Employment Law, News

New California Law Requires Sexual Harassment Training for all Employees

Effective January 1, 2019, employers in California with 5 or more employees (or independent contractors) must provide sexual harassment training to all employees (SB 1343). The deadline for compliance with initial training is January 1, 2020.

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Employers must then provide the training every 2 years. Currently, state law requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide training to supervisory employees only.  Under the new law, covered employers must:

  • Provide supervisory employees with 2 hours of training every 2 years
  • Provide nonsupervisory employees with 1 hour of training every 2 years

Both supervisory and nonsupervisory employees must receive training within 6 months of hire or placement into their positions. Beginning January 1, 2020, seasonal and temporary employees, or any employee that is hired to work for less than 6 months must receive training within 30 days of hire or within 100 hours worked, whichever occurs first.  Training for temporary employees must be provided by the temporary services employer, not the client.  Migrant and seasonal agricultural workers must receive training consistent with existing requirements for training nonsupervisory employees of farm labor contractors (CA Labor Code Sec. 1684(8)(A)).

As required under existing law, the training must include a component on the prevention of abusive conduct in the workplace as well as information on harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.

Classroom or other effective interactive training is required. Training may be completed in shorter segments as long as the total hourly requirement is met. Employers may develop its own training as long as it meets the content requirements of the law.

The law requires the California Department of Fair Housing and Employment (DFEH) to make the poster, fact sheet, and online training courses available to employers in English and several other languages. The revised fact sheet will contain a link to the online training courses.

BLR will continue to provide updates on California’s sexual harassment prevention laws.