Employer Alert:  SB 1343 Extends Harassment Training Requirements to Small Employers and Non-Supervisory Employees

 Under current California law, organizations with 50 or more employees or independent contractors must provide two hours of interactive harassment and abusive conduct prevention training for their managers and supervisors every two years and within six months of placement into a supervisory or management position.  The training required must include information and practical guidance regarding the federal and state statutory provisions concerning the prohibition against, and the prevention and correction of, sexual harassment, as well as the remedies available to victims of sexual harassment.  The training must also include practical examples aimed at instructing supervisors in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, and must be presented by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.  Although this training was recommended for smaller employers, there was no specific requirement that an employer with fewer than 50 employees or independent contractors undertake any such training…until now

 

Specifically, Senate Bill 1343 requires that any employer with at least five employees or independent contractors have the same training obligations that are currently limited to larger employers.  That is, these smaller employers will have to provide two hours of interactive training for their managers and supervisors, and conduct this training thereafter every two years and within six months of placement into a supervisory or management position.  The initial training must take place by January 1, 2020.

 

Additionally, by January 1, 2020, all California employers with five or more employees or independent contractors will also have to provide harassment training to their non-supervisory employees.  The training must consist of at least one hour of interactive harassment training, and must take place every two years and within six months of hire.  As with the supervisory training requirements, an employer may provide this training in conjunction with other training, and the training may be completed by employees individually or as part of a group presentation.  The training may also take place in shorter segments, as long as the hourly requirements are met.

 

For new seasonal or temporary employees hired for less than six months, the training will be required within 30 calendar days of hire or 100 hours worked, whichever is first.   However, migrant and seasonal agricultural workers must be trained on hire.  Temporary services employers employing temporary employees to perform services for clients must provide this training, rather than the client.

 

SB 1343 requires that the Department of Fair Employment and Housing 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, www.dfeh.ca.gov.

 

Note: ECJ will continue to provide lively and effective in-person harassment and abusive conduct training that meets all the obligations of SB 1343 and more.  For details, please contact your ECJ attorney or the author at  kscott@ecjlaw.com, or telephone (310) 281 6348.