What You Need to know About California’s Mandatory Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

By January 1, 2020, all California employers with five or more employees must provide at least two hours of sexual harassment prevention training to supervisors and at least one hour for non-supervisory employees as mandated by SB-1343. All employees must be trained in the 2019 calendar year to comply with the January 1, 2020, deadline — which means that all employees who trained in 2018 or before must retrain in 2019. After January 1, 2020, employers must provide sexual harassment training once every two years. Trainings must be paid and take place within six months of hire or promotion. Beginning January 1, 2020, seasonal and temporary employees, or any employee that is hired to work for less than six months, must receive training within 30 calendar days after the hire date or within 100 hours worked, whichever occurs first.

Who can Provide the Training?

According to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing FAQs page, below are three types of qualified trainers:

  • Attorneys – members of the bar of any state for at least two years and whose practice includes employment law under California’s FEHA or Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Human Resource professionals or harassment prevention consultants – 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.
    • Advising employers or employees about discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment prevention.
  • Law school, college, or university instructors – hold a post-graduate degree or CA teaching credential and either 20 hours of instruction about employment law under the FEHA or Title VII.

What Types of Training can be Provided

There are various types of training that comply with the requirements:

  • In-person: a traditional, classroom-like environment featuring content created by a trainer.
  • E-learning: online training that features individualized, interactive, and computer-based training created by a trainer and an instructional designer. Trainees must have the opportunity to ask a trainer questions and receive a response within 2 business days after asking the question.
  • Webinar: internet-based seminar featuring content created and taught by a trainer. Employers must document that each trainee who is not physically present in the same room as the trainer actually attended the training. They must also document that the trainee actively participated in the interactive content, discussion questions, hypothetical scenarios, quizzes or tests, and activities.

Documentation of Training

Training-related documentation must be retained. Employers must keep a copy of the following documents for a minimum of two years:

  • Name of the person trained
  • Date of the training
  • Type of training
  • Name of training provider
  • Sign-in sheet
  • Copy of all certificates of attendance or completion issued
  • Copy of all written or recorded materials that comprise the training

Additional information must be retained for the following training methods:

  • E-learning: trainer must maintain all written questions received and all written responses for two years after the date of the responses. Employers are advised to confirm with their training provider that this information is being properly maintained.
  • Webinar: copy of the webinar, copy of all written materials used by the trainer, and all written questions submitted and responses provided must be retained for two years after the date of the webinar.

Additional Resources

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing has published an informative FAQs PDF which contains links to their Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention Training Toolkit. The toolkit contains a sexual harassment prevention training sample, brochure, poster, guide, and certificate of completion.

The CalChamber has also published their own FAQs PDF they put together.

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About the Author:

Megan Doan, Office Coordinator at PAYDAY, recently received her Human Resources Certificate from Cal State Fullerton. She enjoys reading and keeping updated on the latest Human Resources news. She loves outdoor activities and going to Disneyland.

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