Never in my 35 + years in Human Resources/Labor Relations experience, have I ever seen such dramatic focus on any such labor law as the new Sexual Harassment/Discrimination and Bullying, as I have seen it in these past couple of years!
Many Sexual Harassment cases of Celebrities, well known Sports figures and Corporate Leaders have made such recent dramatic headlines to add more focus on Harassment. So now more than ever employers are required to pay attention to the two main Laws – AB 1825 and SB 1343!
The #MeToo movement has renewed attention on sexual harassment in the workplace. California, being at the forefront of workplace protections, passed several anti-harassment laws this year. Importantly, former Governor Brown recently signed SB 1343 which requires employers with five (5) or more employees to provide training to all employees (both supervisory and non-supervisory) by January 1, 2020.
Previous Law (2018)
New Law—SB 1343 (2019)
Employers with 50+ Employees Covered
Employers with 5+ Employees Covered One Hour of Mandatory Training for Non-Supervisors
Two Hours of Mandatory Training Only for Supervisors
Two hours of Mandatory Training for Supervisors and
State & Federal Agencies overseeing these laws are the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). So, with this new law SB1343, employers need to understand that by complying with the mandatory compliance, you are protecting your organization! How you may ask?
By being proactive in training and making sure your Harassment Policy is up to date. Compliance of AB1825 & SB1343 dictates that all employers must train management and employees by the end of 2019. You might ask? What am I required to do as business owner or head of a corporation? PLEASE READ:
Employers with at least five (5) employees are required to provide:
1. Two hours of sexual harassment prevention training to all supervisory employees;
2. One hour of sexual harassment prevention training to all non-supervisory employees.
- Part-time and temporary employees, plus independent contractors count toward the minimum employee count of five (5) employees.
- Must be done by January 1, 2020.
- Training must occur within six months of the employee starting the position (and every two years thereafter).
- Sexual harassment prevention training may be conducted individually or as a group.
- The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) will accept employers developing their own training platforms or use those of experienced and Certified Trainers.
This new law is a dramatic shift from the current requirements of which has been in place for
more than a decade. Previous law required employers with at least 50 employees to provide supervisors with two hours of sexual harassment prevention training within six months of hire and every two years thereafter.
NOW, the threshold number of employees that triggers coverage under the law has been lowered to five (5), and non-supervisory employees are included in the training mandate.
How Soon Should I Do The Training?
This law is going to require all employers—large and small—to look at their calendars to determine when they can train their supervisors and employees in 2019 (to meet the Jan. 1, 2020 deadline). The myriad of new California anti-harassment laws make one thing abundantly clear-Employers must take steps to prevent harassment in the workplace and failure to do so can lead to INCREASED LIABILITY!
Senate Bill No. 1343 – CHAPTER 956
(Approved by Governor September 30, 2018.
Filed with Secretary of State September 30, 2018.)
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST – SB 1343, Mitchell. Employers: sexual harassment training: requirements: (f) If an employer violates this section, the department may seek an order requiring the employer to comply with these requirements.
Company Policy on Sexual Harassment – Required by Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)
- Provides Employees with a Complaint Procedure Policy on reporting any Harassment
- The Policy will provide to employees the investigating process and conclusion – No Retaliation
- It provides the employee road map on complaint process and the Employer must emphasis that any complaint brought forth by an employee will be without retaliation.
- This will also provide employees of the steps to take if they do not want to report an incident to their Supervisor and it will provide for the employee the right to complain to either a Manager or Human Resources.
- Per this Policy a supervisors/manager will have the knowledge of taking each complaint seriously and again recognize that there can be no retaliation to an employee that brings forth harassment charges.
Please contact: Jack Bermudez, Sr. Human Resources/Labor Relations Consultant, HRCS, LLC with any questions about the new law and compliance with the expanded training requirements and to schedule training. Also, to request cost estimate for training please request Discovery Questionnaire email: or call Cell: 951-704-4509.
Being Proactive is Prevention against lawsuits and charges!