New Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Training Requirement for 2019

Starting in 2019, California employers with 5 or more employees must provide training to their employees for Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention.  (Senate Bill 1343; Government Code §12950.1)  Employers should not try and over analyze the “5 or more employees” requirement.  That head count includes regular employees, seasonal and temporary hires, and even includes including independent contractors.

This should include 1 hour for non-managerial employees, and 2 hours for managerial employees.  The first training must occur in 2019, and be repeated once every two years.

Fortunately, the new law also requires the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) to provide training courses on its website, so that employers can use that instead of hiring an outside trainer.  (2 CCR 11024)  Availability of this web based training is expected to happen in “late 2019.”  No word yet on when that really means it will be available.  If any expense accompanies the training, that expense must be paid by the employer, and the training may not occur on the employee’s personal time.  It must be provided by the employer as part of an individual’s employment.

Should employers fail to provide such training in compliance with the new law, employees will have the right to file a complaint with the DFEH after January 1, 2020.

If all goes as planned, the new law will make it relatively painless for comply with the training requirements.