Harassment Prevention

Sexual harassment prevention training deadline extended to Jan. 1, 2021

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a new 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.

Employers should note that this extension did not extend the January 1, 2020 training requirement that employers provide training for seasonal, temporary, or other employees hired to work for less than six months within 30 calendar days after the hire date or within 100 hours worked, whichever occurs first. In lieu of training, employers may obtain a copy of a temporary employee’s current certificate of prior training and track training from that date.

Resources for Employers
Harassment Training FAQs

Q. My employee works for several different practices. Am I required to provide training?

A. 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.


Q. If I provide the online information to my employees to train at home, or another location away from the office, am I obligated to pay?

A. 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.


Q. As the practice owner, I am an employee of my corporation. Do I need to attend training?

A. 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.


Q. Do I need to train my associate, classified as an independent contractor, as a supervisor?

A. 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.

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