Sexual harassment training is now mandatory for "all" employers with 5+ employees in California

In September 2018, SB1343 was signed into law by Governor Brown which requires employers with five or more employees to provide training to all employees. Both supervisory and non-supervisory employees need to receive sexual harassment prevention training by January 1, 2020.

This is a significant change in the anti-harassment legal requirements for employers as

prior to SB1343 employers with 50 or more employees needed to:

  • Provide Two hours of mandatory harassment prevention training to all supervisory staff

Now by Jan 1st 2020 all employers with five or more employees must:

  • Provide Two hours of mandatory harassment prevention training to all supervisory staff

  • One hour of mandatory training to all other employees

Key points to note:

  1. The law applies to all employers with 5+ employees

  2. The law covers all employees, no matter whether they are in a supervisory role or not

  3. Part-time, temporary employees and independent contractors count toward the minimum employee count of five or more employees.

  4. All training must be conducted by Jan 1, 2020.

  5. Training must occur within six months of the employee starting their new position and must be repeated every two years

  6. Training may be conducted individually or as a group

  7. This training can be conducted in shorter segments and in conjunction to other training, however, the minimum two hours for supervisory staff and one hour for all other staff must be observed

  8. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) will develop training materials to aid employers in meeting these compliance needs. As before employers are free to develop their own in house training and/or use experienced training providers.

  9. Beginning Jan 1, 2020, temporary and/or seasonal employees or any employees hired to work for less than six months must receive training through the employer within 30 calendar days of their hire date or within 100 hours worked, whichever occurs first.

  10. If temporary employees are hired through a temporary services employer, as defined by the California Labor Code, the temporary services employer must provide this training not the employer.

Immediate Next Steps:

  • Be sure to allocate enough training time to meet the Jan 1, 2020 deadline for training all your employees.

  • Failing to prevent harassment in the work place in California will lead to an increased liability risk.

  • Be sure that your employees understand and know what sexual harassment is and what the law requires. They need to understand how to report any sexual harassment and what your companies reporting procedures are.

  • Supervisory staff need to understand their prevention obligations under the law. How to handle complaints, carry out investigations and take corrective actions.

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