California sexual harassment training requirements are a little different compared to other States. Sexual harassment prevention training differs significantly from State to State so it can be incredibly difficult to get your head around what training employers have to provide. In a nutshell, employers with five or more personnel in California must provide training and it's vitally important to understand all the details for your business to avoid nasty compliance fines.
In this article, we dive into everything regarding sexual harassment prevention, the training details, harassment in the workplace, and how to abide by California employment law.
Employers! Let's get into it:
California Sexual Harassment Training Requirements: A Quick Summary.
By January 1, 2021, California law requires all employers with five or more employees to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment training and education and abusive conduct prevention training to existing and new supervisory employees. Also, employers must provide training to all nonsupervisory employees, including temporary employees. This training needs to be at least one hour of sexual harassment training and education and abusive conduct prevention training.
Employers are required to provide training every two years and evidence of completed training needs to be kept on record for each employee.
Businesses are also required to offer training to their California-based employees, so long as they employ five or more staff anywhere, even if they don't work at the same location and/or even if not all of them live or work in California. All training must be completed within six months of hire.
California Training: A Brief History.
In 2004, Assembly Bill 1825 (AB 1825) was passed. It was introduced to ensure businesses with fifty or more employees adhered to AB 1825 training requirements for California
, covering sexual harassment and abusive conduct. Prior to this, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would cover areas of discrimination, but in a changing world, this needed to be updated hence issuing AB-1825. There have been numerous amendments issued to AB-1825 since 2004, but significant mentions go to SB-396 and SB-1343.
SB-396 California State requirements
were updated on October 15th, 2017. This introduced training that covers discrimination against gender expression, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
was added in 2018, requiring employers (with five or more employees) to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment prevention training to all supervisory employees and at least one hour to nonsupervisory employees, including temporary and seasonal staff. Temporary or Season Staff are recognized as personnel with a six-month or less contract.
What's important here is the training employers must provide is continuously updating and it's vital that you stay on top of your training needs. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing
has a right to raise court cases for employers who do not comply.
Why do I need to provide Sexual Harassment Prevention Training?
In addition to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, states across America have now signed into law that employers must provide training to reduce workplace harassment
. Federal and State Statutory Bills work together for employers to provide a safe working environment for their employees and fight against anti-harassment.
In California, The Department of Fair Employment and Housing Act on an increase in harassment complaints. Despite a greater awareness of sexual harassment, many personnel is still subjected to harassment. The complaint process identified a significant need to provide mandatory training to all employees across the state. This harassment policy not only covers sexual harassment but those of gender expression and sexual orientation too.
Training is now legally required and must support the anti-harassment policy. Training should be giving staff practical examples of harassment discrimination, including those of abusive conduct, identity gender expression, sexual relationships or one's orientation, and harassment based on gender. Training is designed to educate, remind everyone what and inform them of what constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace in California
For training California supervisory employees and nonsupervisory employees, check out EasyLlama
As a California employer, do I need to be trained?
Yes, you do.
Employers with five or more employees need to provide training and be trained too. All supervisory and nonsupervisory employees, including those who are temporary, should be supplied with mandatory training in California
- Nonsupervisory employees must receive one hour of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training.
- Supervisory employees must receive two hours of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training.
How often must I provide training?
Once every two years and to all new employees within this time. It is recommended that new employees be trained before their first day of work, however, you have up to thirty days from the day they started or before they reach a hundred hours, whichever happens first.
It is also recommended to pay attention to any future amendments or bills which would require supplementary training updates to existing certificates.
What about temporary employees? Do I need to provide sexual harassment prevention training to them too?
From January 1, 2021, if you hire temporary employees to work for less than six months of hire, for example during the Seasonal Holidays, they too must be trained. Training must be completed within thirty days of their start date or before they reach a hundred hours of work, whichever occurs first.
The only alternative to this is if they're an independent contractor, volunteer, or unpaid intern.
We recommend training all employees before their first day on the job, check out how EasyLlama Features
can provide e-learning anywhere.
By what date must employees be trained in California?
From January 1, 2021;
- New supervisory employees in workplaces of five or more employees must be trained within six months of assuming their supervisory position.
- New nonsupervisory employees should be trained within six months of hire.
Employees need to be retrained every two years and their certificates of completion kept on personal record. It's fully recommended that employers use e-learning platforms to increase accessibility to the training.
Those that have completed their training since August 30, 2019, are trained to the requirements of the SB-778 California
amendment. Employees who have certificates before this date must be provided this training before January 1, 2021.
