Sexual Harassment Training Basics
Employers may remember we blogged this summer about California’s new sexual harassment training requirements imposed by 2018 Senate Bill 1343. The bill amended the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), requiring that every employer with five or more employees provide each of their employees with mandatory sexual harassment training and education. Prior to Senate Bill 1343, employers with 50 or more employees were required to provide supervisors with two hours of sexual harassment training every two years. No training was required for non-supervisory personnel. The FEHA now requires supervisors to complete two hours of sexual harassment training every two years and non-supervisory employees to complete one hour of sexual harassment training every two years.
Sexual Harassment Training Deadline
Senate Bill 1343, which went into effect on January 1, 2019, required employers to complete the initial round of sexual harassment training by January 1, 2020. Whether training for the first time or training a large workforce, employers have been pressed to complete the required training by the January 1, 2020 deadline. Lawmakers also recognized the need to increase awareness of the new training mandate and give employers more time to comply. Last month, employers were granted a one-year reprieve. On August 30, 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 778 extending the deadline complete the first round of training to January 1, 2021. The bill also states that an employer who has provided this training in 2019 is not required to provide refresher training until two years later. The new deadline also means that supervisors who were already on a two-year training cycle and trained in 2018 do not need to adjust their training periods.
Within Senate Bill 1343 is a directive to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) to make available online one-hour and two-hour sexual harassment training courses that employers may use to satisfy their training responsibilities. The DFEH has announced plans to make the training programs available in late 2019. We’ll post the DFEH course link as soon as it becomes available. Employers who want to stay well ahead of the 2021 training deadline can also engage a qualified private training provider or use e-learning systems to comply. To learn more about training content requirements, see Cal. Govt. Code § 12950.1 and 2 Cal. Code Regs. § 11024. To ensure your workplace is on the right track, encourage your workers complete training without delay.