California Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training
What is Sexual Harassment?
California law defines sexual harassment as a form of sexual discrimination, which refers to unwelcome sexual advances, or any physical, verbal, or visual conduct of a sexual nature, including actions that create an offensive, hostile, or intimidating work environment based on sex. State law says that the offensive conduct does not have to
be motivated by sexual desire, but instead based on perceived or sexual intercourse, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
California and Federal law place sexual harassment as a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
New California Sexual Harassment Training Requirements
California has a bit of confusion regarding their previous sexual harassment training requirements.
Employers with five (5) or more employees, including seasonable and temporary, were required to provide two (2) hours of sexual harassment training to supervisors and one (1) hour to nonsupervisory employees by January 1, 2020 and again every two years thereafter.
Some businesses failed; others did it twice. To clarify, the new legislation in California, SB 778 was passed which came with a one year reprieve, meaning new training requirements will be enforced in 2021.
SB 778 stipulates:
● Employers with five (5) or more employees MUST provide sexual harassment training and education by January 1, 2021 and then again every two years thereafter.
● Non-supervisory employees must be provided this training within six (6) months of hiring.
● New supervisory employees must be provided this training within six (6) months of assuming a supervisory position.
Note: Any employer who provided this training by the 2019 deadline is not required to do it again until 2021.
How Does This Affect Your Business?
Effective sexual harassment training offers an improved company culture for your employees, partners, and even customers. It will educate your employees on what sexual harassment is, and how wide a range of topics it legally covers. Many people believe that the intent has to be sexual desire, or that it is limited to offensive actions, when in reality it includes actions, words, behaviors, and so forth and applies to a great many categories.
Complete California Sexual Harassment Training
Even though there is an extension to the deadline which has some employers breathing a sigh of relief, you should not postpone training your employees. Given the recent changes, it's not likely that any additional extensions will happen and compliance will be strictly monitored. Having your supervisory and non-supervisory employees trained immediately will prevent any repercussions for your business.
As a FREE service to our members, BOMA/GLA offers two online courses each year; a two-hour course for supervisors and a one-hour course for non-supervisory employees. Visit the BOMA/GLA calendar and register your employees for this mandatory training before the deadline.