Washington Harassment Training Requirements and Prevention

Compliance is key when it comes to preventing harassment in the workplace. Stay up-to-date with the latest laws and recommendations to foster a safe and inclusive work environment.

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States of Washington State-Mandated Training Requirements

In 2019, Washington State enacted a law that requires employers in some industries to provide sexual harassment training to their employees. This law was enacted in response to a wave of incidents where certain employees work in isolated environments. The Washington State training requirements differ from those of other states; Syntrio currently is developing a course to address these requirements.

What type of organization must provide training? 
  • The Washington law applies to all hotels, motels, retail entities, security guard entities, and property services contractors.
  • A property services contractor is a person or entity that employs individuals that provide janitorial services, with some exceptions.
What is the minimum number of employees for training to be required?   The law applies to all employers in covered industries with one or more employees.
How frequently must training be conducted? 
  • Washington’s law does not contain a re-training requirement for covered private employers.
  • State government employees must re-train once every five years.
How soon must training be conducted? 
  • Hotels and motels with 60 or more rooms must have completed the training by January 1, 2020.
  • All other covered employers must complete training by January 1, 2021.
What segments of the workforce must receive training? 
  • Under the Washington law, all employees must receive training;
  • “Employee” is defined under the law as “an individual employed as a janitor, security guard, hotel or motel housekeeper or room service attendant who spends the majority of his or her time working without another coworker present.”
  • Security guards are covered by the law regardless of whether they are working for a security agency or single employer.
  • All managers and supervisors must also receive training
What is the minimum duration of training?  There is no minimum time duration of Washington sexual harassment training.
What records must be kept following training? 
  • The law is silent as to what (if any) records must be retained.
  • Washington employers are encouraged to keep the name of training provider, list of attendees, and type of training (as well as a copy of all materials provided) in case of audit or legal action.
What are potential penalties for failing to conduct training?  The law does not specify the penalty (if any) for failing to comply with the training obligation.
What are the mandatory content requirements under Washington law? 

Washington law requires covered employers to provide training to employees, including the following key elements: 

  • How to prevent sexual assault and harassment in the workplace 
  • Prevention of discrimination in the workplace; and 
  • Protections for employees who report violations of a state or federal law, rule or regulation. 
Are there any additional training elements required by Washington law?   There are no additional training elements required at this time. 
Are there any policy or posting requirements under Washington law? 
  • Covered employers must also provide employees with the following in writing or via email: 
  • Contact information for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; 
  • Contact information for the Washington State Human Rights Commission; 
  • Contact information for local advocacy groups on the prevention of sexual harassment and assault. 
  • Covered employers are also required to develop and distribute a policy against sexual harassment to all employees. 
  • Covered employers must also distribute a panic button to all employees. A panic button is an emergency contact device that the employee carriers, which can summon immediate assistance from another worker, guard, or employer representative. 


Syntrio can help your organization comply with the ever-changing sexual harassment training landscape.

Preview the U.S. Workplace Harassment and Discrimination Training Course

Don’t leave compliance to chance.

Access Syntrio’s “Harassment Training Requirements in the United States and U.S. Territories” brochure today and ensure your organization meets its obligations while promoting a culture of respect and equality.

Syntrio Harassment Training Requirements in the United States and the U.S. Territories


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