In 1991, Maine became the first state to legislatively require sexual harassment training for all employees. All Maine employers with 15 or more employees must train workers in the first year of employment.
Do out-of-state employees count toward the 15?
Neither the law nor the regulations address this question, so the accepted best practice is to count all employees, wherever located, in determining whether an organization is covered.
What are the subjects that must be covered?
For all employees, the training must:
Explain that sexual harassment violates state and federal law;
Define sexual harassment;
Discuss the types of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment under the law, including the facts that:
the harasser or the victim of harassment may be either a man or a woman;
harassment can occur involving persons of the same or opposite sex;
harassers can be supervisors, co-workers, or non-employees;
anyone affected by the offensive conduct can complain, not just the person harassed; and,
unlawful sexual harassment can occur even if there is no economic harm;
Describe the legal remedies available in sexual harassment cases;
Explain the employer’s complaint procedure;
Inform how to contact the Maine Human Rights Commission;
Advise that retaliation is strictly prohibited.
In addition, supervisory and managerial employees must receive additional training within one year of commencement of employment that includes, at a minimum:
the specific responsibilities of supervisory and managerial employees; and
methods that these employees must take to ensure immediate and appropriate corrective action in addressing sexual harassment complaints.
What are the requirements for training format and delivery?
Maine law does not require any particular format or length.
In other states, the minimum prescribed time for individual contributors varies from 90 minutes to two hours; for managers, the minimum is two hours.
As recognized by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in person anti-harassment 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.
When do I have to train new supervisors?
New supervisors must be trained about the additional responsibilities of supervisors and managers within one year of their taking a supervisory position.
Do I have to keep track of all the training we do?
Maine law requires employers to keep records 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 three years.
Managing Within the Law
This strategic seminar is core management training for experienced and new executives, managers, supervisors and leads.
We bring in your organizational policies and values to strengthen your workplace as a great place to work.
Hiring the Best
A program for managers to develop staffing strategies that will support them in selecting top talent, avoid the wrong candidates while minimizing legal risk.
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.