Sexual Harassment Training – New State Laws for Employers

// September 5, 2019
Reading Time: 3 minutes

This October marks two years since the #MeToo movement — founded in 2006 — ignited online and in the media, and while it might not be making daily headlines as it once did in 2017, sexual harassment in the workplace is still prevalent. Accordingly, many states are taking measures to enforce new sexual harassment training laws.

While each state and locality has responded with varying laws and training requirements, the goal is the same: to combat the ongoing issue of harassment by mandating companies to properly train their people (oftentimes including all temporary and seasonal workers) within their first six months of employment.

While some states have not released data on what their mandated training should involve, states such as California, New York, Connecticut and Maine clearly outline the parameters around who should be trained — and how often.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, California has released the following statement: “Effective January 1, 2019, employers must instruct supervisory and nonsupervisory employees on sexual harassment prevention by January 1, 2020. Specifically, employers must provide at least two hours of classroom or other effective interactive training and education to all new supervisory employees in California, and at least one hour of such instruction to all new nonsupervisory employees in the state, within six months after they assume a position.”

Heightened awareness brought on by the media about harassment in conjunction with stricter, more structured training laws enacted by many states underscores the continued importance of making sure employees are aware of the seriousness of harassment, what constitutes harassment, and what to do if you feel you have been harassed.

USLI offers a competitive, comprehensive Employment Practices Liability policy — but that’s not all. By purchasing a policy with USLI, your insured will also receive unlimited access to our Business Resource Center, which provides a human resources hotline, assistance with employee handbooks and training, and a plethora of other helpful resources for employment-related issues.

More than 7,500 sexual harassment claims were filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2018 (National Conference of State Legislatures). This number proves that the issue of sexual harassment isn’t going away. And for the times that your insured has a claim, make certain they have peace of mind knowing they have adequate coverage!

Highlights of our Employment Practices Liability product include:

  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – $100,000 sublimit for defense costs and loss (available in most jurisdictions) to protect employers in the event they are confronted with wage and hour disputes
  • Defense outside the limit (if a limit of $500,000 or higher is purchased)
  • Duty to defend – we have an obligation to defend all claims (as defined by the policy) even if they are found to be groundless, false or fraudulent
  • Full prior acts available for most risks
  • Independent contractors are included in the definition of employee
  • Access to the Business Resource Center that will assist in protecting and growing insureds’ businesses

For more information or to obtain an Employment Practices Liability quote, please contact your Professional Lines underwriter.


As always, thank you for your support and business.

Contact Chris Lavelle
Second Vice President, Underwriter – Travel | 888-523-5545, ext. 2060

Written by Laurel Bennett
September 5, 2019