Alert: Breaking News on Harassment Prevention Training Requirements!

Posted by: Gail Cecchettini Whaley, J.D. on Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Governor Gavin Newsom has signed Senate Bill (SB) 778. Effective immediately, this bill extends the deadline for employers with five or more employees to provide anti-harassment training by one year—from January 1, 2020 until January 1, 2021.

By way of background, a law signed last year (SB 1343), required employers with five or more employees to provide one (1) hour of harassment prevention training to non-supervisors and two (2) hours of training to supervisors by January 1, 2020. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) stated that training had to be completed during the calendar year 2019 and employers who had trained in 2018 had to retrain in 2019.

SB 778 Gives More Time to Comply

• SB 778 extends the deadline for covered employers to provide harassment prevention training from January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021.
• SB 778 allows covered employers who have provided anti-harassment training in 2019 to wait two full years before providing refresher training.

According to the bill's author, this bill bolsters the original intent of the legislation, "giving employers time to coordinate and guarantee that these important trainings have the greatest impact in improving equality in the workplace."

Stay tuned to see if the DFEH updates their FAQs on this matter.

What Does this Mean for Employers?

This is good news for employers in California. Many small businesses were scrambling to get their training done in 2019 in order to meet the original deadline.

With this new law in place, employers can take a breath and figure out when training will work best for them—either this year or next. Just make sure your company has completed the training by the January 1, 2021 deadline.

If you are one of the many employers who has already completed training with CEA in 2019 (onsite, via webinar or online) rest assured that you have met your compliance obligations. Any new employees and supervisors you hire still must be trained within the first six months and then every two years.

CEA is here to help you! Check out our harassment prevention training options. We’re here to help you comply with California’s employment laws and make sure your workplace is safe and respectful for everyone.


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