Sexual harassment training plays a huge role in the workplace. Since 2005, employers with at least 50 employees have been required to provide two hours of interactive training to their supervisory employees every two years and/or within six months of promotion or hiring into to a supervisory role. One year ago, the State of California enacted another law that presented stricter training requirements for employers but also created some confusion as to when compliance must occur. The new law, SB 1343, lowered the threshold number of 50 employees down to five employees, and also added the requirement that all employees (not just supervisors) undergo sexual harassment prevention training every two years or within six months of being hired. The supervisor training requirement remains at two hours while non-supervisory employees are required to undergo at least one hour of interactive training. The State of California gave employers a deadline of January 1, 2020 to complete the necessary training.
On August 30, 2019, with the passage of SB 778, the State of California amended the compliance deadline and provided much needed clarification to California employers. Specifically, the amendment states that for non-supervisory employees, employers have until January 1, 2021 to provide the mandatory training to employees and must provide that training once every two years thereafter. Additionally, it also states that employers who have already completed their training in 2019 need not conduct additional training before January 2021, but instead, complete it by their respective two-year deadlines (i.e. by the end of 2021). Similarly, employers who have conducted training in 2018 must conduct their training before their two-year mark in 2020 (and every two years thereafter). For employers that employ seasonal, temporary, or other employees that are hired to work for less than six months, beginning January 1, 2020, they are required to provide training within 30 calendar days after the hire date or within 100 hours worked, whichever occurs first.
Training is one of the most effective ways to educate employees about appropriate workplace behavior and help reduce claims of unlawful conduct in the workplace. Our firm routinely provides live training for supervisory employees. If you would like to schedule a management training or have any questions regarding compliance with these training requirements, please do hesitate to reach out to us.
Richard S. Rosenberg
Katherine A. Hren
Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt, LLP