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California Employers: Don’t forget FEHA’s Mandatory Harassment Training

California Employers: Don’t forget FEHA’s Mandatory Harassment Training

As we head into Q2, now is a good time to remind California employers of their obligation to provide harassment prevention training to employees during 2019.

Previously, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) only required employers with 50 or more employees to provide harassment training to managers and supervisors, generally two hours every other year. Smaller employers were not required to provide training, and there was no obligation to train non-supervisory employees.

Under California’s newly expanded requirements, all employers with five or more employees in California must provide effective, interactive harassment prevention training to all employees in the state; specifically, two hours of training for supervisory employees, and one hour for non-supervisory employees. This initial round of training must be completed by December 31, 2019.

After January 1, 2020, harassment training will need to be completed once every two years. However, newly-hired or promoted employees must complete their training within six months of assuming a position. Seasonal and temporary employees and those hired to work for less than six months must be trained within 30 days of hire or within 100 hours worked, whichever comes first. (Employees of temporary services companies must be trained by the temporary services provider, and other special requirements apply for migrant and seasonal agricultural workers.)

Harassment prevention training must be presented live or online by a qualified instructor, and must include specified topics: the prevention and correction of sexual harassment; harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and other forms of harassment; discrimination and retaliation, as well as “abusive conduct” as defined by FEHA. See Cal. Gov’t Code § 12950.1. Bystander intervention training is also encouraged.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is required to make available on its website training materials that comply with these requirements.  However, this online training is not yet ready, and the DFEH has not yet announced a date when it will be available. Additional FAQ’s about the training requirements and a “Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention Toolkit” are currently available at the DFEH website.

For specific questions about this required training or other California employment law issues, please contact us.

This publication should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances not an offer to represent you. It is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your attorney concerning any particular situation and any specific legal questions you may have. Pursuant to applicable rules of professional conduct, portions of this publication may constitute Attorney Advertising.

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