Senate Bill 1343, which became effective on January 1, 2019, requires that every California employer with at least five employees or independent contractors provide two hours of interactive harassment and abusive conduct prevention training for their managers and supervisors, and conduct this training thereafter every two years and within six months of a person’s placement into a supervisory or management position. SB 1343 also requires that these employers provide interactive harassment training to their non-supervisory employees of at least one hour, and thereafter every two years and within six months of hire. The initial training must take place by January 1, 2020. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has confirmed that it is their position is that all harassment training must occur in 2019 in order to meet the requirements of SB 1343, even if the employer has provided such training within the last two years.
The statute also requires that the DFEH offer two online training courses to provide employers with an online option to complete the training obligations, although employers are free to develop their own training programs or obtain the services of a professional trainer or educator. The DFEH will make the online training courses available on its Internet site.
The DFEH has not yet issued on-line training, but in the interim it has issued a “toolkit” that includes a sample harassment prevention PowerPoint. The training must be conducted by an individual meeting state requirements, which is an impediment for many employers. Trainers must be either an attorney practicing employment law; an HR professional or harassment prevention consultant with at least two years of practical experience in designing or conduction training, dealing with harassment or other discrimination complaints, investigating sexual harassment complaints, or advising employers or employees about discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment prevention; or a law school, college, or university instructor with a post-graduate degree or California teaching credential and either 20 instruction hours or two or more years of experience teaching about employment law under the FEHA and/or Title VII.
Note: ECJ will continue to provide lively and effective in-person harassment and abusive conduct training that meets – and exceeds – all the obligations of SB 1343. For details, please contact your ECJ attorney or the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (310) 281 6348.