(a) All employers and employment agencies shall promote a workplace free of sexual harassment.

Terms Used In Rhode Island General Laws 28-51-2

  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • Employee: means any person who has entered into the employment of or works under contract of service or apprenticeship with any employer, except that in the case of a city or town other than the city of Providence it shall only mean that class or those classes of employees as may be designated by a city, town, or regional school district in a manner provided in this chapter to receive compensation under chapters 29 – 38 of this title. See Rhode Island General Laws 28-29-2
  • Employer: means any entity employing fifty (50) or more employees. See Rhode Island General Laws 28-51-1
  • person: extends to and includes co-partnerships and bodies corporate and politic. See Rhode Island General Laws 43-3-6
  • Sexual harassment: means any unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or any other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

    (1) Submission to that conduct or those advances or requests is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment; or

    (2) Submission to or rejection of the conduct or advances or requests by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting the individual; or

    (3) The conduct or advances or requests have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. See Rhode Island General Laws 28-51-1

(b) Every employer shall:

(1) Adopt a policy against sexual harassment that shall include:

(i) A statement that sexual harassment in the workplace is unlawful;

(ii) A statement that it is unlawful to retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint of sexual harassment or for cooperating in an investigation of a complaint for sexual harassment;

(iii) A description and examples of sexual harassment;

(iv) A statement of the range of consequences for employees who are found to have committed sexual harassment;

(v) A description of the process for filing internal complaints about sexual harassment and the work addresses and telephone numbers of the person or persons to whom complaints should be made; and

(vi) The identity of the appropriate state and federal employment discrimination enforcement agencies, and directions as to how to contact these agencies.

(2) Provide to all employees a written copy of the employer’s policy against sexual harassment; provided, that a new employee shall be provided such a copy at the time of his or her employment.

(c) Employers are encouraged to conduct an education and training program for new employees and members, within one year of commencement of employment or membership, which includes at a minimum the information set forth in this section. Employers are encouraged to conduct additional training for new supervisory and managerial employees within one year of commencement of employment which shall include at a minimum the information set forth in subsection (b) of this section, the specific responsibilities of supervisory and managerial employees and the methods that these employees should take to ensure immediate and appropriate corrective action in addressing sexual harassment complaints. Employers and appropriate state agencies are encouraged to cooperate in making this training available.

(d) Employers shall provide copies of their written policies on sexual harassment to all employees upon their request.

(e) Employers shall be required to maintain copies of their written policies on sexual harassment at their business premises, and copies of such policies shall be made available to any state or federal employment discrimination enforcement agency upon request.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1997, ch. 118, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 203, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 6, § 51.)