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Inadequate Harassment Training

If I am sexually harassed, can my boss claim that it’s not his fault because he should have been trained better?

Maybe!  The Mayor of San Diego, who has recently been accused by numerous women of sexual harassment, claims that his employer, the City of San Diego, is liable for his bad conduct because it did not provide him with proper training. Read the article here. A California law mandates that all public employers and some private employers provide their employees with at least two hours of sexual harassment training.  In Connecticut, employers with more than 50 employees must provide supervisory employees with at least two hours of sexual harassment training within six months of starting their jobs.  State agencies must provide their employees with at least three hours of diversity training.  See Conn. Gen. Stat. 46a-54 15(A) and (B).


Under federal law, employers who have effective anti-harassment policies (which includes an anti-harassment policy and training) are not usually liable for the actions of their employees who choose to act in an unlawful manner.  In this case, the Mayor alleges that he did not receive the training, and that therefore the City is liable. However, the Mayor’s alleged actions are pretty outrageous, some bordering on sexual assault.


What do you think? Should the City have to pay for his legal defense because he was not trained in sexual harassment? Or were his actions so obviously wrong that he should be on the hook? Weigh in on Facebook or Twitter!