SECTION 1. Chapter 151B, Section 3A(e) of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by substituting and adding the following sections:
(e) Employers and labor organizations are required to provide employees with sexual harassment prevention training within six months after the employee is hired, and on an annual basis thereafter. An employer that does not use the model training developed by the Massachusetts commission against discrimination must ensure that the training that they use meets or exceeds the following minimum standards.
The training must:(1) be focused on compliance with the legal requirements of employment non-discrimination law and on preventing sexual harassment in the workplace;
(2) be interactive; for employers with 50 or more employees it must be conducted by qualified, live, interactive trainers, and for employers with less than 50 employees, it can be on-line, video-based as long as it has an interactive component;
(3) for employers with 50 or more employees, it must be tailored to the specific type of workplace, using examples and scenarios related to that workplace;
(4) be a minimum of two hours;
(5) include an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the Massachusetts commission against discrimination;
(6) include examples of conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment as well as conduct that, if left unchecked, might rise to the level of unlawful sexual harassment;
(7) include the consequences of engaging in conduct that is unacceptable in the workplace, including that corrective action will be proportionate to the severity of the conduct;
(8) include information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment;
(9) include bystander intervention training to enable bystanders to recognize potentially problematic behaviors, to provide bystanders with skills to intervene as appropriate, and to explain how an employee who witnesses potentially sexually harassing behavior can report that information;
(10) include training that is geared toward preventing sexual harassment before it happens, such as training that promotes a respectful workplace;
(11) include information concerning employees’ rights of redress internally and externally and all available forums for adjudicating complaints;
(12) include 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 and in ending any ongoing sexual harassment; and
(13) include a climate survey (in a form provided by the commission or consistent with the commission’s model form) for employers with 50 or more employees, which must be completed every five years to identify risk factors and ongoing problems, and gauge the effectiveness of the employer’s sexual harassment training.
Each employee must receive training on an annual basis, starting January 1, 2020. An employer’s or labor organization’s compliance with the training requirements of this section shall not, in and of itself, protect the employer or labor organization from liability for sexual harassment of any current or former employee or applicant.
(f) Employers and labor organizations are required annually to file a certification statement with the Attorney General and signed by the chief executive, president, general counsel or other senior executive certifying that all employees have received sexual harassment prevention training during the previous year. The Attorney General shall conduct audits of employers’ and labor organizations’ certification statements to ensure compliance with the training requirements of this statute.
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.