New Delaware Sexual Harassment Law Requires Training

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On August 29, 2018 Delaware became the latest state to enact legislation requiring employers to train employees on the prevention of sexual harassment when Governor John Carney signed SB 360 into law. Like California’s AB1825, SB 360 requires larger employers (those employing over 50 employees) to provide training on the prevention of sexual harassment. This law goes into effect on January 1, 2019 and the training must be complete by January 1, 2020.

Although it seems as if every state in the country is requiring employers to train their employees on this very important topic, SB360 makes Delaware just the fifth state to mandate employers to train employees on the prevention of sexual harassment. On January 1, Delaware will join Maine, Connecticut, California and New York in a growing list of states with mandatory training legislation.

Delaware Requirements

Employers employing 50 or more employees in Delaware must meet the following requirements set forth by SB 360 elements: 

  1. Employees must be provided with interactive training on the prevention of sexual harassment.
  2. Training must be conducted for new employees within one year of the commencement of their employment. Importantly, existing employees must receive training by no later than January 1, 2020.
  3. Topics covered include the following:
    a. The illegality of sexual harassment
    b. A specific definition of sexual harassment (with examples)
    c. A description of legal remedies available to employees and the complaint process (both internally and externally)
    d. Instruction on how to contact the Delaware Department of Labor; and
    e. Instruction that retaliation is prohibited
  4. According to SB 360, new supervisors must receive additional training within one year of the commencement of their supervisory role, and that supplementary training must cover the specific responsibilities of a manager in sexual harassment prevention and the illegality of retaliation.
  5. Finally, employee and supervisor training programs must be repeated every two years.


Syntrio Response

As always, Syntrio is well ahead of the curve in its response to the new Delaware law. Indeed, we have already begun the framework of our Delaware sexual harassment prevention courses for managers and employees, and will have these courses available to customers well in advance of the date the law goes into effect. You can expect to demonstrate the new Delaware courseware sometime in the coming months. As always, keep a close eye on Syntrio’s blog for updates on news and legislation that is relevant to human resources, employment law and ethical compliance issues. We very much look forward to being your trusted source in the provision of Delaware Sexual Harassment Training.

Syntrio is a leader in the human resources and employment law fields (as well as ethics and compliance), and is prepared to help your company implement a compliance program aimed at reducing the potential impact of harassment, discrimination, wage and hour, and other employment law issues your organization may face. Syntrio takes an innovative philosophy towards employment law training program design and strives to engineer engaging, entertaining, and thought-provoking content.


Contact www.syntrio.com for more information about our discrimination, harassment, and prevention of retaliation online courses and remember to follow us on Facebook, TwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on corporate compliance that impact your company.


Written by, Jon Gonzalez, Esq., Chief Counsel for Syntrio

 

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New York State Sexual Harassment Law Set to Take Effect October 9, 2018

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In April 2018 New York State and New York City enacted sweeping changes to sexual harassment laws in New York. The changes were enacted in response to the #MeToo movement and came with a variety of questions for employers throughout the state.

New York State employers with 15 or more employees required to train all employees.

In a landmark change, New York became the largest state to require employers employing 15 or more persons to train all employees annually on the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace. Among the requirements of the New York State and New York City sexual harassment laws, training programs must include the following key elements: 

  • A detailed explanation of what constitutes sexual harassment at work under New York State and New York City law
  • Examples of conduct that constitutes the sexual harassment under the unique approach taken by New York City
  • Information on New York State, New York City and federal laws concerning sexual harassment and the remedies available to victims
  • Making available information about employees’ rights to adjudicate complaints of sexual harassment both administratively and judicially and the forums in which to do so
  • Contact information for New York State, New York City, and federal equal employment agencies
  • Interactivity in training

Training developed for both managers and employees

In response to the New York City sexual harassment law and New York State sexual harassment laws, Syntrio developed an industry-leading New York Sexual Harassment training course for managers and a matching New York Sexual Harassment training course for non-managerial employees. Both courses are designed to educate employees on New York State and New York City sexual harassment laws (as well as the federal law), as well as company policy prohibiting sexual harassment.

Syntrio’s New York sexual harassment training courses use engaging and entertaining hypothetical scenarios and real-life examples, as well as a narrative based interactive video storyline that provides practical guidance on not just the steps to be taken to prevent sexual harassment in New York workplaces, but also retaliation. The courses take the users through the process of filing a complaint, address bystander intervention, and provide guidance on how to recognize and address sexual harassment in the workplace if it occurs.

