Employment Law Update: Legislature Extends Time to Conduct Sexual Harassment Training
Legislature Extends Time to Conduct Sexual Harassment Training
By Cathy T. Moses and Dwayne P. McKenzie
Urgency legislation signed by Governor Newsom on August 30, 2019, grants employers more time to plan and satisfy sexual harassment training obligations, while not penalizing employers who have already conducted their training this year. As we reported last year, California passed Senate Bill 1343 in 2018, which required employers with five or more employees to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees, and one hour of sexual harassment training to nonsupervisory employees. SB1343 required that employers provide these trainings by January 1, 2020, and once every two years thereafter. This law was one of several California laws passed in 2018 in connection with the “Me Too” movement, and expanded on prior training requirements applying only to employers with 50 or more employees.
Following the passage of SB 1343, confusion existed among employers regarding how to implement and schedule these trainings. Senate Bill 778 resolves this confusion by extending the period of time for employers to comply with SB 1343’s training requirements to January 1, 2021. Now, California employers with five or more employees have an additional year, until January 1, 2021, to provide employees with the required sexual harassment training. SB 778 also requires that new nonsupervisory employees be provided training within six months of their hire and that new supervisory employees must receive training within six months of assuming their supervisory positions.
SB 778 provides that if an employer provided sexual harassment training to employees in 2019, it is not required to provide refresher training and education until two years thereafter. However, employers with 50 or more employees who trained their supervisors in 2017 under the prior law must still train those employees in 2019 in order to maintain compliance with their two-year cycle.
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