It is no secret that California is one of the most progressive states in just about every aspect, so it makes sense that it would have some of the most forward-thinking laws regarding sexual harassment in the private sector. California is just one of a few states that currently mandates private sector employers to provide sexual harassment training to employees. This article explores those requirements in more detail.
According to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, by January of 2020, all employers who employ five or more workers must deliver at least two hours of interactive sexual harassment training and education to all employees who hold a supervisory position. Employers must provide all non-supervisory employees with at least one hour of training within six months of an employee assuming a position. The state requires employers to offer training seminars every two years.
In terms of training requirements, there are many. The Society for Human Resource Management details those requirements in depth.
For one, employers must take reasonable measures to prevent sexual harassment by implementing policies and training designed to keep harassment from occurring. Such measures include education regarding gender harassment, sexual harassment and harassment based on pregnancy, breastfeeding and childbirth.
Employers must also create a policy to distribute along with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s DFEH-185 handout. An employer’s policy should be in writing and include information regarding all protected classes, who to contact in the event of harassment, employees’ rights following the filing of a complaint, means through which employees may file a complaint and supervisor instructions for reporting the complaint.
The policy should also detail what will happen when the employer receives a complaint. Proper steps include a fair and timely investigation and immediate remedial action should the investigation yield evidence of harassment.
California law also requires employers to post a sexual harassment poster, distribute appropriate literature and, of course, provide appropriate training. SHRM further details what constitutes “appropriate training” and identifies qualified trainers.