Guest Blogger: Marcia Hakanson on Workplace Harassment Prevention

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  • Guest Blogger: Marcia Hakanson on Workplace Harassment Prevention

Posters, policies, complaint handling, and training are all important elements of a solid workplace harassment prevention program.  If your organization operates is several states, you’ll need to know the requirements. Some states mandate training (NY, CA, IL, DE, ME, CT), others strongly recommend it (HI, ID, MD, MA, and others) and others mandate training only for public sector employees or specific industries. The laws are quite specific and can be cumbersome for any employer even if you operate in a single state.

Regardless of state law, the federal EEOC strongly encourages employers to conduct workplace harassment prevention training in addition to having a solid policy and a responsive complaint handling procedure.

Our site simplifies state and federal requirements in a consistent format. Our recommendation is to require one hour of training for all current (and newly hired employees within 30 days), and two hours for any supervisory or management employees (and new supervisory promotions within 6 months).

Various California state laws require training to include bullying or abusive conduct, and content on gender identity and gender expression. Employers with over five employees must train on these topics for one hour for staff, and two hours for managers and supervisors, every other year.  The content of the training sessions includes these state-mandated subjects:

  • AB 1825 Training for Managers, Supervisors, and Team Leaders
  • AB 2053 Abusive Conduct
  • SB 396 Gender Issues
  • SB 1343 for Non-Supervisors (one hour mandatory training)

In New York, new laws have strengthened protections against discrimination and harassment under the New York State Human Rights Law. The law requires all employers to conduct one hour of harassment prevention training annually, among other requirements.

Illinois’ Public Act 101-0221 was recently amended to require annual sexual harassment prevention training by December 31, 2020 and annually thereafter.  Additionally, restaurants and bars must establish and disseminate a written policy on sexual harassment prevention training and provide “supplemental” sexual harassment prevention training.

Other states have special provisions for tipped employees, posting requirements, and other points. But for all states, the EEOC guidance lays out a three-pronged approach:  a well-published policy, a solid complaint handing procedure, and a strong recommendation for all employers to train all staff.  Additionally, employers must display posters and disseminate their policy regularly.

Employers need details on content for the policies and training, how often employees should receive the training, and how soon upon hire a new employee must be trained. With all these overlapping and sometimes confusing requirements, Prevent Harassment LLC makes compliance simple.  For a complete list of state requirements, visit the Free Resources at  In addition to comprehensive training and certification, we provide sample forms, state and federal posters, and guides for making compliance simple.

Learn more about On-Demand Workplace Harassment Training.

All the best,

Marcia Hakanson

Harassment and Bullying Prevention Training