Do employees know what to do in cases where they feel they have been harassed? Do practice owners/managers know how to handle an investigation? Are there written policies? What if the harasser is the owner or manager (or both)?
The dental profession holds a special position of trust within society. As a consequence, society affords the profession certain privileges that are not available to members of the public at large. In return, the profession makes a commitment to society that its members will adhere to high ethical standards of conduct.
Stop bias, discrimination, bullying, and inappropriate workplace relationships by ensuring management knows about the harassment. It is everyone's responsibility to help watch and report instances.
Dental Sexual Harassment Training Requirements by State
Under SB 778:
For more information: https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/
In the 2019 legislative session, the Connecticut General Assembly passed and the Governor signed Public Acts 19-16 and 19-93, which together constitute the Time’s Up Act.
Among other changes to the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) process, this legislation establishes new rules and requirements regarding sexual harassment training and education.
These provisions and requirements go into effect April 19, 2021. The language, which applies to employers which have three or more employees, includes:
The Commission encourages an employer having Fifty (50) or more employees to provide an update of legal interpretations and related developments concerning sexual harassment to supervisory personnel once every three (3) years.
For more information https://www.ct.gov/chro/cwp/view.asp?a=5019&Q=609536&chroNav=%7C
Employers with 50 or more employees must provide employees with interactive training and education on the prevention of sexual harassment.
Training must be conducted for new employees within one year of their date of hire. Existing employees must receive training within one year of the effective date of the new statute (January 1, 2019).
The training must cover:
This additional training must cover the specific responsibilities of supervisors in the prevention and correction of sexual harassment as well as the legal prohibition of retaliation.
Training for employees and supervisors must be repeated every two years.
For more information: https://dol.delaware.gov/
Formerly Senate Bill 75, Public Act 101-0221 was signed into law by Governor Pritzker in August 2019. Under this Act, Illinois employers are required to train employees on sexual harassment prevention by December 31, 2020, and on an annual basis thereafter. This requirement applies to all employers with employees working in this State. Employers must either develop their own sexual harassment prevention training program that equals or exceeds the minimum standards for sexual harassment prevention training outlined in Section 2-109(B) of the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA), or they may use the model training provided by the IDHR.
In addition to providing the sexual harassment prevention training described above, restaurants and bars are required to provide supplemental sexual harassment prevention training that complies with Section 2-110 of the IHRA. Illinois restaurants and bars must either develop their own supplemental training or utilize the model training provided by the IDHR. The IDHR’s supplemental training model for restaurants and bars is forthcoming.
For more information: https://www2.illinois.gov/
“This law requires that all employers with fifteen or more employees, both public and private, who are located in or doing business in the state of Maine train all employees, including supervisors, within one year of commencement of their employment. The training must include the illegality of sexual harassment; the definition of sexual harassment under state and federal laws and federal regulations, including the Maine Human Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII; a description of sexual harassment, utilizing examples; the internal complaint process available to the employee; the legal recourse and complaint process available through the commission; and the protection against retaliation as provided under Title, section 4553, subsection 10, paragraph D. Employers must conduct additional training for supervisory and managerial employees within one year of commencement of employment that includes, at a minimum, the specific responsibilities of supervisory and managerial employees and methods that these employees must take to ensure immediate and appropriate corrective action in addressing sexual harassment complaints. The Maine Human Rights Commission has clarified that Maine law does not specifically require interactive training or training of any particular duration, but has noted that interactive training is considered to be the most effective so long as it is high quality and allows employees to ask questions and receive an answer.” See Title 26, §807
For more information: https://legislature.maine.gov/statutes/26/title26sec807.html
Massachusetts’ Fair Employment Practices Act states that
Employers and labor organizations are encouraged to conduct an education and training program for new employees and members, within one year of commencement of employment or membership, which includes at a minimum the information set forth in this section. Employers are encouraged to conduct additional training for new supervisory and managerial employees and members within one year of commencement of employment or membership, which shall include at a minimum the information set forth in subsection (b), the specific responsibilities of supervisory and managerial employees and the methods that such employees should take to ensure immediate and appropriate corrective action in addressing sexual harassment complaints. Employers, labor organizations and appropriate state agencies are encouraged to cooperate in making such training available.
See M.G.L. c. 151B § 3A(e).
For more information: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/about-sexual-harassment-in-the-workplace
Every employer in New York State is required to provide employees with sexual harassment prevention training by October 9, 2019 and annually thereafter. The training must be:
For more information: https://www.ny.gov/programs/combating-sexual-harassment-workplace
The Tennessee Code requires the state Human Resources Department to:
Assist each department and entity of state government in the planning and conduct of training workshops to prevent sexual harassment from occurring. The department is also directed to design an orientation session with appropriate materials, which shall be made available to the departments for distribution to each new employee.
See. Tenn. Code § 4-3-1703.
There is no training requirement for private-sector employees.
For more information: https://www.tn.gov/humanrights.html
Other US States
In some states, training is recommended but not required for private-sector employees.
These include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Employers should still affirmatively raise the subject, express strong disapproval, developing appropriate sanctions, inform employees of their right to raise and how to raise the issue of sexual harassment, and take any other steps necessary to prevent sexual harassment from occurring. Effective policies and employee training can go a long way toward discouraging improper conduct before it becomes serious enough to violate the law.
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