Who needs the 2018 Vermont Sexual Harassment is Illegal Peel ‘N Post™?
Vermont law requires every employer to post the 2018 Vermont Sexual Harassment is Illegal notice in the workplace. [21 V.S.A. § 495h(b)(2)]. Employers who have an existing Vermont All-On-One™ Labor Law Poster or Vermont Mobile Poster Pak™ can comply with the posting requirement by affixing the 2018 Vermont Sexual Harassment is Illegal Peel ‘N Post™ sticker over the outdated sexual harassment notice on the Vermont All-On-One™ Poster or inside the Mobile Poster Pak.™
How Did the Law Change?
In July 2018, Vermont enacted “An Act Relating to the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (the “Act”). The Act expands the protection of the law against sexual harassment (21 V.S.A. § 495h) to unpaid interns and independent contractors. The Act prohibits employment agreements that would prevent an employee from disclosing sexual harassment incidents or that would require an employee to agree to arbitration of sexual harassment claims as a condition of employment. The Act requires sexual harassment settlement agreements to include specific statements preserving the individual’s rights and prohibits “no rehire” clauses. Enforcement agencies have more power to inspect employers and must develop new reporting tools. The Act also requires employers to post the revised “Sexual Harassment is Illegal” notice in the workplace.
What’s New about the 2018 Vermont Sexual Harassment is Illegal Notice?
- The revised notice explains that Vermont law now protects all workers, not just employees.
- The definition of sexual harassment has expanded. The term applies to all “work” rather than just “employment” circumstances.
- The retaliation statement now provides that it is unlawful to retaliate against “an individual performing work or services,” not just employees.
- The employer policy statement has been revised to cover “individuals performing work or services,” not just employees.
- In the reporting section, “employees and individuals engaged to perform work or services” may report sexual harassment to the designated individual. Such individual can also provide copies of the employer’s written sexual harassment policy.
- Contact information has been updated for:
- the Vermont Attorney General
- the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- the Vermont Human Rights Commission
- the Vermont Department of Labor
What You Need to Do Now
Employers should review sexual harassment policies, revise as necessary and distribute copies to employees. Employers should ensure that any settlement agreement contain the required statements. Finally, employers should ensure they are compliant with the updated workplace posting requirement.