The #MeToo movement and the stories of women and men who have been sexually harassed or assaulted have brought sexual harassment into the spotlight. The hope is that we as a society can begin to reform the way that we act towards each other. One of the responses made by companies and organizations in the face of this revolution has been to implement sexual harassment training programs into their workplace education. However, not all states require mandatory sexual harassment training and these mandatory sexual harassment training policies and classes may still not get to the root of the problem. To get a better idea of what sexual harassment training entails and which states require businesses to put their employees through mandatory sexual harassment training, read on.

What does sexual harassment training entail?

Sexual harassment training often covers the basics of what sexual harassment is and what is expected of employees. Basically, a typical sexual harassment training program will provide employees with a clear definition of sexual harassment, an outline that discusses each of the prohibited behaviors that will be classified as sexual harassment in the workplace, and the course of action that employees need to take if they are sexually harassed or if they see a co-worker sexually harassing another member of the workplace or even a customer. However, these training programs may have extra steps to provide a more solid education for their employees.

Is sexual harassment training effective?

It’s hard to say whether harassment training works. On one hand, a lot of the sexual harassment training programs now in use are not necessarily geared toward helping employees understand sexual harassment and the negative impact that it has on the victim. In fact, sexual harassment training programs are usually implemented in the workplace as a means to help protect the employer from legal responsibility should one of their employees sexually harass another employee. That being said, this doesn’t mean that all sexual harassment training is ineffective or not geared towards improving workplace culture. The #MeToo movement is certainly encouraging many employers to fix the problems in current training programs so that they can deliver better, more effective programs to their employees, as well as a better workplace environment. There is still a long way to go, but many businesses and programs are taking the first step in the right direction.

What states require sexual harassment training?

Believe it or not, very few states require employers to give sexual harassment training to their employees. The states that do include California, Maine, Connecticut, and New York. Several other states have sexual harassment training policies for organizations in the state but not for businesses as a whole. For the states that do not have mandatory sexual harassment training requirements in place, it is “highly recommended” that employers give their employees training. But it’s not required, and these employees can get away with not providing any form of training — unless they have to deal with a sexual harassment complaint or suit, that is.

There’s a lot of fear from both genders when it comes to sexual harassment, and a lot of programs do not alleviate the problem within the workplace. That being said, a number of great programs out there will successfully change workplace culture when it comes to sexual harassment. If you’re looking for a strong training program in your area that will provide your employees with the education that they need, simply look for businesses that provide sexual harassment training for New York. You are sure to find the program that your business needs.