The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 21: Labor

Chapter 5: EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES

Sub-Chapter 6: Fair Employment Practices

21 V.S.A. § 495h. Sexual harassment



§ 495h. Sexual harassment

(a) All employers, employment agencies and labor organizations have an obligation to ensure a workplace free of sexual harassment.

(b) Every employer shall:

(1) Adopt a policy against sexual harassment which shall include:

(A) a statement that sexual harassment in the workplace is unlawful;

(B) a statement that it is unlawful to retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint of sexual harassment or for cooperating in an investigation of sexual harassment;

(C) a description and examples of sexual harassment;

(D) a statement of the range of consequences for employees who commit sexual harassment;

(E) if the employer has more than five employees, a description of the process for filing internal complaints about sexual harassment and the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the person or persons to whom complaints should be made; and

(F) the complaint process of the appropriate state and federal employment discrimination enforcement agencies, and directions as to how to contact such agencies.

(2) Post in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace, a poster providing, at a minimum, the elements of the employer's sexual harassment policy required by subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(3) Provide to all employees an individual written copy of the employer's policy against sexual harassment.

(c) Employers shall provide individual copies of their written policies to current employees no later than November 1, 1993, and to new employees upon their being hired. Employers who have provided individual written notice to all employees within the 12 months prior to October 1, 1993, shall be exempt from having to provide an additional notice during the 1993 calendar year.

(d) The commissioner of labor shall prepare and provide to employers subject to this section a model policy and a model poster, which may be used by employers for the purposes of this section.

(e) A claim that an individual did not receive the information required to be provided by this section shall not, in and of itself, result in the automatic liability of any employer to any current or former employee or applicant in any action alleging sexual harassment. An employer's compliance with the notice requirements of this section does not insulate the employer from liability for sexual harassment of any current or former employee or applicant.

(f) Employers and labor organizations are encouraged to conduct an education and training program within one year after September 30, 1993 for all current employees and members, and for all new employees and members thereafter within one year of commencement of employment, that includes at a minimum all the information outlined in this section. Employers are encouraged to conduct additional training for current supervisory and managerial employees and members within one year of September 30, 1993, and for new supervisory and managerial employees and members within one year of commencement of employment or membership, which should include at a minimum the information outlined in subsection (b) of this section and the specific responsibilities of supervisory and managerial employees and the methods that these employees must take to ensure immediate and appropriate corrective action in addressing sexual harassment complaints. Employers, labor organizations and appropriate state agencies are encouraged to cooperate in making this training available. (Added 1993, No. 39, § 4, eff. Oct. 1, 1993; amended 2005, No. 103 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 5, 2006.)