SB 778: Everything You Need To Know

SB 778: Everything You Need To Know

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SB 778 California is a recent regulation enacted in September 2018 and set a clear deadline for businesses with five or more workers in California to deliver sexual harassment training for managers and at least one-hour training to all non-administrative workers. 

The California state created this regulation to help familiarize employees regarding acceptable conduct in the workplace and assist California organizations in limiting instances of workplace harassment. 

SB 778: An Overview 

In 2005, the California law enacted Assembly Bill 1825 that said all California businesses with 50 or more workers had to deliver their administrators and managers sexual harassment training and education. A few years later, in 2013, the California state enacted SB (Senate Bill) 1343, which modified the need for businesses with five or more employees to guarantee that smaller companies were also training their workforce on sexual harassment prevention.

SB 1343 further dictated that all workers, not just managers, were required to attend this training every two years. This SB 778 is an amendment of SB 1343 to demand that all personnel concerned by SB 1343 get sexual harassment prevention training by January 1, 2020, and must get retrained every two years after initial training. 

This SB 778 set forth conditions for the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) to create and make available online training courses that fulfill both the one-hour and two-hour harassment prevention training needs. 

How Does SB 778 Impact Modern Organizations?

SB 778 mandates any California company with five or more workers to deliver sexual harassment prevention training to its workforce. Organizations must present at least two hours of harassment prevention workplace training to all managerial employees and at least one hour of harassment prevention training and education to all non-administrative employees within six months from employment or promotion. In addition, workers must revive their sexual harassment prevention training every two years. 

Furthermore, companies must deliver sexual harassment prevention training and education to transient or other seasonal employees within 30 days after employment or 100 hours operated, whichever is first if they will work in an organization less than six months. However, if the temporary contractor comes from any staffing or contracting agency, the agency must provide harassment prevention training. 

Requirements of SB 778 Sexual Harassment Training 

The training conditions for delivering and who requires sexual harassment prevention training remains enacted in the statute. However, some rules can vary depending on the job position and type of worker. 

Any worker who oversees another employee must finish at least two hours of sexual harassment prevention education and training. In addition, new managerial workers must complete two hours of harassment prevention training within six months of employment or raise to remain compliant. Non-supervisory workers need merely one hour of prevention training, but they must finish it within six months of joining the workplace.

Unpaid interns, independent contractors, or volunteers are not mandated to take any harassment prevention training according to the sexual harassment prevention mandate. Nevertheless, they remain included in calculating the minimum threshold for employees. For instance, if you have two workers and three unpaid interns, your organization is required, by law, to deliver sexual harassment prevention training for your two paid workers.

How to Conduct Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Under SB 778

There are numerous alternatives for how your company can deliver sexual harassment training and education. 

  • You can readily conduct these training sessions in a conventional classroom setting with an in-person facilitator, a webinar, or e-learning platforms. 
  • Companies can likewise schedule sexual harassment prevention training for workers as a group or separately. These sexual harassment prevention training can be finished all at once or split into more concise parts as long as it fulfills the minimum prerequisite for the total time.
  • Organizations must deliver harassment prevention training during standard working hours, and all employees will get paid for their training sessions. However, companies cannot use holidays or lunch breaks for conducting the training. 

Apart from this, employers are accountable for expenses arising from the harassment prevention training.

California organizations must keep a documented harassment and prejudice prevention guideline and deliver a replica to each new employee. If any modifications are made to this guideline, all employees must get a revised copy. As per California SB 778, companies must further publish all necessary notices from the DEFH (Department of Fair Employment and Housing) and present them with their Sexual harassment data sheet to avoid a hostile work environment in California.

Every organization must have valid training documents delivered to their workers to verify compliance. In addition, supporting documentation that indicates the type of training, date, the names of the employees and the facilitator, and a copy of all the certifications of completion are essential for a minimum of two years from the completion date of your harassment prevention training in your workplace. 

What Happens if Organizations Do Not Comply with SB 778?

The fine for non-compliance is pretty reasonable. Under SB (Senate Bill) 778, the DFEH (Department of Fair Employment and Housing) may seek a tribunal mandate directing the organization to comply with the prerequisites. 

However, that being said, the high expense of organizational harassment both culturally and financially makes it valuable to employ these mechanisms to eradicate sexual harassment at the workplace. Educating your workforce about a sexual harassment offense and its repercussions in California can help reduce these. 

While compliance with these harassment prevention laws might feel somewhat time-consuming and disorganized, it is compulsory, the procedure isn't challenging, and one or two hours of training is not at all a burden. Therefore, companies must develop a schedule, get their workforce trained, and make sure to keep tight track of their documentation, and you will readily fulfill the prerequisites for this regulation. 

Advantages of Sexual Harassment Prevention Training in an Organization

One of the pillars of an exhaustive process to fight sexual harassment and other unacceptable conduct is to deliver harassment prevention training. All workers should be fully responsible for building a compliant, secure workplace. 

They should participate in harassment prevention training that provides them with the understanding and aptitudes required to comprehend the interrelationship between averting harassment, prejudice, anti-retaliation training, discrimination, and other forms of workplace behavior and creating a productive work atmosphere. Here are some advantages of sexual harassment prevention training in an organization. 

  • Improves Workplace Culture

Sexual harassment prevention training can sweeten and create an organization's culture by communicating its objectives, values, and procedures in unique and appropriate ways that drive individuals to act ethically while protecting their prominence.

  • Increases Understanding of Acceptable and Unacceptable Conduct

Harassment in every organization has always been an issue. Identifying the different types of wrongdoing is crucial in encouraging workers to react when they notice or experience it.

One of the most practical and efficient ways to improve understanding of the different sorts of inappropriate conduct – from the evident to the subtle – and remove suspicion about inappropriate behavior is through harassment prevention training. 

In addition, these sexual harassment prevention training can elucidate gray areas. They can reveal how undesired and uncontrolled behavior can become harassment or prejudice.

The Bottom Line 

In a nutshell, employees at all levels in an organization must recognize and report inappropriate or offensive behavior and react to and support coworkers who may experience harassment in a workplace. These training mandated under SB 778 can help organizations drive positive behavior and change for better employee productivity. 

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