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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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

 

New York Passes Anti-Harassment Legislation: Let Syntrio Fulfill Your New Training Need

The past week has seen the harassment landscape in New York State change forever, as Governor Cuomo signed into law the New York State Legislature’s anti-harassment budget. Not to be outdone, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign into law the “NYC Act,” which will amend New York City human rights law. Both laws create new requirements for employers in the city and state, but perhaps the most daunting requirement in each law is a mandate that employers within the State and City provide annual anti-harassment training for employees.

More than Just Training Requirements

In addition to the training mandate, the NYC Act brings several categories of workers under its umbrella, including contractors, subcontractor, vendors, consultants, and other persons who were not previously protected from misconduct by the City’s human rights laws. Further, the New York State law prohibits the use of nondisclosure (confidentiality) provisions in settlement or arbitration agreements relating to sexual harassment claims. Finally, the State law requires the distribution mandatory written policies aimed at prohibiting harassment in the workplace. In short, these laws, enacted within days of one another have created a significant burden on New York State and City employers, and the requirements begin going into effect soon.

Harassment Training Requirements

Because Syntrio is engaged in the business of fulfilling e-learning solutions to your harassment training needs, the crux of this article will focus on the requirements New York State and New York City have placed on employers with regard to training. You should first know that many of the articles you are reading claiming full knowledge of the requirements of these new laws are making assumptions before the laws are product[s]. Although the State and City laws provide a road map for what is coming, you should expect that regulations will be enacted to assist with implementation and compliance with both pieces of legislation that may ultimately change an analysis and interpretation of what is required in the training that is becoming mandatory in New York. So stay tuned for updates, as what we think we know at this moment may (and likely will) change.

What we Know

The New York State law is explicit in its requirement that employers must provide training to all employees. Unlike California, where supervisors must be trained once every two years on the avoidance of sexual harassment, the New York State law requires that each and every employee your company employs be provided the training annually. The laws also tell us that the New York Department of Labor will develop a model program that will be compliant and will be available for download by October 9, 2018.

Although the State has taken on the task of developing a model training that can allegedly be used by all employers, we can nearly assure you that there will be difficulty with using the State’s model training for your organization (we all know one-size-fits-all is not a quality approach to training), and this is a big reason why we are here to help. Syntrio’s training is more engaging, more concise, and more effective than what the State will be able to produce due to our vast experience and top-notch expertise in the field.

What We Don't Know: Murky Requirements (For Now)

Although the laws themselves tell us very little about the requirements of the law as they will actually be interpreted by the State and City (including the potential length requirement –likely between 1-2 hours-) we do know that the training you provide must be interactive, and provide an explanation of sexual harassment. Training must also provide examples of unlawful harassment, and discuss the federal and state statutes and remedies available to victims of harassment. Further, methods of addressing complaints (both administratively and judicially) must be discussed. In addition, the training you provide must clearly state that sexual harassment is a form of employee misconduct and sanctions will be levied against those who witness and allow it to continue, and must also mention that retaliation against those who complain is illegal.

How Can Syntrio Help?

Unquestionably, there is a lot to digest in the paragraphs above. Fortunately for you, Syntrio is always ahead of the curve when it comes to new harassment legislation and we have already begun pre-developing a course tailored to meet the needs of New York employers as the laws develop. Although the training requirement goes into effect on October 9, 2018, it is unclear at this moment when the training must be completed by all employees. Before you rush to get training complete prior to the enactment deadline, please check with Syntrio to ensure that you get the course that best suits your needs and is fully compliant with the requirements of both the New York State and New York City laws.

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

 

Where We Are Going We Don’t Need Roads

You may have put some thought into the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of your sexual harassment training in recent months. Perhaps the pervasiveness of news articles on the subject has piqued your interest, or [more hopefully] you are genuinely concerned with preventing misconduct in your organization. In either event, you may be thinking about how simple “check the box” training is not getting the job done. If so, you are probably right.

A number of studies in recent years have shown that all methods of compliance training, as most commonly presented, are ineffective.

This means that the lawyer in front of a lectern isn’t working, nor is the simple text-based program you are feeding your employees. At Syntrio we have put a lot of thought and hours into creating more effective training and do so in response to cries from the market for more engaging training.

According to a recent article in Chief Learning Officer, some companies are taking e-learning to the next level of empathy by placing users in a virtual reality environment with victims and harassers all at once. By using 360 video, there is the belief that a more immersed user will be a more engaged user. Although the end result is likely correct, the cost of such a program is obviously sky-high at the moment. Even as virtual reality headsets like Sony’s PlayStation VR drop in price on a near weekly basis, implementing a virtual reality training program at the moment is not cost-effective for most companies.

Syntrio has heard the calls for more engaging training and has listened. We are constantly developing new methods of immersive training that allows the user to position him or herself in the eyes of the victim and harasser alike, so as to connect with the training in a way that simply is not occurring in the marketplace (absent of extremely expensive technology like a virtual reality headset).

We believe the key to successful training lies in the writing.

Users are tired of reading about a random girl named Nicole, with whom they have no connection. We know that e-learning needs to do better, so we have taken the steps necessary to become more engaging and interactive in our sexual harassment training programs. Although you may not be strapping on a headset with 360-degree video in Syntrio’s programs you certainly will come away feeling emotionally connected to the programs in a way you will not with most products on the market. We invite you to contact us to learn more.

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