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FAQ: DC Required Harassment Training

October 4, 2022

DC Operators are likely hearing more and more about the requirement that DC restaurant operators with at least one tipped employee, provide harassment prevention training every two years to all employees. This requirement is a part of the Tipped Workers Fairness Amendment Act, which, if you recall, was passed in 2018 as part of the repeal of Initiative 77. There has been a long pause in implementation, largely due to Covid, but now the DC Office of Human Rights (OHR) and the Department of Employment Services (DOES) are certifying trainers and putting the mechanisms in place for businesses to conduct and certify the training. 

Here's what you need to know...

(OHR indicated that these FAQs will be updated in the coming weeks)
1. Who must take this training?
• Any business that hires at least one tipped wage employee (employees who earn tips as part of their wage) must provide this training for managers, owners, operators, and employees.
2. Do other non-tipped employees have to take the training too? What about staff who are salaried but also receive tips?
All employees who work in a business that hires tipped wage workers must take the training regardless of whether they themselves are salaried or tipped.
3. Is the training going to be in person or are there online options?
• Employees can attend the training in person or online (live virtual session in real time).
• So far, unless the law changes, managers must attend the training in person.
• Owners and operators of businesses can attend the training in person or online (live virtual session in real time).
4. If someone is both an operator and an employee, do they have to take both versions of the training?
That person should take the employer version of the training.
5. Does the law require that operators and managers that are onsite are trained?
• Yes, the law indicates that all employees, managers, operators, and owners take the training, and they have to take it once every other year.
• OHR will keep records of who has completed the training for five years so if a person moves to another job, they can still use their training certification for two years from when they received the training.
6. Is it a requirement that the training is provided in other languages?
Yes. The requirement is established in the Language Access Act.
If a business needs language access accommodations, the trainer should reach out to OHR to assist with providing interpreters.
Materials will also be available in 6 languages (Spanish, Amharic, Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese, Korean and French).
7. When will the Spanish version of the training become available?
OHR ‘s vendor is currently translating the materials into 6 languages including Spanish and will make the files available for trainers.
8. Will these be training sessions for one business at a time, or will this be an open session for people to attend?
A training session can be open to more than one business at the same time; however, the training report has to be submitted to OHR per each business.
The training compliance report must be submitted no later than 30 business days after completion of the training.
9. How will training providers get paid if they train different businesses in the same session?
OHR does not determine or regulate how trainers will get paid or how much they can charge; it is up to each trainer to coordinate with the business the manner and cost of the training session.
10. Thinking about turnover, if the employees take the training will the training be valid even if they took it while they were working for a different business?
Yes, trainees will get a certificate that will be valid for 2 years and they can bring it to their next job.
11. Can a business require an employee to pay for the training if they leave that employer?
OHR does not regulate businesses’ internal training policies, it is up to each business to determine whether it will ask employees to pay the business back for the training if they leave.
12. How much will the training cost?
OHR does not determine how much trainers can charge businesses. OHR has a published list of certified trainers that businesses can contact to ask for pricing and compare rates.
13. Can this training be combined with the ABRA training that bartenders have to take?
Not at the moment. The law establishes that this training should be provided either by OHR or by trainers that have been certified by OHR.
14. What a about a business that already provided a sexual harassment training in calendar year 2022 or has one coming up soon by a trainer that has not been certified by OHR, will this suffice to be considered compliant for this year?
A business can be deemed compliant:
If the training was facilitated after January 1st, 2022.
If the training was facilitated before August 18 OR
The business engaged in the service with the training provider before August 18 AND
The training is substantially consistent with OHR materials.
1. Their preferred provider must get certified by OHR
2. Their preferred provider can look at OHR’s materials and align their content and resubmit to OHR.
3. The business can use one of OHR’s certified trainers.
In order to be substantially consistent with OHR’s content the training must include:
General info about the Human Rights Act.
General information about OHR including how to file a discrimination claim.
Information about sexual harassment.,
Requirements of the Tipped Wage Workers Fairness Amendment Act.
Strategies on how to respond, prevent and intervene sexual harassment in the workplace.
For OHR to determine that an existing training is in compliance with the requirements of the law, businesses have to submit:
o A copy of the training module.
o A training compliance report to OHR that includes the: (1) date of training,
(2) training format (online, hybrid, in-person), (3) name of trainer, (4) name of trainee, (5) name of business that employs trainee, (6) role of trainee, and (7) email and phone number of the trainee.
o This report should be submitted per business.
o Any new employees that have not completed this training should take the OHR certified version of the training.
If the business received the training in 2020 or 2021, they will have to take the training by one of OHR’s certified trainers.
15. When is the deadline to submit the sexual harassment policy and reports on sexual harassment claims for 2020 and 2021?
December 31st, 2022. 
16. When is the deadline for businesses to comply with the training?
Businesses are expected to start contacting trainers, making arrangements, and scheduling trainings by December 31, 2022. An update on training compliance deadlines will be provided as soon as possible.
17. Are owner/salaried managers required to take training?
Yes, the law requires that all managers, owners and operators take this training.
18. If a business has multiple locations, does the policy need to be posted in all locations? What about remote employees?
Yes, the policy needs to be posted in all locations of the business.
Remote employees should receive and acknowledge that they have received a copy of the businesses’ sexual harassment policy which should include how to make sexual harassment claims to management and to the DC Office of Human Rights.
19. How will trainers submit the compliance report if they don’t train all the employees of the business in one session?
Since the law requires that this report is submitted no later than 30 businesses days after completion of the training, the individual submitting the report can submit one single report once all employees are trained as long as it is within the 30-day period of the first training session.
If the other trainings for the business are facilitated after the 30-days of the first session, businesses can submit separate reports.
20. Is there any intention to have separate training for managers/owners vs. non-managers?
The training is designed to be facilitated separately for employees and managers since the strategies and case scenarios are tailored for each audience. However, trainers also have the option to train the group together and incorporate break out rooms or small group activities to address the management or employee-specific content separately. 
21. Can someone in my organization become an OHR approved trainer? 

Yes. Someone on your team can get certified and added to OHR's list as a certified trainer. For more information on the required steps to become certified, contact: Angela Gonzalez (, Training Specialist at OHR.