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Sexual harassment prevention training for all employees deadline extended to Jan. 1, 2021
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill extending the deadline for sexual harassment prevention training. Under SB 778, employers with five or more employees now have until no later than Jan. 1, 2021 to complete the mandatory one-or two-hour trainings for employees to be compliant. Employees are required to complete the training within six months of hire or promotion and every two years after.
With the extension, employers who trained their employees in 2018 can provide subsequent training in 2020 while still complying with the deadline. Additionally, employers who train their employees in 2019 are not required to provide more training until 2021 and every two years thereafter.
In order for employers of 5 or more employees to comply with training obligations, The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing provides free online training courses on preventing sexual harassment and abusive conduct in the workplace.
The department has provided training for both supervisory (2-hour) and nonsupervisory (1-hour) positions.
Steps to Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation Prevention Compliance Guide – a comprehensive resource developed by CDA Practice Support that outlines the steps for developing a policy, compliance with posting, notice and distribution requirements, and employee training.
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing provides the following resources for California employers:
Harassment Prevention Guide for California EmployersSexual Harassment Prevention Training FAQ
Maybe. It is each current employer’s obligation to comply with the regulations. The burden of establishing that prior training was legally compliant remains with each current employer. Employers should obtain a copy of the current certificate from the employee of prior training for recordkeeping. The employee should also be provided – and be required to read and acknowledge receipt of – the practices anti-harassment policy within six months of assuming a position with the practice. If the employer cannot establish that the prior training was compliant, or employee cannot produce a current certificate, the employee will need to be trained. Once proof of training is established, the employee should be placed on a training schedule two years from the date of last training.
Yes. Employers must pay employees for the time-spent training. If the training occurs at another location, after work hours, employees should track their hours and employers should comply with overtime regulations, should overtime occur. In addition, employers must bear the cost of the training itself.
As a best practice, a practice owner/employer with five or more employees, who have positioned themselves as an employee of their corporation should attend the two-hour supervisory training.
Even though independent contractors are included in the number of employees that would subject an employer to new training requirements, an employer is not required to provide training to independent contractors as the law specifically refers to “supervisory employees” and “nonsupervisory employees”. This does assume that your independent contractors are properly classified.
Michelle Corbo, PHR, PHRca