Do You Need Sexual Harassment Training?

By: Pinky Ghuman

The answer is likely a “yes” if you are employed by a company with 5 or more employees. S.B. 1343 requires that all employers of 5 or more employees provide 1 hour of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to non-managerial employees and 2 hours of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to managerial employees once every two years.

Both managerial and non-managerial employees must receive training by January 1, 2020. After January 1, 2020, employees must be retrained once every two years. That means that all employees statewide must be retrained by January 1, 2022. The law requires that employees be trained during calendar year 2019. Employees who were trained in 2018 or before will need to be retrained.

Scope of Trainings

Existing law requires the trainings to include harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation and to include practical examples of such harassment and to be provided by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in those areas. The bill also requires the Department to produce and post both training courses to its website, which employers may utilize instead of hiring a trainer.

“Employee”

Under the DFEH’s regulations, the definition of “employee” includes full-time, part-time, and temporary employees. This includes independent contractors, volunteers, unpaid interns, and seasonal workers.

Legal Effects of Noncompliance

If employers do not comply with the law requiring sexual harassment prevention training, DFEH accepts complaints from employees that their employers have not complied SB 1343. Complaints filed with DFEH after January 1, 2020, regarding an employer’s failure to provide required sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training will be reviewed in light of the totality of the circumstances, which may include the availability of DFEH’s online training courses or the availability of qualified trainers. If DFEH finds that the law has been violated, it will work with employers to obtain compliance with the law.

A qualified trainer under 2 CCR § 11024 is an individual who, through a combination of training and experience have the ability to train supervisors about the following: 1) how to identify behavior that may constitute unlawful harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation under both California and federal law; 2) what steps to take when harassing behavior occurs in the workplace; 3) how to report harassment complaints; 4) supervisors’ obligation to report harassing, discriminatory, or retaliatory behavior of which they become aware; 5) how to respond to a harassment complaint; 6) the employer’s obligation to conduct a workplace investigation of a harassment complaint; 7) what constitutes retaliation and how to prevent it; 8) essential components of an anti-harassment policy; and 9) the effect of harassment on harassed employees, co-workers, harassers and employers.

Ms. Ghuman is very qualified to train employees and individuals on the complexities of discrimination and harassment laws applicable to California workplaces. Ms. Ghuman negotiated over 60 employment and housing discrimination/harassment claims at the nation’s largest civil rights government agency: California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Ms. Ghuman worked on a variety of discrimination and harassment, including advising employers on the essential components of an anti-harassment policy and learning the effect of harassment on harassed employees, co-workers, harassers and employers.

Trainings Available

At least every other month, Ghuman Law Firm will provide in person sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training at our Bakersfield office located on 1430 Truxtun Avenue, 5th Floor, Bakersfield, CA 93301 or is available to provide on site trainings as well. Our trainings in person are $75/person for a two-hour training.

During this training, we will 1)
review the elements of sexual harassment and the remedies available to victims of sexual harassment under both California and federal laws, 2) discuss other forms of unlawful harassment, 3) consider strategies for preventing and responding to unlawful harassment, and 4) address concerns regarding abusive conduct in the workplace.

Our trainings are geared towards small businesses to help address the access to justice gap and provide resources for small businesses to be in compliance with labor and employment laws.

If you need Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention Training, Ghuman Law Firm is available to set up a training today for your particular needs. You may contact our office either by phone at 888-647-2266 or info@ghumanlawfirm.com.

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