In the past twelve months, Governors Jerry Brown and Gavin Newson have signed two bills into law affecting harassment training requirements for all employers in California with five or more employees.  Below is a brief summary of these new laws as well as resources for employers to ensure compliance with harassment training requirements.

In October 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed a number of bills into law intended to further protect employees from workplace harassment and discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).  The significant impact of these laws, which were part of a wave of “Me Too” legislation that went into effect on January 1, 2019, are summarized in full in LCW’s October 2018 Special Bulletin titled “New Legislation Will Impact Litigation of FEHA Claims, Employer-Employee Agreements, and Necessitate Additional Employer Training.

One of these bills, Senate Bill 1343 (SB 1343), required employers with five or more employees to provide two hours of sexual harassment trainings to supervisory employeesand at least one hour of sexual harassment training to nonsupervisory employees by January 1, 2020.  This bill also mandated, beginning January 1, 2020, that covered employers provide sexual harassment trainings to all seasonal employees, temporary employees, and any employee hired to work for less than six months within 30 calendar days or within 100 hours worked, whichever comes first.

On August 30, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law clean-up legislation related to SB 1343.   As urgency legislation, Senate Bill 778 (SB 778) went into effect immediately on August 30, 2019.  SB 778 amends Government Code section 12950.1 to state that harassment prevention training to both supervisory and nonsupervisory employees is now not required until calendar year 2020, as opposed to the previous SB 1343 requirement that all applicable harassment training be conducted in the 2019 calendar year.  Therefore, employers who provided harassment training in calendar year 2018 can now wait until 2020 to schedule a refresher training. An employer who provides compliant harassment prevention training during 2019 is now not required to provide refresher training for another two years—which would be in calendar year 2021.  LCW’s August 30, 2019 Special Bulletin titled “SB 778 Clean Up Legislation Signed into Law Pushes Out Effective Date for Implementation of New SB 1343 Harassment Training Requirements to Calendar Year 2020 – What This Means for Employers” summarizes SB 778 and its effects in full.

We have put together a “Harassment Prevention Training FAQ” to assist with SB 1343 and SB 778 compliance.  LCW offers both supervisory and nonsupervisory harassment trainings that are compliant with both laws. Please visit our Harassment Prevent Training Services homepage here.