Sexual Harassment Training

I'm putting together a sexual harassment training presentation for my supervisors, and one for our employees. Do I need a lawyer to give the training? Any resources out there I can use?


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  • Hey, for something important like sexual harassment training or benefits sign ups, I always use someone from outside the company if at all possible.  I think the attendees pay more attention to someone they don't know. And if you tell them the presenter is an attorney, I think they listen up even more.
  • If you are giving your managers harassment training in California, the state has this to say:

    (A) A trainer shall be one or more of the following:

    1. “Attorneys” admitted for two or more years to the bar of any state in the United States and whose practice includes employment law under the Fair Employment and Housing Act and/or Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, or

    2. “Human resource professionals” or “harassment prevention consultants” working as employees or independent contractors with a minimum of two or more years of practical experience in one or more of the following: a. designing or conducting discrimination, retaliation and sexual harassment prevention training; b. responding to sexual harassment complaints or other discrimination complaints; c. conducting investigations of sexual harassment complaints; or d. advising employers or employees regarding discrimination, retaliation and sexual harassment prevention, or

    3. “Professors or instructors” in law schools, colleges or universities who have a post-graduate degree or California teaching credential and either 20 instruction hours or two or more years of experience in a law school, college or university teaching about employment law under the Fair Employment and Housing Act and/or Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    (B) Individuals who do not meet the qualifications of a trainer as an attorney, human resource professional, harassment prevention consultant, professor or instructor because they lack the requisite years of experience may team teach with a trainer in classroom or webinar trainings provided that the trainer supervises these individuals and the trainer is available throughout the training to answer questions from training attendees.


  • To answer your question, I'm not aware of any general requirement where the training must be provided by a lawyer. You do have to make sure the trainer is qualified to give the class and able to answer questions and discuss examples with employees and supervisors. Employment attorneys, HR consultants, and experienced HR managers would likely be good candidates.

    I've been using the training programs from BLR--they are part of my subscription to the web site, so it makes sense. There is a Powerpoint presentation, speaker's notes, handouts, and a quiz. I customized the materials for our company and actually give the training myself (I did go to two "train-the-trainer" sessions on the subject).

  • I have to agree with Kate and the California training post. I have an extensive  background in employee relations and training- you just need to make sure that you follow the state law since it is changing and may require an annual web- based two hour training( i.e. California). I enjoy training sexual harassment, but I would recommend the BLR training if you are unsure or uncomfortable. I would also take this time to have each employee resign the company harassment policy and keep it in their personnel file. This way, if they violate your policy and you have to take any disciplinary action- you insulate the company as well as yourself to show that you have currently conveyed the policy, and the violator signed and dated a statement agreeing to the policy and any action taken if it is violated.


    HR Manager 

  • I agree with several of the others.  I use the hr.blr training materials and customize them to fit our company (add our company's SH policy, etc).  I've also added some "examples" that are interactive at the end, kind of along the lines of . . . "is this harassment" type situations and the employees in training discuss and answer.  Keeps them awake.
  • I certainly agree.  If you cannot have outside counsel there, schedule some time to go over the presentation with them, and then ask for suggestions for improvement.  Then you can let the attendees know that the presentation was created with help from an attorney.
  • As our on-site HR professional I think that it is important that I give the training to all employees.  They need to know that I am knowledgeable on the subject and that they can come to me (HR) with concerns.  I think that by having an outside attorney talk to our employees it diminishes the HR / employee relationship I strive to have with them.  However, our company attorney has reviewed our training materials.

    I have one training session designed for supervisors and managers and a different one for hourly employees.  I use a combination of a short (20 Min ) video from Kantola Productions (it is excellent) and training materials from BLR.  Training lasts one hour and is mandatory for all new employees and given every 2 years for all other employees as a refresher.  Since giving the training, I've been told by employees that many problematic situations have been avoided.

  • If you are located in California & are a member of the California Chamber of Commerce, they also have a DVD available for sexual harassment training that comes with a trainer's manual and suggestions on how to conduct the training for different classes (managers/supervisors, employees).  I have customized that to individual companies that I've been asked to conduct training for and it has worked well.  The DVD itself only has a run time of 25 minutes, with different sexual harassment scenarios played out.  I pass around an exam, have a "Recognizing Sexual Harassment" sheet to pass out, a page that explains quid pro quo and hostile work environment descriptions.  We watch each of the 4 segments of the DVD, then stop & discuss that before moving on to the next.  Moving from writing to watching the DVD to discussions, keeps the audience engaged.
  • We currently use BLR's training materials with our added SH policy; however we also use web-based training for our hourly employees.  I think training hourly employees is just as important as their superiors having training.   I agree that conducting the training myself has created a stronger relationship with our employees and has made them more comfortable consulting me when they have complaints or need advice.  Web-based training creates a record of those who have completed the program and keeps the training interactive.  Of the employees that have completed the web training most have found it more interesting than listening to me:)
  • I am curious to know if you would recommend the "train-the-trainer" session that you attended?  If yes, by whom and where?  I have received the BLR training information however I need to feel more comfortable presenting before I start training. 

    Your feedback is greatly appreciated.



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