All 33,000 Arizona state workers required to get harassment training

Dec 21, 2017, 5:05 AM
(Facebook Photo/Arizona Capitol Museum)...
(Facebook Photo/Arizona Capitol Museum)
(Facebook Photo/Arizona Capitol Museum)

PHOENIX — All 33,000 state employees in Arizona will undergo new harassment training starting in January 2018.

“Every single employee will be exposed to this training once a year,” said Elizabeth Alvarado-Thorson, the human resources director at the Arizona Department of Administration.

“The new training component really is a good overview on the standards of conduct that’s expected,” she said.

The new 30-minute computer-based training will highlight several areas of importance for employees.

“One being the expected standards of conduct for state employees,” she said. “Letting them know what’s acceptable and unacceptable behavior in the workplace.”

There will also be a simulation of scenarios in workplace that may rise to the level of harassment, retaliation and discrimination in the workplace.

“Knowing that employees may not be aware of the legal terminology, my training folks have put those things in very common language for [them],” she said.

Of course, part of the focus is to prevent inappropriate behavior and harassment in the workplace, but Alvarado-Thorson said a secondary focus is to provide clear avenues for reporting that harassment.

“If they’re experiencing harassment or retaliation or any form of discrimination, we want them to know how they can report those infractions.”

Alvarado-Thorson said there are several different ways employees can report.

“We always encourage employees and managers to handle those situations at the lowest level,” she said.

“If for some reason an employee believes that they can’t do that, if they can’t report an active harassment, retaliation or discrimination to their immediate supervisor or their manager, they can always [report to] their in-house HR professionals.”

The group that created the new training started working before a series of allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior surfaced across the nation, Alvarado-Thorson said.

Sexual misconduct allegations have since forced out top Hollywood, business and media figures and led to the resignations of three members of Congress, including Arizona Rep. Trent Franks.

The new training begins Jan. 2 and must be completed by March 31. State workers also will be required to undergo annual refresher training.

The state has had a comprehensive anti-harassment and retaliation policy since 1986. It has been amended or expanded since and also follows state and federal law.

But this new training specifically covers sexual and other harassment and retaliation and will be an online course.

The rollout of the training comes as the state House and Senate are focused on the issue. The Senate revised its written sexual harassment policy this month and the House formalized what had been an unwritten policy following complaints against a sitting lawmaker in October.

The House is investigating Rep. Don Shooter after several women complained that he made inappropriate remarks.

In response to the initial complaint from Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, Shooter alleged she had made inappropriate remarks in a public hearing and had an inappropriate workplace relationship.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Twitter Photo/Doug Ducey)...
Danny Shapiro

Ducey says Biden administration ‘does not care’ about border safety as Yuma crossings surge

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey blasted the Biden administration Tuesday during a visit to the border in Yuma, where officials say crossings are surging.
17 hours ago
(Phoenix Fire Department photo)...

Fire at Phoenix scrap yard sends smoke billowing for miles

A fire inside a Phoenix scrap yard Tuesday afternoon had smoke visible for miles.
17 hours ago
Jessica Wittner, left, and Christina Birch, right (NASA Photos)...

2 UArizona graduates selected to be NASA astronaut recruits for future missions

Two University of Arizona graduates were selected from more than 12,000 applicants to be part of the next class of NASA astronaut recruits for future missions.
17 hours ago
(File photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)...

Phoenix pauses COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city employees after federal court ruling

The city of Phoenix announced Tuesday it will pause the requirement that city employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 following a federal court ruling temporarily blocking a requirement for all federal contract workers to get the shot.
17 hours ago
An Arizona Department of Transportation worker puts the finishing touches on a Pearl Harbor Memoria...

Pearl Harbor has been memorialized all across Arizona

Pearl Harbor is 3,000 miles from Arizona, but the naval base that came under attack 77 years ago has been memorialized all across the Grand Canyon State.
17 hours ago
A laboratory technician isolates COVID-19 samples at the Genview Diagnosis lab on August 13, 2021 i...
Kevin Stone

Phoenix-area health official on omicron: ‘It’s probably already here’

A high-ranking metro Phoenix health official said that while the omicron variant of COVID-19 hasn’t yet been confirmed in Arizona, “it’s probably already here.”
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Arizona State University

Gain insights on next year’s trends at 58th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon

Employment is recovering from the severe contraction induced by the pandemic, but it is still way below levels at the start of 2020. Can it fully recover in the coming year?

Thyroid issues: Here are the warning signs and what to do

In a 100-person office in the United States, an estimated 12 co-workers, employees and loved ones, will likely develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. That’s because, according to the American Thyroid Association, more than 12% of the U.S. population will experience thyroid issues.
Schwartz Laser Eye Center

How to sharpen your vision with elective procedures

Imagine opening your eyes in the morning and being able to see clearly. You wouldn’t have to wait to put on glasses or contacts, and there would be no more blurry showers nor forgetting where your glasses are.
All 33,000 Arizona state workers required to get harassment training