Ensuring a safe workplace extends to keeping your employees safe from sexual harassment. In the state of Delaware, making sure all of your employees — not only supervisors and managers — are aware of sexual harassment laws is no longer optional.
Delaware is one of six states that now require employers to provide interactive sexual harassment training to all staff. Delaware's requirements apply to employers with 50 or more employees. An amendment to the Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act (DDEA), the law (HB360) applies to all full-time, part-time, seasonal and temporary employees (including interns and apprentices) who have worked for you more than six months.
You aren’t required to provide training to independent contractors or job applicants (and don’t need to count them as part of your staff for determining if you have 50 employees). Workers employed by another company, such as a temporary staffing agency, must receive training from that agency, so you don’t have to count them either.
In Effect Since January 1, 2019
Be sure all existing employees have completed sexual harassment training by the deadline: January 1, 2020. New employees must be trained within one year of their start date, and the training should be repeated every two years.
Training for supervisors must include specific responsibilities for preventing and correcting sexual harassment, as well as education about the legal prohibition against retaliation. Supervisor sexual harassment training also must be repeated every two years.
Be sure that your sexual harassment training is interactive. If your training is presented online or using videos, provide employees with an option to submit a question and receive an answer during or immediately after the training session.
What Should the Training Cover?
Workplace sexual harassment training should:
- Define what sexual harassment is and provide examples
- Explain that sexual harassment is illegal
- Describe the legal remedies and complaint process available to employees
- Instruct employees how to contact the Delaware Department of Labor
- State that retaliation against those who file complaints is prohibited
Keep in mind that sexual harassment training must be repeated every 2 years. The law doesn’t specify how long the training should be, but 1.5-2 hours is recommended. It’s OK if the training is provided by outside consultants or vendors. As a best practice, keep signed acknowledgements (including any vendor certification) from employees who complete the training along with a copy of all training records.
Sexual Harassment Notice Required
In addition, Delaware requires all employers with four or more employees to distribute a sexual harassment notice (either printed or electronic) from the Delaware Department of Labor to all employees and new hires.
The information sheet is available online here.
You can find more information about Delaware Sexual Harassment laws here.
[Smart Tip] Did you know? Watching a training video or reading a document with no way to ask questions or get feedback is not considered interactive.
Delaware Workplace Sexual Harassment Training Law at a Glance
- The law applies to all employers (private companies and state-run) with 50 or more employees
- Seasonal and temporary employees count toward the 50-employee threshold
- All employees including part-time, full-time and temps (unless hired by an outside agency or independent contractors) who work for you more than six continuous months must complete training
- Training must be repeated every two years
- The training must be interactive (the law doesn’t specify how long the training should be, but 1.5-2 hours is recommended)
- The training can be provided by outside vendors
- By January 1, 2020, all existing employees must be trained
- New employees must be trained within one year of hire