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Mandatory Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for California Employers

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Avoiding legal issues as a business owner requires a proactive approach. Sexual harassment has dominated the headlines recently. In response, the California Legislature has passed Bill 1343 which places some additional requirements on California Employers.

 

Mandatory Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for California Employers

 

California Senate Bill 1343 now requires California employers with at least five (5) employees to provide sexual harassment prevention training to all of their employees by January 1, 2020 . If your company has at least five (5) employees, you must provide:

 

  1. At least two (2) hours of sexual harassment prevention training to all supervisory employees; and
  2. At least one (1) hour of sexual harassment prevention training to all non-supervisory employees

 

The employees must receiving this training within six (6) months of employment, and again every two years.

 

Who Must Comply?

 

All California employers with five or more employees (full time or part time) must comply. That means all employees must complete the required training.

 

When Must Employers Comply?

 

The deadline to comply with the training requirements is January 1, 2020. This means all employees must be trained in 2019.

 

What Must Employers Do?

 

  • Distribute the new Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) “Sexual Harassment
  • Prevention Brochure” to all employees
  • Post the new DFEH “Sexual Harassment Prevention Poster”
  • Post the DFEH “Transgender Rights in the Workplace Poster”
  • Provide sexual harassment training by the January 1, 2020 deadline:
    • Training must be provided between January 1, 2019 and January 1, 2020.
    • Supervisors: 2 hours within 6 months of employment, and every 2 years thereafter.
    • Non-supervisors: 1 hour within 6 months of employment, and every 2 years thereafter.
    • If an employee is not hired to work 6 months, training should be provided within 30 days or 100 hours worked, whichever comes first.
    • If a temporary employee is hired by a temporary services employer, the temporary services employer should provide training.

 

What if Employers do not Comply?

 

If employees are not trained by January 1, 2020, the DFEH will accept complaints from those employees. Complaints will be reviewed in light of the totality of the circumstances, which may include the availability of DFEH’s online training courses (coming soon) or the availability of qualified trainers. If DFEH finds that the law has been violated, it will work with employers to obtain compliance with the law.

 

Resources for Employers

 

DFEH has created an online resources page at https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2018/12/SB_1343_FAQs.pdf.

 

The DFEH has developed a Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention Training Toolkit. The DFEH is also expected to make required training videos available online in late 2019. Until those training videos are available, training needs to be provided by a “qualified trainer.” Also included in the toolkit are the following:

 

  • “Sexual Harassment Prevention Brochure,” which you are required to distribute to the employees.
  • “Sexual Harassment Prevention Poster,” which you are required to post.
  • Workplace Harassment Prevention Guide, which is intended to help employers and supervisors understand how to prevent and correct wrongful behavior in the workplace.
  • Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention Training Completion Certificate.

 

Recommendations

 

Because the DFEH has not posted its online training videos, we recommend waiting to conduct employee training. This will allow time for the DFEH to create the online training courses AND it will allow employers the opportunity to incorporate any new hires into the training process.

 

There are also online courses provided by vendors that are typically good for 6 to 12 months. Our office can provide the training as well, but it may be more cost productive to subscribe to a certified online course and/or use the DFEH online training courses once posted.

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