Please note: This article is not legal advice, nor does it contain every detail or requirement of the applicable laws: it is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be relied upon. If you have questions about these laws, please consult your legal counsel.

Sexual harassment in the workplace is an insidious problem that has proven to have profound negative effects on both employers and employees. The behavior can take various forms, but regardless of its manifestation, sexual harassment undermines the dignity, well-being, and professional integrity of those subjected to it. Not only does it erode trust and morale within the workplace, it also carries significant legal and financial consequences for employers who fail to address it effectively.

Delaware, like many states, has implemented specific regulations regarding sexual harassment training to ensure that employees are armed with the knowledge and tools to recognize and respond to such behavior appropriately.

Below, we’ll explore the sexual harassment training requirements in Delaware, detailing who needs to undergo training, what the training entails, and how employers can ensure compliance while fostering a culture of respect and equality in the workplace.

What constitutes sexual harassment in Delaware?

According to Delaware state law, sexual harassment of an employee is an unlawful employment practice when the employee is subjected to conduct that includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an employee’s employment;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting an employee; or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

Understanding Delaware’s legal framework

Delaware’s legal framework concerning sexual harassment is primarily governed by the Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act (DDEA) and the Gender-Based Harassment Prevention Act. Under these statutes, sexual harassment is considered a form of sexual discrimination, and employers are obligated to take proactive measures to prevent and address it in the workplace.

Who needs to receive sexual harassment training?

In Delaware, all employers in both the public and private sector with 50 or more employees must provide sexual harassment prevention training to all employees, including full-time, part-time, joint employees, interns, and apprentices.

New hires don’t need to be trained until they have been employed for six months. 

What are the training content requirements?

Sexual harassment prevention training in Delaware must be interactive and designed to educate employees on how to prevent of sexual harassment. The requirements differ slightly for non-supervisory staff and supervisors:

  • For non-supervisory staff, harassment training must cover the illegality and definition of sexual harassment using examples, the legal remedies and complaint process available, directions on how to contact the Delaware Department of Labor, and the prohibition against retaliation.
  • For supervisors, sexual harassment prevention training must additionally include the specific responsibilities of a supervisor regarding the prevention and correction of harassment.
Looking for sexual harassment training in Delaware? Here’s the trailer for our state-specific harassment prevention course.

How long does the training have to be?

Sexual harassment prevention training in Delaware must be two hours long. However, nothing prohibits an employer from providing more than two hours of training and education if they choose.

How often do employers need to provide sexual harassment training?

Employers are required to conduct annual refresher training to reinforce key concepts and updates in policies or regulations.

Tips for staying compliant in Delaware

Ensuring compliance with Delaware’s sexual harassment training requirements means proactive efforts and a commitment to creating a safe and inclusive workplace environment. Here are some tips to help you navigate these mandates more effectively:

  1. Develop a comprehensive training programs: Invest in a high-quality sexual harassment prevention training program that’s tailored to your organization’s needs and culture. Ensure that training materials are engaging, informative, and accessible to all employees.
  2. Promote leadership involvement: Leadership buy-in is essential for the success of sexual harassment prevention efforts. Encourage executives and managers to actively participate in training sessions, lead by example, and reinforce organizational policies against harassment.
  3. Encourage open communication: Create channels for employees to report incidents of sexual harassment confidentially and without fear of retaliation. Emphasize the importance of speaking up and provide support to individuals who come forward with concerns.
  4. Regularly review and update policies: Stay informed about changes in laws, regulations, and best practices related to sexual harassment prevention. Regularly review and update your organization’s policies and training materials to reflect these developments.

The final word

Delaware’s sexual harassment training requirements reflect the state’s commitment to fostering safe and respectful workplaces for all employees. By understanding the legal framework, investing in comprehensive harassment prevention training, and promoting a culture of openness and accountability, you can effectively address sexual harassment and create environments where everyone can thrive.

Build a better workplace with Ethena

At Ethena, we’re committed to making sexual harassment training so good it sticks. In fact, ineffective harassment prevention training was the catalyst for why we were founded

Today, our modern and engaging approach to learning goes beyond check-the-box regulation requirements. With nearly 1 million ratings and a 93% positivity score, Ethena’s Harassment Prevention training course inspires learners to foster healthy, inclusive, and squeaky clean workplaces.