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October 20, 2020

Anti-Harassment Training Deadline Is January 1 for CA – Are You Ready?

Posted by Nina Pavlichko

Anti-Harassment

2020 has been an unbelievable year so far, and we are still in the midst of battling COVID-19. Despite that, California employers must not lose sight of the state’s new anti-harassment and discrimination prevention training requirements. If you have not done so already, now is a good time to plan how you will meet your new training obligations by January 1, 2021.

You may recall that the requirements are part of the expanded Senate Bill 1343, which Governor Jerry Brown signed on September 30, 2018. The expanded bill mandates that employers with at least five employees provide sexual harassment and discrimination prevention training to all supervisory and non-supervisory employees.

Here’s a snapshot of the changes.

Old Regulations
Employers with 50 or more employees must provide:
2 hours of mandatory training for supervisors only
New Regulations
Employers with 5 or more employees must provide:
1 hour of mandatory training for non-supervisors
2 hours of mandatory training for supervisors

Here are some additional training requirement details:

  • All non-supervisory employees must be trained for at least one hour by January 1, 2021.
  • All supervisory employees must be trained for at least two hours by January 1, 2021.
  • 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 to have this training completed by the start of 2021!

The regulations state 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 one and deploy it to meet the January 1 deadline.

In conjunction with the training, employers will need to provide an anti-harassment policy that includes a clear complaint procedure. Employers are required to develop and distribute this policy to all employees. The content of the policy needs to follow the requirements mandated by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and can be found in the state’s DFEH-185 pamphlet. 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 DFEH-E04P poster on transgender rights in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my employees have not done training by January 1, 2021?

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

What 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 employees completed their training between January 1 and December 31, 2019?

The employee will not need to be retrained per the new laws.

What if my employee completed their training between January 1 and December 31, 2020?

Employers who have complied with the law in 2020 are not required to comply with the January 1, 2021, 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 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 January 1, 2021, who received training by 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 and independent contractors on my team?

Temporary workers should be trained by you if they are on your payroll. Independent contractors count as one of the five employees, but if they are properly classified, you do not need to train them.

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

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

If you have questions or need a resource to help you put together a anti-harassment and discrimination prevention training plan, contact our HR experts at [email protected].

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