Assemblywoman YVONNE LOPEZ
District 19 (Middlesex)
Assemblywoman VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE
District 37 (Bergen)
Assemblyman Benson and Assemblywoman Timberlake
Requires restaurant employees to receive periodic sexual harassment training.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act requiring restaurant employees to receive periodic sexual harassment training and supplementing Title 26 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. As used in this act:
“Restaurant” shall have the same meaning as defined in section 1 of P.L.1983, c.488 (C.26:3E-1).
“Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development.
2. A restaurant that employs 15 or more employees shall provide each employee, including an owner who acts as an employee, with periodic sexual harassment training.
a. The sexual harassment training shall:
(1) be administered to each new employee within 90 days of employment;
(2) be administered to each employee at least once every five years;
(3) be provided to employees hired before the effective date of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) within 90 days of the effective date of P.L. , c. (C. );
(4) include separate courses for supervisors and supervisees, with appropriate topics selected for each course;
(5) include topics specific to the restaurant industry;
(6) be interactive, include practical examples, and explain how to file a sexual harassment complaint; and
(7) be offered in English and Spanish.
b. In the absence of documentation recording that an employee received sexual harassment training within a specified time period, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the employee did not receive sexual harassment training during that time period.
c. A claim that the training required by this section did not reach a particular individual shall not in and of itself result in the liability of any employer to any present or former employee in any action alleging sexual harassment. Conversely, an employer’s compliance with this section does not insulate the employer from liability for sexual harassment of any current or former employee.
d. In addition to the training required by this section, a restaurant that employs 15 or more employees shall adopt a policy on sexual harassment, which shall be included in the restaurant’s employee handbook or otherwise provided to each employee.
3. a. A restaurant employer who violates any provision of this act shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $500 for the first violation and $1,000 for each subsequent violation, collectible by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development in a summary proceeding pursuant to the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999,” P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).
b. The commissioner shall, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), adopt rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this act.
4. This act shall take effect on the first day of the sixth month next following enactment, except that the commissioner may take any anticipatory administrative action in advance as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.
This bill requires restaurants that employ 15 or more people to offer sexual harassment training every five years.
This training would be given to each new employee within 90 days of being hired. The training would be interactive, include practical examples, and explain how to file a sexual harassment complaint. The training would be specific to the restaurant industry and it should include separate courses for supervisors and supervisees, with appropriate topics selected for each course. The bill also requires each restaurant to adopt and promulgate a sexual harassment policy.
The bill does not require restaurants to maintain documentation of each sexual harassment training course, but it does establish a rebuttable presumption that, if the restaurant cannot provide such documentation for an employee, then that employee did not receive the training.
Restaurants that fail to provide the training or adopt and distribute a sexual harassment policy will be fined up to $500 for a first offense.