New California Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Requirements Delayed

On August 30, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 788 into law, which delays the requirement for certain employers to provide sexual harassment training for their employees.

Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 1343 into law, which required that all employers with five or more employees (including temporary or part-time employees) provide sexual harassment training to their employees and implement training programs by January 1, 2020. The new law has delayed this implementation date to January 1, 2021. However, please note that the exception does not apply for certain seasonal and temporary workers that are hired to work for less than six months. In such cases, employees must be trained either within their first 30 calendar days of employment or within their first 100 hours worked, whichever is first. Please contact Employers Council if you have questions about this specific provision.

By January 1, 2021, California employers with five or more employees must provide at least two hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees and at least one hour of sexual harassment training to all non-supervisory employees by January 1, 2021, and again every two years thereafter. These new requirements also mandate that by January 1, 2020, supervisory employees must receive the training within six months of their assumption of the position and all new employees must receive the training within six months of hire. However, despite the change, an employer who has provided the required training to an employee in 2019 is not required to provide a refresher training again until two years after the training was provided.

Finally, please note that this new update does not affect the existing sexual harassment training requirements for employers with 50 or more employees. Such employers must provide at least two hours of training to all supervisory employees, with the training occurring again every two years thereafter. These existing requirements also mandate that employers provide such training to all supervisors employed within six months of their assumption of a supervisory position.

Both the previous requirements, and the new law, have additional requirements related to the content that must be addressed in the training as well as the qualifications of a proper trainer. Employers Council has options for California employers that meet all of these requirements. Please contact Employers Council for more information.