California Governor Jerry Brown Signs Law Updating Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

On the heels of New York State’s first deadline for new anti-harassment laws, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1343 into law on September 30, 2018.

SB 1343 amends certain sections of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act so that employers must provide harassment prevention training to all employees. Previously, California employers of only a certain size were required to provide training to managers only.

Who must comply: Employers with five or more employees—regardless of status. All employees must complete the required training.

When employers must comply: The deadline to comply with the training requirements is January 1, 2020.

How is this different than AB 1825? AB 1825 required training for employers with 50 or more employees. In addition, the training was required for supervisors only.

SB 1343 amends sections 12950 and 12950.1 of Government Code—also known as AB 1825. SB 1343 amends the code to apply to employers with five or more employees as well as requiring ALL employees—both supervisory and non-supervisory—to complete the training.

What do employers need to do?

  • Post an updated Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) poster on discrimination in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace.
  • Post a poster developed by DFEH regarding transgender rights in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace.
  • Provide sexual harassment training by the January 1, 2020 deadline:
    • If the training is provided after January 1, 2019, employers are not required to provide training by the 2020 deadline.
    • Supervisors: 2 hours within 6 months of position, and every 2 years thereafter.
    • Non-supervisors: 1 hour within 6 months of position and every 2 years thereafter.
    • If an employee is not hired to work 6 months, training should be provided within 30 days or 100 hours worked, whichever comes first.
    • If a temporary employee is hired by a temporary services employer, the temporary services employer should provide training.
  •  Distribute a DFEH developed information sheet to employees, delivered in a manner that ensures distribution to each employee, such as including the information sheet or information with an employee’s pay.

DFEH will make video and material available on its website. The material and training courses will be available in English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean and any other language that is spoken by a “substantial number of non-English speaking people” as defined in Section 7296.2.

If you have any questions pertaining to the above information or general compliance inquiries, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

About Michelle Cammayo

Michelle Cammayo has more than 13 years of Employee Benefits experience specializing in all lines of health and welfare benefits. Today, Michelle works closely with clients and partners to provide guidance in areas of the law including ERISA, HIPAA, COBRA, FMLA and PPACA. She also oversees the Compliance Department at Bolton & Company to ensure we are helping our clients manage and eliminate risk with regards to employee benefit compliance.

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