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August 2, 2019

Are You Ready for California’s New Anti-Harassment Training Requirements?

Posted by Nina Pavlichko

harassment prevention

We are more than halfway through 2019. If you are a California employer and have not already done so, now is a good time to plan how you will meet your new discrimination and harassment prevention training obligations by the January 1, 2020, deadline.

The requirements are part of California Senate Bill 1343, which Governor Jerry Brown made a bold move to expand on September 30, 2018.  The new bill now mandates employers with at least five employees to provide discrimination and harassment prevention training to all supervisory and non-supervisory employees.

Here is a snapshot of the SB 1343 changes:

Old Law
Affects employers with 50 or more employees
Requires 2 hours of mandatory anti-harassment training for supervisors only
New Law
Affects employers with 5 or more employees
Requires 2 hours of mandatory training for supervisors and 1 hour for non-supervisors

Here are some additional training requirement highlights:

  • All non-supervisory employees must be trained at least one hour by January 1, 2020.
  • All supervisory employees must be trained at least two hours by January 1, 2020.
  • Training must be provided once every two years thereafter.
  • Temporary and seasonal employees must be trained as well within 30 calendar days after their hire date or within 100 hours worked if the employee will work for less than six months.
  • If the temporary employee is from a temporary service agency placed at your worksite, the training must be provided by the temporary services agency, as they are the employer of record.

What do you need to do now?

This is the time to put a plan into action! The regulations states that the training must be interactive and can be delivered online or live. If you do not have a training plan in place, now is the time to create and deploy the plan to meet the January 1, 2020, deadline.

In conjunction with the training, employers need an anti-harassment policy that includes a clear complaint procedure. Employers are required to develop this policy and distribute it to all employees. The content of the policy needs to follow requirements as mandated by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and can be found in the DFEH-185 pamphlet. Note that employers are required to distribute this pamphlet to all employees along with their own anti-harassment policy.

Along with the distribution of the pamphlet, be sure to post the updated DFEH-E07P poster on discrimination and the DFEH-E04P poster on transgender rights in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace.

Armanino can help you stay compliant.  If you have questions or need a resource to help you put together a harassment and discrimination prevention training plan, contact the HR Solutions Team.



SB 1343 – Compliance FAQs

What if my employees are not training by January 1, 2020?

DFEH accepts complaints from employees that their employers have not complied with the law requiring the training and will evaluate the circumstances surrounding the non-compliance and decide. If DFEH finds that the law has been violated, it will work with employers to obtain compliance with the law.

What happens if I don’t comply with the new laws?

If an employer does not comply with the laws, the DFEH can submit an order requiring an employer to comply.

What if my employee completed their training between January 1 and December 31, 2018?

The employee will need to be retrained per the new laws.

What if my employee completed their training between January 1 and December 31, 2019?

Employers who complied with the law in 2019 are not required to comply with the January 1, 2020, deadline.

What if we already have a training in place? Do we have to create a new one?

An employer can use the training that they have in place, but it must contain the components required by the law. You can also provide the training in conjunction with another training you have in place.

What if we just hired an employee who had training recently at their previous employer?

Employees hired after Jan. I, 2020, who received training at a previous employer need only be required to read and acknowledge receipt of the employer’s anti-harassment policy within six months of assuming the new position. The burden of establishing that the prior training was legally compliant with this section is on the current employer.

What if I want to train everyone all at once?

You can train everyone all at once as long as the applicable total hours are met per employee classification. For example, a non-supervisory employee would stay in a training for one hour, but a supervisor must attend for two hours.

What if I don’t have anyone qualified to present the training?

Nothing is defined in the law regarding the qualifications of the individual presenting the training. However, if you wish to hire an authorized vendor, you can.

What if I have temporary employees and independent contractors on my team?

Everyone, including temporary and seasonal employees, must be trained.

If I had a new employee just start, how long do I have to train them?

An employer has six months after an employee start date to provide the necessary training.

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