HR Alert

Maine Enacts Certain Requirements Regarding Workplace Sexual Harassment Training

Law Contains New Checklist and Recordkeeping Requirements

A new law in Maine adds certain requirements regarding workplace sexual harassment training in the state. Highlights of the law are presented below.

Compliance Checklist and Recordkeeping
The Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) is expected to develop a compliance checklist for certain employers covering the law's sexual harassment education and training requirements (section: 807, subsection 3). The checklist is expected to be made available on the MDOL's publicly accessible website. Also, the Maine Human Rights Commission is expected to provide a link to the compliance checklist on its publicly accessible website.

Under the new law, certain employers must use the checklist to develop a sexual harassment training program and must keep a record of the training, including a record of employees who have received the required training. Training records must be maintained for at least 3 years.

The law also imposes penalties for violations of the law's posting and/or notification, education, or training requirements. (The poster, which is currently published by the Maine Human Rights Commission, must also be available on the MDOL's publicly accessible website.)

The law is effective 90 days after the adjournment of the 128th Maine Legislature, First Regular Session. Click here for updates regarding adjournment. The text of the law is available by clicking here. The required poster is also available for download.

Background
Harassment on the basis of sex is a violation of the Maine Human Rights Act. All employers must act to ensure a workplace free of sexual harassment by implementing certain requirements.

Employers must post in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace a poster that provides certain information regarding sexual harassment.

Employers must provide a written notice to all employees annually. It must be delivered in a manner to ensure notice to all employees without exception (e.g., including the notice with an employee's pay) and must include (at a minimum) certain information.

In workplaces with 15 or more employees, employers must conduct an education and training program for all new employees within one year of commencement of employment that includes certain information. Employers must also 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.

Additional details are contained in the text of the new law.


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