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May 1, 2019

Countdown for California Employers: Anti-Harassment Training

Posted by Jessie McCoy

Source: Kameleon007 / iStock / Getty

Starting in 2020, California businesses must comply with new, more extensive anti-harassment training requirements. The new rules also apply to much smaller businesses.

The Old Law

Since 2005, Assembly Bill 1825 has required California employers with 50 or more employees to provide two hours of sexual harassment prevention training to supervisory employees.  Subsequent laws required that employers include prevention of “abusive conduct”, or bullying, as a component of the training, in addition to further mandating that employers train supervisors on how to identify and prevent harassment based on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.

What the New Law Requires

Now, Senate Bill 1343 has California employers scrambling to meet new anti-harassment training requirements. The new law states that by January 1, 2020, and every two years thereafter, employers with five or more employees must administer:

  • Two hours of sexual harassment prevention training to all supervisory employees within six months of starting their position
  • One hour of sexual harassment prevention training to all non-supervisory employees within six months of starting their position.

Additionally, beginning January 1, 2020, temporary and seasonal employees must receive sexual harassment prevention training within 30 days of hire or by 100 hours worked.

Note that the law requires that employees be trained during calendar year 2019. Employees who were trained in 2018 or before will need to be retrained.

How can you meet these new requirements?

The training may be completed by employees individually or as part of a group presentation, and may be completed in shorter segments, as long as the hourly total requirement is met. It also must be interactive and include information and guidance regarding the prohibition against, and the prevention and correction of, sexual harassment, as well as the remedies available to victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.

The information should be presented by trainers with expertise in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Employees must be able to ask questions and have them answered by experts within two business days.

The anti-harassment training sessions also must include examples aimed at instructing supervisors in the:

  • Prevention of harassment, discrimination and retaliation, including examples of harassment based on gender, identity, gender expression and sexual orientation
  • Prevention of abusive conduct.

An employer may develop their own training module or use two online training courses on the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace that the Department of Fair Employment and Housing developed. Additionally, Armanino HR Solutions can recommend vendors based on your needs.

Contact the HR Solutions team for information on how to access the best sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training for your organization.

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