Syntrio cordially invites you to learn more about its New York State and New York City sexual harassment courses and to contact us or by telephone at (888-289-6670).

 

Syntrio is a leader in the human resources and employment law fields (as well as ethics and compliance), and is prepared to help your company implement a compliance program aimed at reducing the potential impact of harassment, discrimination, wage and hour, and other employment law issues your organization may face. Syntrio takes an innovative philosophy towards employment law training program design and strives to engineer engaging, entertaining, and thought-provoking content.

 


Contact www.syntrio.com for more information about our discrimination, harassment, and prevention of retaliation online courses and remember to follow us on Facebook, TwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on corporate compliance that impact your company.


Written by, Jon Gonzalez, Esq., Chief Counsel for Syntrio

 

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Does Your Harassment Training Need a Makeover?

The #MeToo movement grew exponentially due to the availability of the internet as an avenue for victims of harassment to express their protest of bad acts and actors in the workplace. Like any internet phenomenon, the movement has spawned a backlash against training programs provided to employees (and perceptions about the reasons training is actually given). It wouldn’t be the internet without a daily article about why training is ineffective or a “top six reasons why your harassment training will fail” garnering retweets, likes and links in internet generated blog posts (like this one).

While the general consensus that harassment training as currently constructed has some truth, and the motivations behind spending millions of dollars on training can rightfully be questioned, where the criticism articles go wrong is their failure to emphasize the approach taken by online and live training providers as opposed to highlighting the “boring” and “thoughtless” approach taken by many lawyers and internet training providers tasked with providing one and two hour trainings for groups of managers and employees.

Where we differ from other industry providers is in our unique approach 

Syntrio prides itself on taking the criticism of the e-learning industry to heart and implementing changes in our products in response to changes in the times and tastes of employees across all industries. Where we differ from other industry providers is in our unique approach aimed at resonating with the user to change his or her behavior regardless of illegality as a means of actually preventing incidents.

As the Think Progress article linked above eloquently states, all too many training providers are focused on long lessons in black-letter law while failing to illustrate the practical implications of bad workplace behavior. Indeed, there is more to cultural change than knowing what is “illegal,” rather employees need to be instructed on how civility in the workplace can improve the overall experience for one another.

Improving workplace culture to a level of total inclusiveness

Syntrio’s video and text-based scenarios illustrate more than just the fine legal points of harassment law. Indeed, our training programs are aimed at changing or improving workplace culture to a level of far more than tolerance, but to a level of total inclusiveness. By doing so, employees feel comfortable reporting any and all perceived misconduct, not just potentially illegal misconduct. This approach makes the workplace a better place to spend time and in turn, a safer place to do so as well.

We invite you a demonstration of our approach to learning, from full-scale training programs to micro-learning courses to very brief ethical snapshots, we know you will have a refreshed look at what training can be when it goes beyond a law school lecture and into a tactical discussion on improving workplace culture.


Syntrio is a leader in the human resources and employment law fields (as well as ethics and compliance) and is prepared to help your company implement a compliance program aimed at reducing the potential impact of harassment, discrimination and other employment law issues your organization may face. Syntrio takes an innovative philosophy towards employment law training program design and strives to engineer engaging, entertaining, and thought-provoking content
.

 


Contact www.syntrio.com for more information about our discrimination, harassment, and prevention of retaliation online courses and remember to follow us on Facebook, TwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on corporate compliance that impact your company.


Written by, Jon Gonzalez, Esq., Chief Counsel for Syntrio

 

New California Independent Contractor Standard Complicates things for Employers

Employers have long used independent contractors for a variety of means. Perhaps your business has a project-specific job set to run a fixed length of time that can only be done by a specific type of individual, who you will not need after the job is done. Perhaps your business likes to substitute contractors for employees to avoid the administrative hassles involved in hiring employees and paying the associated payroll taxes that go along with their employ. One of the foregoing situations is an appropriate use of a contractor, the other is not. In a new California Supreme Court decision, the state’s highest court has added some clarity as to when and how an individual can be classified as an independent contractor.

