A new Delaware sexual harassment law takes effect on January 1.
Sexual harassment has been illegal in Delaware workplaces for over 20 years. However, the definition has never been clearly spelled out in the law until now, according to a release from the Delaware Department of Labor.
The legislation was passed this year with Republican legislators voting no or absent. Objections centered on the regulatory burden on employers and claims that existing law was sufficient. Democrats cited the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace.
The law firm of Ballard-Spahr, which has an office in Wilmington, says the Delawarelaw offers a broader definition of sexual harassment and perhaps greater protections for workers than the federal standard.
Beginning January 1, 2019, each employer must distribute the Department of Labor’s Sexual Harassment Notice to each new employee upon staring of employment, and to each existing employee by July 1, 2019.
The notice explains sexual harassment, provides several examples, cautions against retaliation, and gives instructions on filing a complaint with the Department of Labor.
In workplaces with 50 or more employees, employers are required to provide interactive training on sexual harassment prevention for all existing employees by December 31, 2019, and additional training to supervisors about their responsibilities and the retaliation prohibitions. The training must be provided to all new employees and supervisors within one year of commencement of their position.