MANDATORY Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for DC Businesses with Tipped Wage Workers: What Employers Need to Know

Does your business employ at least one tipped wage worker (i.e., an employee who earns tips)? If so, close out all of your apps, turn off your phone notifications, and read carefully. 

The District of Columbia Tipped Wage Workers Fairness Amendment Act (TWWFAA) requires that businesses employing tipped wage workers provide sexual harassment training for all employees from a trainer certified by the DC Office of Human Rights. 

Sexual harassment prevention training is one of the best ways to create a safe workplace for your employees. The District of Columbia has recognized that tipped employees experience significant rates of sexual harassment, and the TWWFAA attempts to address this reality. Examples of businesses that may be subject to the requirements of the TWWFAA are restaurants, bars, and hotels, as these businesses typically employ tipped wage workers.

1. Who Has to Attend the Required Trainings? Everyone in the Company.

Businesses who employ at least one tipped worker must train their entire staff, including managers, owners, and operators, about sexual harassment.

Under the TWWFAA, managers are required to attend in-person trainings.  There is no exception to this legally-mandated requirement.  

However, non-managerial staff, as well as owners and operators, may be trained online or in-person. Online training must be live and facilitated by a trainer who is certified by the DC Office of Human Rights.   The online training cannot be a pre-recorded training.  

To be clear, businesses must conduct their online training live, and this training must be provided by a trainer certified by the DC Office of Human Rights.  The training can be conducted via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or whatever virtual learning platform your company uses, but to repeat, it must be conducted live and facilitated by a trainer who is certified by the DC Office of Human Rights.   Accordingly, a company training its staff through pre-recorded trainings will not be compliant under the TWWFAA. 

2. When Does My Company Have to Conduct this Training?

All employees must be trained within 90 days of their hire date.  Additionally, under the TWWFAA, all employees must receive sexual harassment training once every two years. 

3. Is There Anything Else I Need to Provide to My Staff? Yes, you Must Create a Sexual Harassment Reporting Policy That Staff Can Easily See and Access.

Under the TWFFAA, employers of tipped wage works are required to 1) create a sexual harassment reporting policy; 2) distribute their sexual harassment reporting policy to all employees; and 3) post this policy in a conspicuous place. 

Furthermore, under the TWFAA, employers are required to post a DC universal labor law poster, informing employees of their rights under 10 different DC employment laws. Employers must post this poster in a conspicuous place that is accessible to all employees. It is mandatory for employers to post this poster in all breakrooms and near all time clocks in the workplace.

Additionally, under the TWFFAA, the DC mayor is responsible for creating a website which informs employees about their DC employment rights and benefits. Employers of tipped wage earners are now legally required to compile the information detailed on the mayor’s website into a single source, such as a binder. Employers are required to print this binder or single source of information and place a copy of the binder at every location the DC universal law poster is placed within the establishment. At least once a month, employers are required to ensure that this binder is up to date and that the information contained in this binder is identical to the information outlined on the mayor’s website.

4. Do I Have to Report Anything to the DC Office of Human Rights? Yes, there are reporting requirements.

The TWFFAA requires employers of tipped wage workers to file their policy outlining how employees can report instances of sexual harassment to management with the DC Office of Human Rights. Finally, employers are required to document all instances of sexual harassment, including whether the harasser was a non-managerial employee, managerial employee, owner, or operator. 

Annually, employers must report to the DC Office of Human rights 1) the number of instances of sexual harassment reported to management and 2) the total number of harassers who were non-manager, owners, and operators.   According to the DC Office of Human Rights, businesses are expected to start contacting trainers, making arrangements, and scheduling trainings by December 31, 2022. Additionally, by December 31, 2022, business are required to submit their sexual harassment policies and reports to the DC Office of Human Rights.

5. This is a lot of information! I need help ensuring my business is compliant under the law.

The Childress Firm’s managing attorney, Jessica Childress, is a speaker, writer, and trainer on the topic on issues of discrimination and harassment. She has been certified by the DC Office of Human Rights to provide sexual harassment training, and she would love to train your staff and help you create your sexual harassment prevention and reporting policies.

Contact the Childress Firm PLLC today to learn more about how the firm can assist your company with meeting its legal obligations under the TWWFAA.

6. How can I remember all of this information? Save and review the chart and checklist below.

The Childress Firm PLLC ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. © 2022. The Childress Firm PLLC. All Rights Reserved. This publication discusses legal developments, which are intended for informational and educational purposes only. The information contained in this publication is not intended as legal advice, and it should not be constructed as legal advice.