Regardless of whether you are an unpaid intern, an apprentice, a job applicant, or the CEO of a company in Delaware, the Discrimination in Employment Act stipulates that you have a right to be treated with dignity and respect and to feel safe in a workplace. 

In 2019, the law was updated to require any employer with 50 or more workers to provide interactive training and education about sexual harassment to their employees. For existing employees, employers had until January 1, 2020, to comply. For new employees, employers have up to one year (from the employee’s start date) to provide the training. Independent contractors are not covered by the law, but contractors working for an employment agency are covered—and the agency must provide the training.

Sexual harassment training is required to be interactive and designed to educate employees about identifying and preventing sexual harassment. The training must include a component for workers and an additional component for managers. For example, managers must have leadership-focused education in addition to the general training that their workers receive. General employee training must define sexual harassment, use examples to show harassment scenarios, describe why it is illegal, explain the employer’s complaint process and legal options for workers who experience sexual harassment, provide instructions for contacting the Delaware Department of Labor, and warn that it is illegal to retaliate against a person who registers a complaint of harassment. Management training must include the same content as general employee training, and it must explain leadership responsibilities for preventing and correcting sexual harassment.

But What If…

What if you start a new job and experience sexual harassment in the second month of work? Your employer has scheduled anti-sexual-harassment training for next month so you haven’t been trained yet. You’re not sure of your rights and, being new to the company, don’t want to alienate anyone. You may need help figuring out what to do.

What if you were hired by an employment agency in Dover to work for an employer, and the employer offered you a full-time job after three months? Somehow, there was a mixup. The agency had not yet provided anti-sexual-harassment training, but your employer assumes it had and does not schedule the training for you. One of your coworkers has been complimenting you every day about how your clothes fit. It feels uncomfortable and you’ve tried to avoid that person. It’s a small company and does not have a Human Resources department to talk to. You probably need help.

Where to Turn for Help

Understanding your workplace rights can be overwhelming, especially when you are experiencing sexual harassment. You may be unsure of who to report the incident to and what will happen and wonder if anyone will believe you. You may fear retaliation if you do report the offense. Seeking the legal support of a lawyer could be in your best interest.

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