The California Assembly Bill AB 2053 aims at supplementing the existing laws in the state of California regarding sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
The bill includes a requirement of training of employees with a supervisory role within six months of their assumption to the said role on matters related to sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
The training is aimed at preventing as well as correcting the said matters and also to shade some light as to the available remedies to sexual harassment and discrimination victims in the workplace. All the above is covered in existing laws of the state of California. AB 2053 additionally requires that the prevention of abusive conduct in the workplace be included in the training provided by employers to employees with a supervisory role.
Before diving into what is required of the employers as per the bill, an understanding of who an employer is for purposes of the bill is necessary. An employer according to AB 2053 is any person employing fifty or more persons or any person receiving the services of fifty or more persons all of which are providing these services pursuant to contractual obligation or any person acting as an agent of an employer either directly or indirectly, the state, or any civil or political subdivision of the state, and cities.
The bill requires all employers to provide a minimum of two hours training to employees that have a supervisory role within six months of their assumption of this role. This training is to be carried out once every two years.
The bill also requires that employers include the prevention of abusive conduct as part of the training. Abusive conduct is defined in the AB 2053 bill as conduct of either an employer or an employee at the workplace that is with or out of malice and that which any reasonable person will find offensive, and hostile. Such conduct is more often than not unrelated to an employer's legitimate business interests and may include forms of verbal abuse such as insults or the use of remarks that are derogatory. It may also include conduct be it physical or verbal that a reasonable person would find threatening, humiliating or intimidating.
If an employer fails to comply with these requirements the state of California through the department of Fair Employment and Housing is within powers to issue a mandate or order requiring the employer to comply with the said requirements.
The bill, with regards to the training requirements stipulates that training be facilitated by educators or trainers who have the expertise and knowledge in the prevention of sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation. It is also a requirement that the training provides information together with practical guidance both on the federal and state statutory provisions concerning the prevention and correction of sexual harassment.
In addition to these, the available remedies to sexual harassment victims in employment are to be a part of the course or training. As mentioned above prevention of abusive conduct is also to be incorporated in the training alongside the prevention of sexual harassment and discrimination. The training is also to be very interactive and with very practical and relatable examples.
It is noteworthy that there are websites that provide this kind of training. This guarantees convenience since employees can take these courses at their own preferred time and from the comfort of their mobile phones, tablets etc. One such site is EasyLlama (www.easyllama.com). This website has not only gone out of its way to ensure convenience but also made sure that the training experience is not in any way boring. Through interactive things like quizzes and examples that are very relatable and practical, trainees are able to learn in a way that is exciting. EasyLlama also incorporates very short videos all tailored to an employee's job as part of its training.