Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on February 7, 2019 and has been updated for accuracy on September 12, 2019.
Author, Alyssa Burley, Client Services Coordinator, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.
In September 2018, former California Governor Jerry Brown approved Senate Bill 1343 (SB 1343) which expanded the requirements for Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention training within California workplaces.
“An employer who employs 5 or more employees, including temporary or seasonal employees, [is required] to provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees and at least one hour of sexual harassment training to all nonsupervisory employees by January 1, 2020, and once every 2 years thereafter, as specified,” according to SB 1343.
On August 30, 2019, approved Senate Bill 778 extends the training deadline set in Senate Bill 1343 from January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021. The changes made by SB 778 not only extends the due date to January 1, 2021, but also addresses concerns about supervisory employees and clarifies when temporary workers must be trained. Read about these changes here.
Ensuring the Training is in Compliance
In order for the Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention training to be compliant, it must meet the following requirements. The training must:
Be administered in a classroom setting, through interactive E-learning, or through a live webinar. E-learning training must provide instructions on how to contact a trainer who can answer questions within two business days.
Be conducted by an eligible trainer:
Attorneys who have been members of the bar of any state for at least two years and whose practice includes employment law under the Fair Employment and Housing Act or Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964;
Human resource professionals or harassment prevention consultants with at least two years of practical experience in:
Designing or conducting training on discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment prevention;
Responding to sexual harassment or other discrimination complaints;
Investigating sexual harassment complaints; or
Advising employers or employees about discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment prevention.
Law school, college, or university instructors with a post-graduate degree or California teaching credential and either 20 hours of instruction about employment law under the FEHA or Title VII.
Explain the following topics:
The definition of sexual harassment under the Fair Employment and Housing Act and Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964;
The statutes and case-law prohibiting and preventing sexual harassment;
The types of conduct that can be sexual harassment;
The remedies available for victims of sexual harassment;
Strategies to prevent sexual harassment;
Supervisors’ obligation to report harassment;
Practical examples of harassment;
The limited confidentiality of the complaint process;
Resources for victims of sexual harassment, including to whom they should report it;
How employers must correct harassing behavior;
What to do if a supervisor is personally accused of harassment;
The elements of an effective anti-harassment policy and how to use it;
“Abusive conduct” under Government Code section 12950.1, subdivision (g)(2).
Discuss harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, which shall include practical examples inclusive of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.
Include questions that assess learning, skill-building activities to assess understanding and application of content, and hypothetical scenarios about harassment with discussion questions.
SB 1343 compliant trainings will be made available later this year via the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) website. However, employers can hire eligible qualified trainers to conduct the trainings at their convenience.
The DFEH has made available a sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention toolkit, that includes a sample Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention training, certificate of completion and other resources for employers to use in conjunction with an eligible trainer.
Other training options include the online Anti-Harassment training Rancho Mesa offers to all of its clients’ supervisors and employees throughout the country in response to California’s Senate Bill 1343 (SB 1343) and Senate Bill 1300 (SB 1300).
For questions about this training requirement or to learn how to enroll your supervisors and employees, register for the “How to Enroll Supervisors and Employees in the Online Anti-Harassment Training” webinar or contact Rancho Mesa’s Client Services Department at (619) 438-6869.
Rancho Mesa Insurance will continue to monitor training options as they become available.