A recent study found that more than 80% of women have experienced sexual harassment. The prevalence of sexual harassment represents a significant liability for employers, who can be held liable if employees encounter sexual harassment in their workplace. The large lawsuits and poor publicity that follow these claims can and often do cause significant financial problems for businesses.
As a result, it’s more important than ever for employers to provide sexual harassment training to both their employees and supervisors. This training helps employees to understand what constitutes sexual harassment, relevant laws governing sexual harassment in their area, and company policies about sexual harassment. This training is provided with the goal of preventing sexual harassment in the workplace and helping supervisors to document and investigate any claims that arise.
To help employers navigate this terrain, we reviewed more than 30 providers of various types of workplace sexual harassment training. The list of courses presented here represents the best examples across multiple categories and will help employers provide safe and productive workplaces for their employees.
The 8 Best Sexual Harassment Training Programs of 2020
Best Overall: EasyLlama
EasyLlama is a Silicon Valley startup that was founded in December of 2019 and is based in San Francisco. The company focuses solely on sexual harassment training for employers and is primarily a technology company. The company creates engaging, compliant sexual harassment training for employees that meets all federal, state, and local requirements.
EasyLlama provides sexual harassment training that is fast, flexible, and cost-effective, and that’s what most employers need. That’s why we chose EasyLlama has our best sexual harassment training provider. Training from EasyLlama starts at $13.95 per employee (up to 50 employees) and is discounted as employers purchase more licenses. Training is broken down into 10-minute sessions that employees can access 24/7, including from mobile devices.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Inspired eLearning
When choosing a sexual harassment training company, most employers want to be sure that they meet state-specific requirements. We chose Inspired eLearning as our runner-up because they make clear the training requirements for each state and specifically help employers to provide the training necessary to comply with local laws.
Sexual harassment training programs from Inspired eLearning are customized for each state so employers know their employees get the lessons that they need to fulfill necessary requirements. Training for Inspired eLearning’s multi-state sexual harassment course—which most employers can use—costs $24.96 per person. State-specific courses typically range from $25 to $30 per employee.
Best Engaging Content: Media Partners
Media Partners was founded in 1993 to provide training and consulting services for businesses. Media Partners’ programs focus primarily on workforce issues like harassment, team building, and leadership development. The company changed CEOs in 2016 and has been expanding its offerings since then.
We chose Media Partners for best engaging content because the company specializes in training content that is both relatable and interesting for its users. As a result, Media Partners has won multiple awards, including for videography and composition. Training is interactive and addresses all aspects of sexual harassment in the workplace. Media Partners’ sexual harassment training costs $11.50 per employee per year. Training is compliant with New York, Connecticut, California, and other state-mandated requirements.
Best for Large Workforces: HR Classroom
We chose HR Classroom as our best provider for large workforces because the company’s training has some of the most attractive pricing available for bulk purchases.
The cost for each range of employees is as follows per HR Classroom's website:
- 50 to 100 licenses: $9.98 per license, minimum purchase of $499.00
- 100 to 500 licenses: $7.50 per license, minimum purchase of $750
- 500 to 1,000 licenses: $6.96 each, minimum purchase of $3,481.50
- 1,000 to 2,000 licenses: $5.99 per license, minimum purchase of $5,990.00
- 2,000 to 3,000 licenses: $5.15 per license, minimum purchase of $10,300.00
- 3,000 to 5,000 licenses: $4.79 per license, minimum purchase of $14,355.00
- 5,000: $4.35 per license, minimum purchase of $21,725.00
HR Classroom’s training is geared toward larger organizations and covers the costs of sexual harassment, best practices for reporting harassment, how employers should react to reports of harassment, and employer policies on sexual harassment. Training also includes quizzes throughout and a final exam to ensure that employees are integrating the material.
Best Law Firm Training: Bond, Schoeneck & King
Sexual harassment is a significant legal issue for employers, so many business owners may want to offer training from attorneys. Employers who want to get training for their employees that comes straight from legal experts should strongly consider using Bond, Schoeneck & King (BSK), the best in our review for law firm training.
BSK is a law firm with over 250 lawyers working across New York state as well as Boston, Kansas City, and Naples, Florida. The firm provides web-based sexual harassment training that employers can use to train both employees and supervisors. BSK’s training is interactive and starts at $20 per user up to 99 licenses ($15 per user for 100 to 499 licenses and $10 per user for 500 or more).
