As we shared back in April, a 2018 law requires all employers with five or more employees in California to provide effective, interactive harassment prevention training to all employees in the state: two (2) hours for supervisory employees and one (1) hour for non-supervisory employees. The deadline for complying with this law was originally January 1, 2020. However, California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed legislation (SB 778) extending the deadline by one year, giving employers until January 1, 2021 to complete this training.
After the initial round of training, employers must train their employees at least every two years thereafter, and 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. Online training is still not 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.
Christy Kotowski joined Outside GC's California team as Senior Counsel in 2019. Based in San Francisco, Christy handles a broad range of complex workplace issues at the federal, state and local levels. Previously, she worked as in-house employment counsel for several large companies, and started her legal career in the Silicon Valley office of Morrison & Foerster, one of California’s oldest and largest law firms. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-748-0930.