What Are California’s New Requirements for Sexual Harassment Training?

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As Governor Jerry Brown prepares to exit office, he has signed numerous bills into law, changing the way California handles sexual harassment. One of those changes includes a significant expansion of the sexual harassment training employers must provide for their employees. Here is a rundown of those changes, and how companies must fulfill these requirements.

The Changes in California Sexual Harassment Training

According to California law, companies that employ at least 50 employees must provide sexual harassment prevention training to all employees every two years. This training includes both supervisors and non-supervising employees. However, this is slated to change soon.

Starting on January 1, 2020, this training requirement will also extend to businesses with five or more employees. The bill requires at least two hours of training for all supervisory employees and at least one hour of training for non-supervisory workers. Employers must also provide this training every two years.

If an employer provides this sexual harassment training after January 1, 2019, then it will not be required to provide that training again before January 1, 2020.  There are also new requirements for seasonal and temporary employees at companies that employ five or more workers.

Any temporary or seasonal employee expected to work six months or less must receive sexual harassment prevention training within 30 days of being hired, or within 100 work hours. This rule doesn’t apply to employees acquired through staffing agencies. Those agencies are required to provide this training themselves.

Employers can choose to use the training courses provided by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), or they can develop or use a course that includes the following materials:

  • Guidance on the federal and state laws prohibiting sexual harassment;
  • Practical examples to prevent harassment, discrimination and retaliation;
  • Abusive conduct prevention training;
  • Training focused on harassment based on sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity; and
  • The remedies available to sexual harassment victims.

If you have more questions about these requirements, or if you are dealing with a sexual harassment issue, contact Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C. Our number is (310) 273-3180 and our initial consultation is free.

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