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Making a List and Checking It Twice: Harassment Prevention Training Is the Law

Published Wednesday, November 28, 2018
by Gail Cecchettini Whaley, Esq.

It’s important that all employers take steps to prevent workplace harassment and respond appropriately when complaints are made. Providing company-wide training on all forms of harassment has always been a best practice, and now, it’s the law for employers with 5 or more employees.

What’s new? Governor Brown recently signed SB 1343 which requires employers with 5 or more employees to provide training to all employees (both supervisory and non-supervisory) by January 1, 2020.

This new law is a dramatic shift from the current requirements which have been in place for more than a decade. The threshold number of employees that triggers coverage under the law has been lowered to 5, and non-supervisory employees are included in the training mandate.

Current Law New Law—SB 1343
Employers with 50+ Employees Covered Employers with 5+ Employees Covered
Two Hours of Mandatory Training—Only for Supervisors Two hours of Mandatory Training for Supervisors and One Hour of Mandatory Training for Non-Supervisors

Part-time and temporary employees, plus independent contractors count toward the minimum employee count of 5 employees.

Calendar Your 2019 Training

All employers—large and small—need to take a look at their 2019 calendars and figure out when they can train their supervisors and employees to meet the Jan. 1, 2020 deadline.

Don’t just “check the box” when it comes to training. Instead, training must meet the needs of your particular workplace, as well as the type of employee being trained. Anyone who is trained needs to understand what sexual harassment is, what the law requires, how to report it, as well as your company’s policy and reporting mechanisms. But supervisors need additional information on their prevention obligations, including handling complaints, investigations, and corrective actions. Interactive training with examples that can help flesh out those grey areas where employees and managers often struggle with is beneficial in meeting your prevention goals.

If you’re ready to schedule your harassment prevention training, or just need some guidance, give us a call. And check out our harassment prevention training options, we’re here to help you make sure your workplace is safe and respectful for everyone.


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