Mandatory California Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

Employers in California are required to train their staff on topics related to sexual harassment. The most crucial training requirement for nearly all employers (five or more employees) is sexual harassment awareness training. Varying industries, however, have different criteria, as outlined below, and employers must evaluate the rules that apply to their industries and firms to ensure compliance.

Even if they fulfilled the recent timeframe for the first training, companies must remain cautious in compliance with mandatory sexual harassment training in California.

The state, which had previously required anti-harassment training for supervisors at enterprises with 50 or more employees, expanded the scope of the law in 2018 to include interactive training to the employees at companies with five or more employees.

Who Needs Harassment Prevention Training?

By January 1, 2021, if you have five or more employees, you must offer them sexual harassment prevention training. Distinct groups of personnel have several training standards. They are:

  • Supervisory 
  • Nonsupervisory 
  • Temporary 
  • Employees hired temporarily through a staffing agency

Supervisors

Supervisory staff requires additional training due to their responsibilities. Any person who oversees another must complete a minimum of two hours of sexual harassment prevention skills and retraining. The Clean-up Bill clarified the status of individuals promoted to managerial positions. Within six months of being promoted to that position, they must complete two hours of training.

Nonsupervisory Employees

They demand one hour of sexual harassment prevention skills and retraining.

Temporary Workers

During 30 days of their initial work period or during their first 100 hours worked, businesses must deliver one hour of California sexual harassment prevention training and support to these employees.

Employees that Work for an Agency Temporarily

It’s important to note a minimum of one- and two-hour required training is mandatory.

It shall not deter or excuse any employer from offering more prolonged, more regular, or more comprehensive education and training on workplace harassment or other types of unlawful discrimination to fulfill its duty to prevent and remedy harassment and abuse.

Recent Changes in the California Sexual Harassment Training 

Governor Gavin Newsom approved Senate Bill 778 on August 30, 2019, extending the deadline for firms with five or more employees to deliver compulsory sexual harassment prevention training to the majority of their employees. 

Under previous legislation, companies were to finish the mandated training and education by January 1, 2020, but SB 778, which goes into effect immediately, extended the deadline to January 1, 2021. 

New nonsupervisory employees must receive the mandated training within six months of employment. According to the new law, new supervisory employees must receive the course within six months of becoming supervisors.

The following are some of the new law’s other key provisions:

  • Employers who conducted mandatory sexual harassment prevention training and instruction in 2019 will not be required to do so again until 2021 and then every two years after that.
  • Employees can complete the training independently or as part of a team project, and it can be done in smaller chunks as long as they reach the total hourly need.
  • If a transient services employer hires a brief employee to execute services for customers, the temporary services employer, not the customer, is responsible for providing training.
  • Agricultural laborers are sensitive to varying rules.
  • Companies may create their training and send their workers to live or web-based instructions programs by an instructor who achieves the desired credentials. They can manage teams to view the online training course developed by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and made available on its internet website. The training will be offered “by late 2019,” according to the DFEH.

Requirements to Provide Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training in California

You must preserve evidence of the instruction you offered to your staff to go along with it. Here’s what you’ll need to demonstrate that you’ve completed the California sexual harassment prevention training standards:

  • Individuals’ names who got trained
  • The date on which companies trained the employee.
  • The sign-in sheet is a sheet that keeps track of who has come
  • A copy of all participation or achievement certificates issued.
  • The type of training 
  • A copy of any written or audio-visual materials used in the training
  • The name of the person who led the training

You must keep these records for at least two years after the training date.

Effectiveness of Conducting the Training

  • Preventing harassment at its best

Many legislators, according to experts, persist in introducing mandatory training laws with the right intentions to inform both leaders and workers about harassment.

Employees who receive mandated harassment training are more informed of what constitutes abuse, according to data from the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the workplace. According to the EEOC’s findings, “engagement in training was connected with an increasing likelihood, especially for men, of perceiving unsolicited sexual actions, statements, touching, and date pressures to be a type of sexual harassment.”

Increased awareness, on the other hand, does not always result in less harassment.

The purpose of these sexual harassment training courses is frequently to avert sexual harassment legal difficulties.

Businesses invest in mandatory sexual harassment training in California to refer to their programs and avoid accountability in a problem, which the legal precedent supports.

  • Creating a more positive workplace

It’s crucial to remember that training programs don’t rise in a vacuum; they’re affected as much by corporate culture as by the individuals who enter them.

The dialogues are inherently different when we link the training with the company’s vision and mission.

The first step in creating a harassment-free workplace is assessing the culture and enforcing policies with zeal from the top down. Then, in response to allegations, taking official measures and aggressively motivating employees to report harassment will result in long-term changes.

  • Representation of the training course

It’s also crucial to change the way harassment training is delivered. One strategy to improve compulsory training is to select a range of compelling speakers who offer programs targeted to the workplace a few times a year. To this purpose, several businesses are already utilizing new technologies such as virtual reality.

Employers might reframe their training to emphasize the detrimental impact of harassment on the company rather than legal issues. Furthermore, giving employees other options, such as the type of training they will receive or how a company will provide it, would help them reclaim their agency.

Bottom Line

It’s a lot to handle all of this while also running your practice. It is, nevertheless, required and not very difficult. Include a documented harassment, bias, and retribution avoidance policy in your staff handbook, as well as any pertinent policies and procedures that match current law. You still have time to train your personnel if you haven’t done so already.

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