on Jan. 1, 2019.
What are the subjects that must be covered?:
For non-supervisory employees, the training must cover the following topics:
(1) that sexual harassment is illegal;
(2) the definition of sexual harassment, including examples;
(3) the legal remedies and complaint process available to the employee
(4) how to contact the Delaware Department of Labor; and
For supervisors, the training must also include the specific responsibilities of a supervisor regarding the prevention and correction of sexual harassment. Note that, under the new law, “supervisor” means more than front line supervisors, and includes any “individual that is empowered by the employer to take an action to change the employment status of an employee or who directs an employee’s daily work activities.”
What are the requirements for training format and delivery?
Training for all current employees must be given within a year of the effective date of the legislation (or not later than December 31, 2019), and every two years afterward.
Employers who provide (or provided) training that meets the requirements of the law before January 1, 2019, will not be required to provide any additional training until January 1, 2020.
The training must last at least 90 minutes, and must be interactive. While the law does not prescribe the exact format, classroom training is most effective. To be interactive, the program should include questions that assess learning and numerous hypothetical scenarios, each with one or more discussion questions so that learners remain engaged in the training. Straight lecture or stand-alone video is not enough! Nor is a web-based or e-learning program considered interactive if it merely requires the employee to click “next” to get a new page view.
Do contractors, apprentices, interns, and temporary employees count toward the 50 employees?
Apprentices, interns and temporary employees in Delaware are counted, but independent contractors are not.
When do I have to train new hires?
The training must be given to new employees within a year of the start of employment, and every two years afterward.
When do I have to train new supervisors?
New supervisors must be trained within a year of their taking a supervisory position and every two years afterward.
Do I have to keep track of all the training we do?
While the law does not specify what kinds of records must be kept, you should have a record of who went to training, when, where, type of training, and the name of the training provider. These records should be kept for at least two years.
What do I need to do today to ensure our company is in compliance with Delaware regulations every two years?
Start thinking today about blocking out the dates in 2019 by which all training must be completed. Avoid seasonal rushes, quarter-ends, popular vacation periods, holidays, and other times when training is difficult to schedule.
Managing Within the Law
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One-on-one sensitivity training is an important tool in helping those employees for whom other training has not been effective and it is often a requirement after a workplace investigation.
Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.