Do employers have to pay for the time spent training?
Yes, employees have to be paid for the time they spend training.
Employers “shall provide…” sexual harassment and abusive conduct training under California law
. Therefore the responsibility, including any costs incurred, lay with the employer. The training must be provided as part of an employee's employment, be provided for their time, and are not required to take the training during their personal time or annual leave.
Getting all employees through Sexual Harassment training is difficult right?
No, it doesn't have to be.
The California Employment Law states that employers may provide training and education in a classroom, online, or any other interactive format, like official apps.
We don't recommend you use the free California harassment training
simply because there is zero tracking (so you won't know your employee's progress) and it's more of a hassle than anything.
, we have made sexual harassment training easily accessible for all employees, no matter where they are. They can take part individually or as part of a group. Our online training platform, their learning is trackable meaning training can be completed in segments, before their first day on the job or on a shared device at your business.
It is signed into law in California that a minimum number of hours must be spent on training and we can help you to stay compliant.
What documentation do I need to keep as an Employer?
All employees are issued a certificate of completion when they complete training, and this certificate needs to be kept securely by the employer for two years. If the employee is still working for your establishment when the certificate expires, they need to complete the training again to be issued a new certificate.
In short, the documentation of completed training must include the following:
- Name of the employee trained.
- Completion date.
- A sign-in sheet.
- A copy of all certificates of attendance.
- Details of the training received.
- A copy of all materials (written or recorded) that comprise the training.
- Name of the training provider.
With EasyLlama’s built-in tracking and reporting, you can simply export all the required documents at the click of a button upon employee completion.
What does sexual harassment training need to cover?
The department of fair employment and housing requires all training and education to include information and practical guidance regarding Federal and State law. It also needs to include a prohibition against sexual harassment and condoning sexual misconduct. Training California employers must also provide Sexual harassment prevention training for their employees. Training requirements also state the correction of sexual harassment and the remedies available to victims of sexual harassment to be included.
The department also states training and education must include practical examples of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Harassment training requirements should also include information about preventing abusive conduct and harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
SB-788 amendment, live since August 30, 2019, now includes specified employment practices, such as including the harassment of an employee directly by the employer or indirectly by agents of the employer with the employer’s knowledge.
Can we train more than what is legally required?
Yes. There is no maximum number of hours your employees can train, only a minimum number.
California sexual harassment training requirements state a minimum of one hour for nonsupervisory employees and two hours for supervisory employees. However, offering more sexual harassment prevention training can be very beneficial to your workplace, for both customers and employees. It would continue to provide awareness of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, in turn, reducing instances of misconduct and complaints.
I have a trainer who is also an employee. To ensure Employer Compliance, do they need to complete sexual harassment prevention training?
If someone in your business is a qualified sexual harassment prevention training provider, they meet the regulations and they provide the training in your business, they do not need to participate in a separate required sexual harassment prevention training. Them doing so makes no difference to your employer's compliance nor with California sexual harassment requirements.
I have employees outside of California but they work for my business in CA?
All personnel who work outside California count towards your total workforce. Therefore, when determining if an employer must provide sexual harassment prevention training, you need to count all staff, everywhere.
For example, if the employer has two California employees but there's a total of five members on the workforce, the employer is still required to provide training to the two employees who work in California.
What if I misplace or fail to save the certificate of completion for everyone?
If you were to complete the training with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, each employee would need to save their completion certificate of sexual harassment prevention training and submit it to you.
However, with EasyLlama, we keep track of your employees progress and certificates so you don't have to.
A full checklist of CA training requirements
Sure, here it is.
Aside from the required sexual harassment prevention training, here you'll find everything California employers must provide to all employees as part of California Law:
- Employers with five or more employees must provide two hours of training to supervisory employees.
- Employers with five or more employees must provide one hour of training to nonsupervisory employees.
- California employers must ensure the training and education will be provided to all temporary employees within the first thirty days of their employment or 100 hours of work, whichever is sooner.
- Employers must retain a record of all personnel training for a minimum of two years.
- Employers must provide sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to staff every two years.
- Training must include practical cases of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.
- Training must also include information about preventing abusive conduct and harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
- Even after training, California employers should provide a safe place for all employees regardless of identity, gender expression, or orientation.
- Discrimination based on gender identity, or regarding sexual harassment of any kind must be reported.
- Employers must issue all personnel a poster or fact sheet developed by the Department regarding Sexual Harassment, or equivalent information.