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Complying with California’s New Sexual Harassment Training Requirement
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Complying with California’s New Sexual Harassment Training Requirement

 
California law requires California employers with five or more employees to provide sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to all employees by January 1, 2021 – and then every two years thereafter. An employee’s position determines the length and content of the required training. Supervisory employees must take two hours of training, and nonsupervisory employees must take one hour of training.
 
Starting in 2021, new hires must be trained within six months after their hire date, and newly promoted supervisors must be trained within six months of their promotion.
 
The training aims to help employers change workplace behaviors that cause or contribute to sexual harassments, educate employees on the negative impact of abusive conduct, and help supervisors prevent and address harassing conduct. The training must include practical examples of sexual harassment and harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.
 
Solution for employers
California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) launched a free sexual harassment and abusive conduct training program that meets the training requirements for both supervisors and non-supervisors in the state – and it is very well done. Note: The non-supervisory training is available now, and the supervisory training is scheduled to be launched on July 30, 2020.
 
Employers may conduct their own training at their discretion; however, the law requires training be conducted by an attorney or qualifying trainer who is knowledgeable about harassment, discrimination, and retaliation prevention, and who has experience responding to harassment claims in the workplace. DFEH’s online solution is the simplest, most cost-effective way to complete this training requirement for most employers. And, employers will certainly benefit by putting their employees through the training.
 
The program is interactive, can be used on mobile devices, is accessible for workers with disabilities, and is available in six different languages. Employees can move through the training at their own pace, but the training module will not save a person’s progress. Refreshing or reloading the training page can cause an employee to lose progress toward completion.
 
When employees login to the training, they will select their preferred language, supervisory or non-supervisory category, and then begin their training. Parts of the training are conducted by high-quality film producers, with recognizable actors, in a Netflix video-on-demand style format.
 
Upon completion of the training, employees will have the option to utilize a certificate of completion. Using computer/mobile device functions, employees can choose to save, print, take a screenshot, or email the certificate.
 
Recordkeeping Requirements
California requires employers to retain a record of all employees’ training for a minimum of two years.  There are no additional reporting requirements with the FEHA online option. However, if employers opt to do their own training, there are additional recordkeeping requirements.
Notification Requirement
Employers must also provide employees with a poster and/or fact sheet developed by DFEH regarding sexual harassment or equivalent information. A listing of notices is available on the DFEH website.
 
Solution for Employees
We highly recommend utilizing California DFEH’s free online solution for this training. Employees will learn how to ensure a happy, productive, and healthy workplace culture – including discussions of all modern trends in the employment space. Furthermore, through this training, employers will continue to showcase their dedication to providing a work environment where all employees can work together comfortably and productively – while also complying with California’s regulatory requirements.
 
 

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