Delaware Passes Anti-Sexual Harassment Law with Notice Requirement

By Kelsey Basten

Published on September 25, 2018

Delaware Gov. John Carney signed House Bill 360, the Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act (DDEA), into law Aug. 29, 2018. The new law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019.

The DDEA currently prohibits discrimination based on sex, but not sexual harassment, which is included in the new version of the law.

The law describes sexual harassment as:

  • Unwelcome conduct, including:
    • Sexual advances
    • Requests for sexual favors
  • Verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
    • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment
    • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis of employment and/or decisions affecting an employee
    • It interferes with an employee’s work performance
    • It creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment

Employers with at least four employees within the state at the time of an alleged violation are covered by the law.

The new law also expands the types of employees that are covered to include:

  • State employees
  • Unpaid interns
  • Applicants
  • Joint employees
  • Apprentices

The DDEA requires employers to distribute the Delaware Department of Labor’s DDEA information sheet (not yet created) to:

  • New employees at the start of employment
  • Existing employees within six months of Jan. 1, 2019

Also, the law requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide interactive sexual harassment training. New employees must be trained within one year of the start of their employment and retrained every two years after. For existing employees, training must be provided within one year of Jan. 1, 2019 and every two years after.

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