Washington Sexual Harassment Training Required for Hotel, Retail, Security, and Property Services Employees Who Work Alone

October 27, 2020

In 2019, Washington State’s legislature passed legislation (SB5258) requiring hospitality employers to provide sexual harassment training to employees who work alone, such as housekeepers and maintenance workers.

To help companies comply with the new Washington sexual harassment training requirements, Clear Law Institute provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below

Which employers must train employees?

Every hotel, motel, retail, security guard entity, or property services contractor who employs one or more employees must provide the required training.

When must covered employers comply with the Washington sexual harassment training requirements?

The initial compliance deadlines have passed.  All covered employers must provide the required training.

Who must be trained?

Covered employers must train

  • all managers and supervisors, and

  • all persons who are employed as a janitor, security guard, hotel or motel housekeeper, or room service attendant and

    • who spend a majority of their working hours alone; or

    • whose primary duties involve working without another coworker present.

What are the learning objectives of the training?

The training content must be designed to:

  • prevent sexual assault and sexual harassment in the workplace,

  • prevent sexual discrimination in the workplace, and

  • educate the employees about the prohibition against retaliation for reporting potential harassment.

Are there Other Policy Requirements, Resources, or Recordkeeping Requirements?

Yes, as outlined below:

Policy Requirement

All covered employers must adopt a sexual harassment prevention policy.

Resource List Requirement

All covered employers must provide employees with a list of assault and harassment prevention resources including, at a minimum, contact information for

  • the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,

  • the Washington Human Rights Commission, and

  • local advocacy groups focused on preventing sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Panic Button Requirement

Covered employers must provide panic buttons – i.e., emergency contact devices – to all janitors, housekeepers, room service attendants, and security guards (other than licensed, contracted security guards) whose primary responsibility involves working without another coworker present or who spend a majority of their working time alone.

See Washington DOLI Publication F417-287-000 for additional information.

Recordkeeping Requirement

Additionally, property services contractors must maintain records and notify the Washington Department of Labor & Industry of the following information (via a form that DOLI will provide)

  • the date the employer adopted its sexual harassment prevention policy;

  • the number of managers, supervisors, and employees who have received the mandatory training; and

  • the physical address of the work location(s) at which janitorial services are provided by its workers and, for each location, the (a) total number of workers or contractors who perform janitorial services; and (b) total hours worked.

Why Clear Law?

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 Washington and all other states’ laws,

  • is kept up-to-date with any changes in the law at no additional charge,

  • utilizes cutting-edge instructional design principles and learning games, and

  • 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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