Best Recurring Training: ProProfs
Many employers look at sexual harassment training as a box that they need to check for new employees. However, some employers recognize that laws and regulations surrounding sexual harassment training are constantly changing, and it’s important for them to make sure employees and supervisors remain compliant. That’s why we chose ProProfs as our best option for employers who want to provide their employees with recurring training.
While most employers don’t provide training more frequently than annually, bi-annual training can be a good idea for companies with high employee turnover or in states where laws routinely change.
Sexual harassment training from ProProfs costs $2 per learner per month, with a minimum of 10 users. ProProfs’ sexual harassment training meets federal and state compliance requirements. Training is web-based and easy to administer, customizable, and accessible via mobile devices. ProProfs also makes it easy for employers to track their employees’ progress including refreshers and ongoing training.
Best Free Option: FreeSexualHarassmentTraining.com
While most employers purchase sexual harassment training that meets the specific needs of their organization, cost is a big concern for some firms. That’s why we included FreeSexualHarassmentTraining.com as the best free alternative of our review. FreeSexualHarassmentTraining.com offers training that is specifically designed to meet the requirements of California (the gold standard of training requirements) and other states. For employers in states with more lenient requirements than California, FreeSexualHarassmentTraining.com encourages business owners to use their California training program for employees.
While sexual harassment training from FreeSexualHarassmentTraining.com is free for first use, there is a charge for additional training: $10 per one-hour segment of employee training and $20 per two-hour segment of supervisor training. Training is still fully compliant and meets all state requirements for individual employers.
What Is Sexual Harassment Training?
Sexual harassment training is education that employers provide for employees and supervisors that teaches employees what sexual harassment is, applicable laws that define sexual harassment and compliance requirements, and what types of behaviors are appropriate or inappropriate at work. This training is provided with the goal of preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.
There are no explicit federal requirements for employers to provide sexual harassment training. However, training helps ensure that employers comply with OSHA requirements for a safe and productive workplace and also to comply with the Civil Rights Act and other federal laws. In addition, several states and New York City have their own requirements that employers must comply with.
An Overview of Legal Ramifications
There is no federal requirement that employers provide sexual harassment training to their employees or supervisors. However, courts have found that employers that don’t provide this training can be held liable for far greater damages if sexual harassment occurs in their workplace. In other words, failing to provide training can mean much more liability for employers if something happens, in addition to the inherent bad publicity. And, while the federal government has no specific requirements, several states, including California, New York, and Connecticut, as well as New York City, do have specific requirements.
What Does Sexual Harassment Training Typically Include?
Most sexual harassment training programs start by defining sexual harassment. Programs then discuss the applicable laws that govern sexual harassment for a particular employer. Training courses also typically use real-world scenarios or interactive content to teach employees what is appropriate and inappropriate. For managers, training also typically goes through what to do if an employee has a complaint, including how to investigate and document their findings. Some training programs also include guidance for employers who need to draft company-specific sexual harassment policies.
What Does Sexual Harassment Training Typically Exclude?
While sexual harassment training does teach employees a lot about what sexual harassment is and what constitutes inappropriate behavior in the workplace, there are many things that it doesn’t include. For one thing, sexual harassment training doesn’t indemnify employers if sexual harassment occurs in the place of business after employees complete their training. Training programs also are designed to resolve specific issues among individual employees. Most programs also don’t discuss other types of harassment or discrimination and don’t cover any aspects of workplace safety.
What Are the Expected Costs of Sexual Harassment Training?
Most online sexual harassment training programs are priced with per-person licensing fees ranging from $10 to $40 per employee. Training for supervisors is usually $10 to $30 more expensive than basic employee training courses. Programs provided via DVD are typically priced with a flat fee, usually between $250 and $400. Employers that opt for custom or in-person training from local consultants can pay far more, starting at $500 and running into the thousands of dollars.
How We Chose the Sexual Harassment Training Programs
To build our list of the best sexual harassment training companies, we looked at over 30 HR consultants, labor law firms, and workforce training providers. We focused on providers that made clear what employers should expect from their training, including topics to cover, cost, and state compliance. We also gave favor to companies that offered training that is easy to find and purchase online, available nationwide, and able to grant a high degree of flexibility to both employers and employees taking the training. We avoided small local providers or training companies that only offer customized on-site training that varies widely among users.
NPR. "A New Survey Finds 81 Percent Of Women Have Experienced Sexual Harassment." Accessed April 11, 2020.
PRNewswire. "Media Partners Announces Major Investment and New CEO." Accessed April 8, 2020.