What Employers Need to Cover in Anti-Harassment Training

Anti-Harassment Training is an extremely important element in maintaining a safe and welcoming work environment. That’s why many employers plan a regular, formal anti-harassment training that is compliant on new regulations.

Harassment consists of unwelcome conduct — whether verbal, physical, or visual — that is based upon a person’s protected status, such as sex, color, race, ancestry, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or other legally protected group status.

California, for example, recently expanded their requirements for anti-harassment training. As part of the training, employers and HR professionals must cover: Abusive Conduct, Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sexual Orientation, and Transgender Rights.

This information needs to be shared in a workplace flyer AND be posted in a public area where employees have access to it. To stay in compliance with these new regulations, it’s important to ensure that the anti-harassment trainers are qualified and knowledgeable, keep records of training attendance, and have initial training as part of their on-boarding processes.

Here are a few other tips to keep in mind during the presentation:

  1. Ensure that high level executives, employees and owners are present at the meeting. This shows support that all leaders will be held accountable and must comply with the materials covered in the training.
  2. Be appropriate and remind everyone to take the training seriously as it is a serious and sensitive topic.
  3. Provide examples of inappropriate, unacceptable, and illegal behavior so that it is clear for all employees what is actionable and what is in violation of the law.
  4. Share examples of risk factors that could result in harassment such as race, age, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
  5. Offer suggested responses and guidance for how supervisors should respond when an employee reports a harassment case.
  6. Emphasize that seniors or supervisors cannot guarantee confidentiality when an employee speaks to them about a harassment issue because it is their job to report all complaints to HR.
  7. Reinforce non-retaliation as a course of action. For example, a change in the amount of work, assigned tasks, or responsibilities may be considered retaliation.
  8. Train all supervisors on how to respond to unwelcome, inappropriate, or unacceptable conduct.
  9. Use humor in the training with caution. While it can help employees get more involved and open up throughout the program, it’s as important not to desensitize the issue as it is a serious topic.
  10. Encourage engagement throughout the training by asking questions, asking for feedback on what resonated with them, and more.

As a reminder, all supervisory roles must be given a 2-hour sexual harassment training during on-boarding and every two years after.

Have more questions? Give us a call to learn more.

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