California Department of Fair Employment and Housing Issues New Guidance on Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training
California Department of Fair Employment and Housing Issues New Guidance on Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training

In light of recent amendments to SB 1343, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) issued an updated FAQ which sheds light on areas of ambiguity for employers regarding sexual harassment prevention training.   

SB 1343 (2018) requires employers with five or more employees to provide two hours of sexual harassment prevention training to all supervisory employees and one of hour of sexual harassment prevention training to all nonsupervisory employees. 

SB 778 (2019) extended the deadline to provide sexual harassment training to January 1, 2021.  SB 778 did not impact the ongoing obligation for employers with 50 or more employees to train new supervisory employees within six months of assuming their role, and all supervisors every two years.  

According to the DFEH, independent contractors, volunteers and unpaid interns are not considered “employees” and are therefore exempt from the training requirement.  However, such workers should be counted in determining the size of the employer. 

Employees located inside and outside of California are also counted in determining whether employers are covered under the Act, but employees located outside of California are not themselves required to be trained.

Under the law, employers must provide new hires the required training within six months of hire.  The new guidance creates an exception to the six-month training requirement for newly hired employees who participated in training within the past two years at another employer.  Instead of being trained again, the new employee must be provided the new employer’s anti-harassment policy, read the policy, and acknowledge receipt of the policy within six months of hire.  The burden is on the new employer to verify the supervisory and non-supervisory employee received training in compliance with Government Code section 12950.1, which may require verifying compliance from the prior employer.

With regard to short term employees, beginning January 1, 2021, whether they are seasonal, temporary or work less than six months for other reasons, employers are required to provide training within 30 calendar days after the date of hire or within 100 hours worked, whichever occurs first.  Employers are not required to train employees who are employed for fewer than 30 calendar days and work for fewer than 100 hours.

The FAQ may be accessed here.

For any questions regarding mandatory harassment training or to schedule sexual harassment prevention training, please contact one of the authors or your usual employment law counsel at Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo. 

This AALRR publication is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in reaching a conclusion in a particular area of law. Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. Receipt of this or any other AALRR publication does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Firm is not responsible for inadvertent errors that may occur in the publishing process. 

© 2020 Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo

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