Sexual Harassment Training Puerto Rico

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Puerto Rico Sexual Harassment Training, Workplace Harassment, and Bullying Training and Policy Requirements  

Puerto Rico recently became the first US jurisdiction to outlaw all workplace bullying and harassment, regardless of whether the behavior relates to a protected characteristic, and to require all employers to adopt policies and employee training to prevent workplace bullying and harassment.   

On August 7, 2020, Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced signed the “Act to Prohibit and Prevent Workplace Harassment in Puerto Rico” into law (90-2020, formerly House Bill 306) 

The Act (“APPWH”) applies to all employers and prohibits bullying or harassment of any employee. Importantly, the term “harassment” is not limited to behavior that relates to protected characteristics, such as race, gender, and religion. Instead, harassment is broadly defined to include, for example: 

  • using profanity while making disparaging remarks about an employee,  
  • disparaging and humiliating comments about an employee’s professional qualifications in the presence of others, and  
  • making humiliating comments about an employee’s work proposals or opinions.  

To comply with the new law, all employers with employees in Puerto Rico must (a) adopt a policy; (b) post a notice; and (c) provide training on the new prohibition against harassment and bullying 

The Puerto Rico Department of Labor (DOL) has been ordered to develop guidelines on these requirements on or before February 3, 2021Employers must comply with the new requirements within 180 days after the DOL has issued its regulations. 

To help companies prepare for the new legal requirements in Puerto Rico, Clear Law Institute has provided answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) belowWe will update and expand these FAQs when the DOL issues its detailed guidance. To be notified when Puerto Rico issues new guidance, please contact us. 

Which employers must train employees under the new Act to Prohibit and Prevent Workplace Harassment in Puerto Rico? 

The APPWH requires every employer with at least 1 employee working in Puerto Rico to provided workplace harassment training.  

Who must be trained? 

All employees must be trained, including short-term employees, part-time employees, and paid interns. 

Must independent contractors be trained? 

YesThe Act defines “employee” as any person who provides services to an employer and receives compensation for it and requires the term to be interpreted in the broadest manner to provide the most protection.  

Must employers have a harassment prevention policy? 

Yes, all employers must establish written harassment prevention policy and complaint procedures 

Other Questions 

We expect that the Puerto Rico DOL’s guidelines implementing the new law will address other questions such as the ones below. 

  • What content must be covered in the workplace harassment and bullying training? 
  • When is the training deadline? 
  • Do employees outside Puerto Rico need to be trained? 
  • Do we need to retrain employees who have been trained at other companies? 
  • What documentation about the training must employers maintain? 
  • How often should employees be trained? 
  • When should new employees be trained? 
  • Must the training be accessible to employees with disabilities? 
  • Can I make employees take the training outside of working hours? 
  • Can employees report employers who are not in compliance? 
  • Must employees with multiple employers take the training at each employer? 
  • Can an online harassment course be taken to meet the training requirements under the APPWH? 

Why Clear Law Institute? 

More than 1,000 employers rely on Clear Law Institute to provide online sexual harassment training to their employees across the country because our training: 

  • Complies with all 50 states’ laws and DC and Puerto Rico law 
  • Is kept up-to-date with any changes in the law at no additional charge 
  • Utilizes cutting-edge instructional design principles and learning games 
  • Efficiently tracks who has and who has not completed the training each year, as handled by Clear Law’s Learning Management System. This prevents employers from having to collect and track certificates manually. 

Learn more and view a free course demo now. 

About the Author 

Michael Johnson, CEO of Clear Law Institute, is a former U.S. Department of Justice attorney who brought one of DOJ’s first “pattern or practice” sexual harassment cases. He has provided training and consulting on harassment prevention or investigations to organizations around the world, such as the EEOC, the United Nations, and Google. He is a graduate of Duke University and Harvard Law School.  Read more about Michael here. 

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