Deadline extended for sexual harassment prevention training

September 12, 2019

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 Jan. 1, 2021, to complete the mandatory one- or two-hour employee trainings to be compliant.

This is a one-year extension from the previous deadline under SB 1343, signed into law by then-Gov. Jerry Brown in Sept. 2018. Employees are required to complete the training within six months of hire or promotion and every two years after.

The deadline drew concerns from the Department of Fair Employment and Housing on how to coordinate the new training requirements with previous trainings. In order to comply with the Jan. 1, 2020, deadline, employers who trained their employees in 2018 would need to train them again in 2019, resulting in those employees being trained twice within a two-year period.

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 Jan. 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.

This extension will also provide additional time for the DFEH to develop and publish training materials in late 2019.

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