New Delaware Law Mandates Anti-Harassment Training
Delaware recently became the latest state to mandate sexual harassment prevention training. On August 29, 2018, Governor John Carney signed SB 360 into law, amending Delaware’s Discrimination in Employment Act to address sexual harassment and to require large employers to provide training on the prevention of sexual harassment. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2019, and initial training must be complete by January 1, 2020.
With this legislation, Delaware’s definition of sexual harassment will now be in line with that under federal law. Under Delaware’s new law, the Delaware Department of Labor will create an information sheet on sexual harassment for employers to distribute to employees. Every employer with four or more employees will be required to physically or electronically distribute the information sheet to new employees at the commencement of employment and to existing employees by July 1, 2019.
Perhaps of most significance is the law’s requirement that employers with at least 50 employees in Delaware must provide interactive training and education to employees regarding the prevention of sexual harassment. The training must be provided to new employees within one year after employment begins and to existing employees by January 1, 2020. In addition, employers must repeat the training every two years.
Training for staff must include:
- a statement regarding the illegality of sexual harassment;
- the definition of sexual harassment, with examples;
- the legal remedies and complaint process available to employees;
- directions on how to contact the Delaware Department of Labor (which administers the state’s laws against discrimination and harassment); and
instruct employees that retaliation is prohibited.
The interactive harassment training for supervisors additionally must include information about the specific responsibilities of a supervisor in preventing and correcting sexual harassment.
Employers should review and update their training programs to ensure compliance with the new law’s mandates and prepare to provide the required interactive training. For MEA Members, the Hotline and a Member Legal Services attorney are available to assist you with these tasks and to answer your questions about best practices for addressing harassment in your workplace.
Amy G. McAndrew, Esquire
Director of Member Legal Services
MidAtlantic Employers’ Association
*This Alert is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.