Sexual harassment in the workplace has been identified as a harmful form of discrimination ever since the 1970s. However, addressing its presence has become more prevalent since the #MeToo movement. Its occurrence has been experienced across a myriad of industries, although it has been more prevalent in the entertainment industry.
On August 29, 2018, Delaware Governor John Carney signed into law HB 360, which amends the Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act (DDEA). Among other things, the law, which became effective on January 1, 2019, created certain Delaware sexual harassment training requirements for all employees.
After the passage of HB 360, employers were held to a strict training requirement. This involved maintaining that training for all new hires and must be conducted within one year of their hire. All current employees must be trained every two years.
To remain in compliance, a Delaware business can use the professional training resources of "EasyLlama" (https://www.easyllama.com/
). The professional educators at EasyLlama, through its easy-to-use online training, is your answer. Our HR experts have built training that is state and federally compliant. The courses can be completed on your company's scheduled time frame, including using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. In fact, take a peek at our HR compliance checklist
so you can stay on top of all the regulations.
Delaware Harassment Laws
In Delaware, Maryland sexual harassment has been addressed through House Bill 360 (Delaware HB 360
). HB 360 was passed in August 2018 and became effective January 2019. In summary, this House Bill legislation provides more protection for Delaware workers in sexual harassment situations.
HB 360 goes beyond protective measures for both men and women that were issued under the Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act. HB 350 addresses all sized businesses but there is no excuse not to remain in compliance with it. There are financial and regulatory consequences if an employer fails to protect their employees.
It is important for companies to understand their obligations under this law. HB 360 identifies and carries several legal components. It identifies sexual harassment as harmful when an employee is subject to unwelcome advances both of a verbal or physical nature.
A sexual or discriminatory act is not a part of an employee's employment expectations. Whether harassment is either explicitly or implicitly experienced, it is not a part of an employee's employment practice.
What You Need To Know About House Bill 360 (HB 360)
If a sexual harassment's outcome affects a victim's work performance or creates a hostile or intimidating working environment, an employer is required to take immediate action. House Bill 360 is to be enacted by all Delaware employers
with four or more employees.
This law also identifies employees under the category of state employees, apprentices, applicants, unpaid interns, and joint employees. HB 360 requires businesses with 50 or more employees to provide two hours of sexual harassment training. The training requirements under the law must provide the following:
- All supervisory employees in Delaware must undergo sexual harassment training every two years
- Training includes the education, prevention, and correction of sexual harassment, and victim remedies
- Training must be conducted by expert and knowledgeable individuals.
Our online interactive and relatable format improves employees' understanding of harassment and discrimination and how to respond to these incidences. With the interactive videos, quizzes, both supervisors and non-supervisory are treated to mini compliance sessions.
Expert harassment training like that offered by EasyLlama must include the course requirements established by HB 360. The training requirements must further include the remedies and compliance process available to all employees.
Also, specific responsibilities of a supervisor is required as it pertains to the prevention and correction of any and all sexual harassment reports. After completing the online educational EasyLlama course, employees and employers will receive a certification identifying their HB 360 passage requirements.
Which organizations need to provide training?
The Delaware law requires employers with 50 or more employees in Delaware to provide interactive sexual harassment training for all employees. In counting the number of “employees” to meet the 50-employee requirement, employers do not need to count applicants, independent contractors, or those who are employed less than six months continuously.
Who needs to be trained?
Employers must provide the training to all employees, including supervisors and non-supervisors. They do not need to provide the training to applicants, independent contractors, or those who are employed for less than six months continuously.
How frequently do employees need to be trained?
The training must be repeated every two years.
When must employees be trained?
Training must be conducted for new employees within one year of their date of hire. Existing employees being promoted to a supervisor role must receive training within one year of the effective date of the new statute.
What are the minimum training requirements?
The training must be interactive and cover the following topics:
- The illegality of sexual harassment
- The definition of sexual harassment, using examples
- The legal remedies and complaint process available to the employee
- Directions on how to contact the Department of Labor
- The legal prohibition against retaliation
Examples of sexual harassment in the workplace both live and in online contacts include the following:
- Inappropriate touching and sexual gestures
- Making inappropriate comments about an employee's appearance
- Sending suggestive emails
- Showing inappropriate images in the workplace
- Staring at and making crude comments about someone's body
- Supervisors or non-supervisors asking personal sexual questions
- Telling sexually implied jokes or stories, consistently
The Coronavirus pandemic outbreak has sent a large majority of U.S. employees home to perform many of their work functions. Prior to staying in place orders, men and women worked side by side. Even in this environment, sexual harassment raised its ugly head.
Just because we are now working from our homes, virtual harassment has been found to be prevalent. Research by The Pew Research Center supports that 41% of adult men and women have experienced online harassment.
If sexual harassment involves employees, employers must take steps to protect their employees even in a virtual setting. Employers must create a live workplace culture and a virtual workplace environment where employees feel respected and safe.
In addition, supervisor training must include the specific responsibilities of a supervisor to prevent and correct sexual harassment, while addressing the legal prohibition against retaliation.