In response to widespread confusion about the timing of California’s expanded sexual harassment training requirements, the California Legislature has introduced a “clean up” measure to last year’s Senate Bill 1343. That bill mandated employers to provide one hour of harassment training to non-supervisory employees. It also extended the two-hour supervisory training to employers with just five or more employees.
The new legislation, SB 778, now extends the deadline for employers to provide anti-harassment training for non-supervisory employees from January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021. Most importantly, SB 778 clarifies that employers need not provide training again in 2019 when they already provided supervisory training in 2018. But SB 778 also allows covered employers who have provided anti-harassment training to an employee in 2019 to wait two full years before providing refresher training to those trained employees.
What Does this Mean for Employers?
This clean-up legislation is welcome news to employers who had already provided sexual harassment training in 2018, but were scrambling to provide training again this year in order to comply with the January 1, 2020 deadline. It also provides additional time for the Department of Fair Employment and Housing to develop an online training option for all employers to utilize.
While this proposed fix to the timing of SB 1343 implementation is not yet law, it has already passed the Senate and adoption by the Assembly is expected in the coming weeks. The bill includes an “urgency clause” which means it will go into effect immediately if signed by the Governor. Please contact Cook Brown if you have questions about your organization’s training requirements.