Our blog readers may recall that last fall California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed two important pieces of legislation that express the changing attributes of the workforce – Senate Bill 396 which specifically protects transgender employees from discrimination and harassment at work, and Senate Bill 64 which recognizes the needs of new parents who work for small businesses. The new laws went into effect on January 1, 2018. Both laws are reflected on the required California Workplace Discrimination and Harassment posting just released by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
SB 396 – Sexual Harassment Training Standards
The focus of Senate Bill 396 is to promote and protect diversity in the workplace and in particular transgender and other gender nonconforming individuals who are more likely to experience discrimination and harassment at work. The bill also imposes a new training requirement.
In California, employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide two hours of sexual harassment training to supervisors within six months of being hired or promoted and every two years thereafter. The new law requires employers to include, as a component of supervisors’ sexual harassment training, training in harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. The sexual harassment training and education must include practical examples of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation and be presented by instructors with knowledge and expertise in those areas. All employers, regardless of the number of employees, are also required to distribute to employees either the DFEH’s Sexual Harassment Pamphlet or an alternative writing that meets code requirements.
SB 64 – New Parent Leave Act
Senate Bill 64, also known as the “New Parent Leave Act”, requires employers with 20 or more employees to provide up to 12 workweeks of job-protected parental leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption or foster care placement. Previously, only employees working for an employer with 50 or more employees could take a 12-week leave of absence to bond with a new child. The New Parent Leave Act also requires an employer to maintain group health plan coverage of an employee who takes this leave. An employer must guarantee employment in the same or a comparable position upon the employee’s return from the leave.
All California employers are required to post the DFEH’s California Law Prohibits Workplace Discrimination and Harassment posting in the workplace. Compliance Poster Company (CPC) has updated the California All-On-One™ Labor Law Poster to include the 2018 Workplace Discrimination and Harassment posting. Employers that already have a California All-On-One Poster can use a 2018 Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Peel ‘N Post™ to update the poster in compliance with posting requirements.