When employers misclassify employees as independent contractors, they can be liable for significant overtime penalties, but also for denied benefits (given to regular employees) and other significant exposure that can make a seemingly small problem a big mess. In Dynamex Operations West v. Lee, the California Supreme Court set forth a new standard known as the “ABC” test for properly classifying a worker as an independent contractor. While “ABC” sounds simple, make no mistake, this new standard will make it much more difficult for California employers to prove that someone working for their business was an independent contractor and not an employee.

The ABC Test

The ABC test presumes employment under the California wage and hour laws unless a business can prove that all of the following conditions are met:

Factor A

Factor A requires the business must not dictate the control and direction of the employee’s work. This means contractors must be free to set their own hours and totally come and go as they please. Many companies run into problems with this step when they require contractors to be involved in regular or semi-regular meetings, for example.

Factor B

Factor B requires the entity to prove that the contractor’s services are outside the usual course of the entity’s business. The best example of this is an accounting firm who needs someone to cut the grass outside their building once a week. Such work would not fall within the purview of accounting, and therefore would pass factor B. Alternatively, where a tech company hires a contractor to do some coding on a website for its client it is a lot more difficult to prove the work was outside the usual course of the tech company’s business.

Factor C

Finally, factor C requires a business to prove the existence of a contractor’s independent operation such as a business license, tax identification, incorporation, and work for other customers or clients.

When taken in conjunction you can see that California has done its best to do away with the use of independent contractors. If you have employees in that state we strongly encourage you to contact Syntrio today to schedule a demonstration of our California wage and hour training. Further, no matter what state you may operate in, it would be of great benefit for you to review your policies and procedures, as the use of independent contractors as a substitute for employees has fallen further out of favor under the federal scheme as well.


Syntrio is a leader in the human resources and employment law fields (as well as ethics and compliance) and is prepared to help your company implement a compliance program aimed at reducing the potential impact of harassment, discrimination and other employment law issues your organization may face. Syntrio takes an innovative philosophy towards employment law training program design and strives to engineer engaging, entertaining, and thought-provoking content
.

 


Contact www.syntrio.com for more information about our discrimination, harassment, and prevention of retaliation online courses and remember to follow us on Facebook, TwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on corporate compliance that impact your company.


Written by, Jon Gonzalez, Esq., Chief Counsel for Syntrio

 

Vermont Passes New Sexual Harassment Law

In the latest example of “keeping up with the Joneses,” last week Vermont passed new legislation aimed at reducing (and publicizing) incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace. Similar to laws passed in many other states in the wake of the #MeToo movement, Vermont’s new law guarantees independent contractors, volunteers, and interns a working environment “free from harassment,” just as it does regular employees.

Changes to Settlement Agreements

Vermont no longer allows companies to prohibit individuals who have settled claims of sexual harassment with the employer from working with that organization in the future. This is a sweeping change that is unique in the country, in that it makes it easier for employees who resolve claims to return to their jobs, or work for the company where the incident occurred in the future.

Investigation Procedures Revamped

Investigation practices are also changing under the new Vermont sexual harassment law. Prior to the passage of this legislation the Vermont Attorney General did not have the specific right to visit places of employment and examine their harassment prevention practices. Beginning July 1, employers will need to watch out for representatives from the Vermont Department of Human Rights auditing practices or even ordering training sessions if they find deficiencies in organizational harassment prevention tactics.

Online Filing System Implemented for Charges of Harassment

Lastly, Vermont’s new law is making it easier for complainants to file charges of sexual harassment and discrimination by allowing charges to be filed wholly online. By eliminating physical steps to be taken, the legislature aims to streamline the process in hopes that more victims will come forward with allegations of harassment. Of course, whenever state legislatures take these steps it makes it easier for frivolous claims to also be filed, which is why educating your workforce on what harassment is (and is not) has become all the more important in the wake of the new law.

If you have employees in Vermont we encourage you to contact a member of Syntrio’s staff to learn more about training options that are available to you and your organization.

Syntrio is a leader in the human resources and employment law fields (as well as ethics and compliance) and is prepared to help your company implement a compliance program aimed at reducing the potential impact of harassment, discrimination and other employment law issues your organization may face. Syntrio takes an innovative philosophy towards employment law training program design and strives to engineer engaging, entertaining, and thought-provoking content.

 


Contact www.syntrio.com for more information about our discrimination, harassment, and prevention of retaliation online courses and remember to follow us on Facebook, TwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on corporate compliance that impact your company.


Written by, Jon Gonzalez, Esq., Chief Counsel for Syntrio