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Vermont has specific laws prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace. All employers, employment agencies and labor organizations have an obligation to ensure a workplace free of sexual harassment and adopt a policy against sexual harassment that is provided to individual employees upon being hired.
Definition of Sexual Harassment
"Sexual harassment" is a form of sex discrimination and means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
(A) submission to that conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment; or
(B) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a component of the basis for employment decisions affecting that individual; or
(C) the conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. (21 V.S.A. §495d (13))
Employer’s Obligations 21 V.S.A. §495(h)(b)
(b) Every employer shall:
(1) Adopt a policy against sexual harassment which shall include:
(A) a statement that sexual harassment in the workplace is unlawful;
(B) 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 sexual harassment;
(C) a description and examples of sexual harassment;
(D) a statement of the range of consequences for employees who commit sexual harassment;
(E) if the employer has more than five employees, a description of the process for filing internal complaints about sexual harassment and the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the person or persons to whom complaints should be made; and
(F) the complaint process of the appropriate state and federal employment discrimination enforcement agencies, and directions as to how to contact such agencies.
(2) Post in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace, a poster providing, at a minimum, the elements of the employer's sexual harassment policy required by subdivision (1) of this subsection.
(3) Provide to all employees an individual written copy of the employer's policy against sexual harassment.
(c) Employers shall provide individual copies of their written policies to current employees no later than November 1, 1993, and to new employees upon their being hired.
The Department of Labor provides a model policy and guidance for employers. The policy is located in the Brochures and Other Information section under the Department’s Forms and Publications for employers.
Filing a complaint of sexual harassment in the workplace
Click here to file a complaint:
Contact the Civil Rights Unit:
Civil Rights Unit, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Civil Rights Unit
Vermont Attorney General’s Office
109 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05609-1001
888)745-9195 (Toll Free VT)