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California SB 1343

California SB 1343 Updates Sexual Harassment Training Guidelines

SB1343 Sexual Harassment TrainingEmployers of all sizes in California will need to adjust their sexual harassment prevention training in 2019 with the adoption of SB 1343 this past September. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing has prepared an info sheet (downloadable pdf).

Currently, only employers with 50 or more employees are required to offer any form of sexual harassment training, and it’s only necessary for employees in a supervisory position. With the passing of SB 1343, employers with at least five employees will be required to provide sexual harassment prevention training and education to both supervisory and non-supervisory employees in California by January 1, 2020.

SB 1343 requires employers with five or more employees, including seasonal and temporary staff, to provide sexual harassment training and education every two years. In order to be compliant by the January 1, 2020 deadline, employers of all sizes will need to increase their efforts to train and educate 100% of their workers at some point in 2019.

SB 1343 Mandates

  • By January 1, 2020, employers with at least five employees must provide: (1) at least two hours of sexual harassment prevention training to all supervisory employees; and (2) at least one hour of sexual harassment prevention training to all non-supervisory employees in California; within six months of employees assuming their position, and once every two years thereafter.
  • Employers must also provide sexual harassment prevention training to temporary or seasonal employees within 30 calendar days after their hire date or within 100 hours worked if the employee has been hired to work for less than six months. In the case of a temporary employee employed by a temporary services employer such as a staffing agency or temp agency, the training must be provided by the temporary services employer, not the worksite employer.
  • Training may be conducted with other employees as a group, or individually, and may also be broken up into shorter time segments as needed, as long as the complete two-hour requirement for supervisory employees and one-hour requirement for non-supervisory employees is met.
  • Employers should plan to conduct all training to all current employees between January 1st 2019 and December 31st 2019 to be compliant with the January 1st 2020 deadline. Any employees hired after the deadline will need to participate in the training within six months of their hiring, or within 30 days/100 hours for temporary/seasonal.

By what date must employees be trained?
Both managerial and non-managerial employees must receive training by January 1, 2020. After January 1, 2020, employees must be retrained once every two years. That means that all employees statewide must be retrained by January 1, 2022. What if my employees were trained between January 1 and December 31, 2018? The law requires that employees be trained during calendar year 2019. Employees who were trained in 2018 or before will need to be retrained.

When will the Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s online training courses be available?
S.B. 1343 requires that DFEH make online training courses available on the prevention of sexual harassment and abusive conduct in the workplace. DFEH expects to have such trainings available by late 2019. In the interim period, DFEH is offering a sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention toolkit, including a sample sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training. Employers may use the training in conjunction with an eligible trainer to provide sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training.

What if my employees are not trained by January 1, 2020?
DFEH accepts complaints from employees that their employers have not complied with the law requiring that sexual harassment prevention training be provided. Complaints filed with DFEH after January 1, 2020, regarding an employer’s failure to provide required sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training will be reviewed in light of the totality of the circumstances, which may include the availability of DFEH’s online training courses or the availability of qualified trainers. If DFEH finds that the law has been violated, it will work with employers to obtain compliance with the law.

What are the laws and regulations governing the sexualharassment and abusive conduct prevention trainings?
The law requiring sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training is Gov. Code 12950.1. The regulations governing such trainings are 2 CCR 11024.

Does the employer have to pay for sexual harassment abusive conduct prevention training? Does the employer have to provide paid time for such training?
California law specifies that, “An employer . . . shall provide” sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training. Gov. Code 12950.1(a)-(b). The Department is authorized to seek a court order that “the employer” has not complied with this requirement. Gov. Code 12950.1(f). This language makes clear that it is the employer’s—not the employee’s—responsibility to provide the required training, including any costs that may be incurred. This language also makes clear that employees may not be required to take such training during their personal time; the training must be “provided” by the employer as part of an individual’s employment.