Benefit News

California Sexual Harassment Training Compliance Deadline Extended One Year

September 03, 2019

Governor Gavin Newsome has signed into law, S.B. 778, available here, that extends the deadline for complying with California's new anti-harassment training requirements one year until January 1, 2021.

The bill also clarified that employers are to provide sexual harassment prevention training and education to new nonsupervisory employees within six months of hire and to new supervisory employees within six months of the assumption of a supervisory position.

Notwithstanding, all employers who have already provided anti-harassment training that complies with the state's training requirements this year, may wait two full years until 2021 before providing refresher training to those employees.

California's Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

During the last legislative session, in response to the MeToo movement and to address the issue of workplace harassment, former Governor Jerry Brown signed into law S.B. 1343, which expanded the scope of California's sexual harassment law to require an employer who employs 5 or more employees, including temporary or seasonal employees, to provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees and at least 1 hour of sexual harassment training to all nonsupervisory employees by January 1, 2020, and once every 2 years thereafter. Previously, the law had applied to employers with at least 50 employees and training was only required of supervisory employees.

S.B. 1343 also required the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (Department) to develop or obtain 1-hour and 2-hour online training courses on the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace and to post the courses on the Department's website. In addition, the bill required the Department to make existing informational posters and fact sheets, as well as the online training courses, available to employers and to members of the public in specified alternate languages on its website.

S.B. 778

S.B. 778 makes some clarifying changes to S.B. 1343 that are intended to ensure maximum compliance with the law. In addition to clarifying when the new requirements are intended to take effect, the bill requires new nonsupervisory employees to be provided with sexual harassment training within 6 months of hire and new supervisory employees to be provided the training within 6 months of the assumption of a supervisory position. Furthermore, employers already offering compliant training in 2019 will be able to delay refresher training until 2 years after the date of their training, rather than by the January 2021 deadline. According to the bill's author, this was done to avoid forcing employers who had already committed to training standards above and beyond previous requirements to provide training twice in one 2-year period, saving both employers' and employees' time and resources.

More Information

As part of the services we provide our clients, Burnham offers complimentary compliant sexual harassment training programs. In addition, the DFEH has posted a Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention Training Toolkit on its website, containing Sample Training Slides (for use in conjunction with a qualified trainer) as well as the following resources:

For more information about this Legislative Update, please contact your Burnham Benefits Consultant or Burnham Benefits at 949-833-2983 or or inquiries@burnhambenefits.com.


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