California Senate Bill 1343 amends Government Code Section 12950 and 12950.1 to require employers with five (5) or more employees to provide at least two (2) hours of sexual harassment training to managerial employees and at least one (1) hour of sexual harassment training to nonmanagerial employees by January 1, 2020, and once every two (2) years thereafter.
The five employees need not work at the same location, nor are they required to all work or reside in California, for this training requirement to apply. The training must be given by a qualified trainer, such as an attorney who is a member of the bar of any state for at least two years and whose practice includes employment law under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) or Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Under the new sexual harassment training law, both managerial and non-managerial employees must receive training by January 1, 2020. After January 1, 2020, employees must be retrained once every two years. That means that all employees statewide must be retrained by January 1, 2022.
This law requires the trainings to include harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, and to include practical examples of such harassment, and to be provided by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in those areas.
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) will develop 1-hour and 2-hour online training courses on the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace, and post these courses on the DFEH website for use by employers and the public at large, in late 2019. In the meantime, the DFEH has provided a Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention Toolkit to help employers provide the required training to their employees. The Toolkit includes the following:
~ Sample Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention Training Powerpoint: this sample training is intended to be used by employers in conjunction with a qualified trainer (defined in 2 CCR 11024);
~ DFEH Sexual Harassment Prevention Brochure: distribution of either this brochure, the poster, or a similar writing is required by California law;
~ DFEH_Sexual Harassment Prevention Poster: distribution of either this poster, the brochure, or a similar writing is required under California law;
~ DFEH Workplace Harassment Guide: this guide 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: to be given to an employee who completes the training and to be placed in the employee’s personnel file.
More information can be found on the DFEH website: Sexual Harassment FAQs. At this time, failure to comply with the new training requirements will not necessarily trigger a penalty, but rather the DFEH will work with employers to obtain compliance or seek an order requiring the employer to comply.
If you are an employer with five (5) or more employees and in need of assistance to comply with California’s sexual harassment training law, please contact Cabada & Hameed LLP for information about our training. With years of experience in the area of employment law, attorneys Sayema Hameed and Francisco Cabada can serve as qualified trainers and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
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