May 21st, 2019
California Employers Have Six Months Left To Comply With New Sexual Harassment Training Law
By Kevin Rivera on June 14th, 2019
California employers have six months left to comply with a new law that took effect on January 1, 2019, which requires virtually all California employers to provide sexual harassment prevention training to all employees. Specifically, by January 1, 2020, employers with five or more employees must provide one hour of sexual harassment prevention training to nonsupervisory employees and two hours of such training to supervisors.
The law applies to employers with five or more employees, which includes part-time and temporary employees, including those who are hired through temporary staffing agencies, as well as independent contractors. (However, even though independent contractors are counted toward the number of employees that would subject an employer to the new training requirements, employers aren’t required to provide harassment prevention training to independent contractors.)
In order to comply with the January 1, 2020 deadline, all employees must be trained during 2019. This means you have six months left to comply. Employees who were trained in 2018 or before will need to be retrained.
Training must take place within six months of hire or promotion and every two years thereafter. Starting on January 1, 2020, seasonal and temporary employees or employees hired to work less than 6 months, must be trained within 30 calendar days after hire or within 100 hours worked, whichever is earlier.
The harassment prevention training must include information and practical guidance about federal and state sexual harassment laws, including harassment prevention and correction and remedies that are available to victims. The training must also include a component on the prevention of “abusive conduct,” as well as a component on harassment based on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.
The law requires employers to provide classroom or other effective interactive training, which includes in-person training, e-learning, and webinars. The training may be completed by employees individually or as part of a group presentation. The new law directs the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) to develop or obtain online training courses. However, as of this writing, the DFEH has not yet made those online training courses available.
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