2024 Sexual Harassment Training Requirements by State

Richa Singla
January 24, 2024

It’s important to make sure that everyone feels comfortable and safe in the workplace. Sexual harassment is one of the most surefire ways to ruin efforts toward creating that environment.

Defined in 1969 as “uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature especially by a person in authority toward a subordinate,” sexual harassment is something that every workplace should work hard to avoid. In addition to the moral implications, the legal consequences of a work environment plagued by sexual harassment are grim. No company wants to undergo a lawsuit or have its reputation tarnished.

Part of preventing sexual harassment issues involves providing training courses to employees. Sexual harassment training is designed to help educate employees about behaviors and attitudes that are abusive and offensive to others in a sexual manner.

That said, different states have different regulations regarding sexual harassment training which companies must remain compliant with. Lawsuits, founding history, and corporate interests have widely influenced the development of sexual harassment laws.

What is Sexual Harassment?

According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the legal definition of sexual harassment is as follows:

“Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.”

The following examples are provided to describe incidents of sexual harassment:

In addition, it is against United States law to retaliate against anyone who opposes the employer’s policies, participates in an investigation, and/or files a complaint.

The Role of HR in Preventing Sexual Harassment

All employees who work in the United States are under the protection of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While this is technically an anti-discrimination law, sexual harassment is frequently considered a form of discrimination under that law. It protects employers with 15 employees or more (including labor organizations, federal workplaces, and employment agencies. The U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission codified this rule into law.

Today, state laws around sexual harassment are highly variable. A lot depends on the location of the company and its registration. Obviously, any perpetrators of sexual harassment should be dealt with in a prompt and appropriate manner. But a more effective way of demonstrating your organization’s commitment to a safe workplace is through anti-harassment training.

Ideally, your employees will learn what is officially considered sexual harassment between employees (especially those of different levels of seniority). It’s also an opportunity to inform employees of their legal rights, the proper course of action if they or someone else is harassed, and how different departments of the company can assist them in that situation.

It’s the job of HR professionals to provide the knowledge necessary to workers so that the workplace stays safe and professional. Read on to learn more about the laws surrounding sexual harassment, organized by state for easy reference.

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements (by State)

NOTE: This information is correct according to our knowledge, however laws may change at any time. For the most up-to-date information, please consult your local legislature.





























New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota





Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota







Washington D.C. (District of Columbia)

West Virginia



Please note that state requirements may shift as lawsuits are resolved and laws are enacted. Always verify regulations and/or consult with legal representation before writing any official company policy.

Final Thoughts

Compliance with the law is an essential priority when running a large corporation. It’s important for all employees to feel safe, and the organization should set the standard for respectful attitudes within itself and when dealing with customers.

HR professionals are compelled to stay on top of these regulations, with good reason. Human resources is the department for, yes, providing resources to the humans of the organization. If an incident of poor conduct occurs, it is HR’s job to deal with it. But it’s also the duty of HR to ensure everyone is up to date with what is required of them.

Criterion HCM is designed to help you run your company better. Sexual harassment prevention is no exception. Our human resources software allows you to distribute training materials to employees without trouble. Assign courses automatically and track completion rates with ease. Our interface allows for self-guided task management, and we prioritize resource access for employees. Integration with your pre-existing tools means you won’t lose records of your employees’ progress and staying compliant will be a cinch.

Request a demo of Criterion’s software and learn how you can better manage the health of your organization today.

Richa Singla
HCM Implementation Manager
HCM Implementation Manager with 12+ years of experience across Professional services, Solutions and Business Strategy Consulting.

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