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Take harassment training seriously; more states mandate it

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Smart organizations have hosted sexual-harassment training for years. But now that California has joined the list of states that mandate such training, your state may be next.

The California law requires employers of 50 or more people to provide all supervisors with at least two hours of training every two years. The first round of training must be completed by Jan. 1, 2006.

California isn't alone; other states mandate sexual harassment training, too. Examples: Connecticut requires two hours of training for employers with 50 or more employees. And Maine organizations with 15 or more employees must train new hires within one year.

Advice: Don't wait for your state. Even if it's not required, use training to clarify your anti-harassment policy. Your training efforts can help prevent harassment incidents and provide a good defense in court in case an incident does flare up. Keep the training ongoing. Give managers extra, separate training that focuses on how to identify and respond to complaints.

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