As of October 1, 2018, California has introduced a new Bill that requires all supervisors and employees to have harassment training by January 1, 2020, and every 2 years thereafter. I have taken the liberty of taking the most important details (in my opinion) of each section. This article will encapsulate what you, as an employer, should be looking out for in the upcoming years.
This Article is mainly to focus on key points of each section of the new bill that I have deemed worthy of a look over. I will include a link to any article that I will reference as well as a link to each California law that is mentioned in this article.
Section 1, 12950: In addition to employer responsibilities set forth in subdivisions (j) and (k) of Section 12940 and in rules adopted by the department and the council, every employer shall act to ensure a workplace free of sexual harassment by implementing the following minimum requirements:
Subsection (a) of Section (1): A small overview of necessary posters set up in the workplace.
(1): The department’s poster on discrimination in employment shall include information relating to the illegality of sexual harassment. One copy of the poster shall be provided by the department to an employer or a member of the public upon request. The poster shall be available at each office of the department, and shall be mailed if the request includes a self-addressed envelope with postage affixed. Each employer shall post the poster in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace.
(2): Post a poster developed by the department regarding transgender rights in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace.
Subsection(b) of Section (1): Each employer shall obtain from the department its information sheet on sexual harassment, which the department shall make available to employers for reproduction and distribution to employees. One copy of the information sheet shall be provided by the department to an employer or a member of the public upon request. The information sheets shall be available at each office of the department and shall be mailed if the request includes a self-addressed envelope with postage affixed. Each employer shall distribute this information sheet to its employees, unless the employer provides equivalent information to its employees that contain, at a minimum, components on the following:
(7): The protection against retaliation provided by Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations for opposing the practices prohibited by this article or for filing a complaint with, or otherwise participating in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing conducted by, the department or the council.
(8): A link to, or the Internet Web site address for, the sexual harassment online training courses developed pursuant to Section 12950.1 and located on the Internet Web site of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Subsection(d) of Section (1): The Department of Fair Employment and Housing shall make the poster, fact sheet, and online training courses available in English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean, and any other language that is spoken by a “substantial number of non-English-speaking people,” as that phrase is defined in Section 7296.2.
Subsection(f) of Section(1): Notwithstanding subdivisions (j) and (k) of Section 12940, a claim that the information sheet or information required to be distributed pursuant to this section did not reach a particular individual or individuals shall not in and of itself result in the liability of any employer to any present or former employee or applicant in any action alleging sexual harassment. Conversely, an employer’s compliance with this section does not insulate the employer from liability for sexual harassment of any current or former employee or applicant.
Section 2, 12950: Important deadlines and dates to look out for!
(Important) Subsection (a) of Section (2):By January 1, 2020, an employer having five or more employees shall provide at least two hours of classroom or other effective interactive training and education regarding sexual harassment to all supervisory employees and at least one hour of classroom or other effective interactive training and education regarding sexual harassment to all nonsupervisory employees in California within six months of their assumption of a position. An employer may provide this training in conjunction with other training provided to the employees. The training may be completed by employees individually or as part of a group presentation and may be completed in shorter segments, as long as the applicable hourly total requirement is met. An employer who has provided this training and education to an employee after January 1, 2019, is not required to provide training and education by January 1, 2020, deadline. After January 1, 2020, each employer covered by this section shall provide sexual harassment training and education to each employee in California once every two years. The training and education required by this section shall include information and practical guidance regarding the federal and state statutory provisions concerning the prohibition against and the prevention and correction of sexual harassment and the remedies available to victims of sexual harassment in employment. The training and education shall also include practical examples aimed at instructing supervisors in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, and shall be presented by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. The department shall provide a method for employees who have completed the training to save electronically and print a certificate of completion.
Disclaimer: I recommend everyone should read the entirety of “Senate Bill No. 1343”. This by no means is a complete overview of the ENTIRE bill but rather key points that should be noticed. I would be humbled if you were to comment below on anything important that I have left out or that you noticed:
Links to mentioned document:
Senate Bill No. 1343
Section: 12940: Mentioned in “Section 1, 12950” and again in “Subsection(f) of Section (1)”
Title 2 California Code of Regulations: Mentioned in Section(b) of Subsection(1) number (7)