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SB 396 California State Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

Harassment & Discrimination

SB 396 California State Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

Sexual harassment in the workplace has become the norm in recent years unfortunately, this is why the State of California ensures that all the supervisors in an organization with fifty or more employees have to undergo sexual harassment training (SB 396 California training requirements). The training provides them with knowledge of handling and preventing all forms of issues related to sexual harassment. The DFEH recommends the trainer to know the subject, an organization such as EasyLlama has competent trainers who provide online training on sexual harassment.

According to the Department of Employment and Housing (DFEH) under training regulation bill AB1825, it requires all California employers with 50 or more employees to offer sexual harassment training to all the supervisors, whether new or promoted, within six months after getting the position. The training should take place once every two years and carried for at least 2 hours.

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to get your entire company certified to comply with the law, try EasyLlama's California Harassment Training course. We offer short and easily digestible videos that can certify your entire team.

Also, here are the requirements for the California harassment training.

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Amendments to the California Bill SB396

On October 15th, 2017, Jerry Brown, the governor of California signed a new Senate Bill SB 396 in addition to the existing Bill AB1825 and it became valid starting on January 1st, 2018. The bill requires all employers with over 50 employees to provide training to supervisors or managers based on discrimination against gender expression, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Employers should ensure that all the managers and supervisors undergo the training to enable them to conduct smooth supervision. They need to acquire knowledge on preventive measures and how to handle issues related to what accounts for sexual harassment in CA. Some of the updated amendments include:

  • The trainer should have skills and knowledge of the subject matter. The organization should hire trainers with experience in handling sexual harassment training. The trainers must use practical examples relating to gender identity, sexual orientation, and gender expression.
  • Employers must update the current posters with information on employment discrimination concerning sexual harassment according to the terms and regulations of the Department of Employment and Housing. The poster must include the rights of Transgender and Non-gender employees.
  • An organization having 50 or over 50 employees must offer 2 hours of sexual harassment training to supervisors based on sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity. The training includes all the illegalities associated with sexual harassment and the available legal remedies to sexual harassment victims and the protection against retaliation.
  • The supervisors undergo training on how to prevent or correct any abusive conduct, whether verbally or physically. It also states that interfering with an individual work environment is offensive conduct.
  • All employees, including Transgender employees, have the right to get support or counseling from the organization to help them achieve their career goals. The company should also authorize the appointment of Transgender employees on different roles in the organization as long as they have the required qualifications.

The Important Terminology used on Transgender Employees

The trainers must explain the essential terminologies used on sexual harassment training under the SB396 Senate Bill, according to DFEH. The terminologies used include:

Sexual Orientation

Sexual orientation is the sexual attraction of a person to another person. The appeal includes homosexual, asexual, pansexual, and bisexual.

Gender Expression

Behavior or appearance related to the gender of a person, whether stereotyped or not, from sex birth. The behavior includes how the person behaves, dresses, or interacts.

Gender Identity

Gender identification is how each person understands and identifies their gender different from the gender at birth. The genders include male, female, or a gender that is neither male nor female.


A transgender person is a person who has a different gender identity from the one assigned at birth.


The process that a transgender person passes through to change their gender identity and expression from the sex assigned to them at birth.


It includes a person's medicinal conditions, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or childbirth related to gender identity and expression.

Employers Guidelines That Help in Implementing the Rights of Transgender Employees

The DFEH approved new rules and regulations recently, the organization also ensures the implementation of the right of all transgender employees in the workplace. The rules include:

  • An employer should address the employee with the name, pronoun, and the gender that the employee prefers to be referred to. The exemption of the law only applies if the employer has a legal obligation to use the employee's legal name or gender.

  • Employers should not ask questions that interfere with a person's sexual orientation, gender expression, or identity. For instance, questions about a person's body or their plans for surgeries.

  • Employers should enforce a dress code that may not deny transgender employees the right to dress. For instance, the employer or fellow employees should not harshly judge a transgender person for dressing like a man.

  • Whether Transgender or not, any employee has the right to access toilets, restrooms, locker rooms, or bathrooms related to their gender identity, regardless of the identity assigned to them during birth, employers should provide a unisex bathroom for any employee seeking privacy.

  • The transgender employee should not present any documentation to prove their identity, gender expression, name, or sex.

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