When deciding the best time to hold harassment training, first check your state laws to see if there are regulations about when such training is required. If your state doesn't have specific regulations, it's best practice to hold training during the orientation process for new hires, then periodically thereafter.
Train Early and Often
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the best way to prevent harassment in the workplace is to hold prevention training periodically, rather than simply as a response to a harassment claim. If there's a complaint about harassment at your company, the EEOC recommends you should present harassment training immediately after, regardless of when the last time training was held.
What Should be Covered
Your training should cover the EEOC's minimum anti-harassment policy requirements. These include:
- A clear explanation of prohibited conduct.
- Assurance that employees who make claims of harassment or provide information related to these claims will be protected against retaliation.
- A clearly described complaint process that provides accessible avenues for complaints.
- Assurance that the employer will protect the confidentiality of the individuals bringing harassment claims to the extent possible.
- Assurance that the complaint process will provide prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation.
- Assurance that the employer will take immediate and appropriate corrective action when it determines that harassment has occurred.
For guidance, check out this harassment training presentation from the Society for Human Resource Management.