SB 1343 (Mitchell) takes effect on January 1, 2019 to reduce the sexual harassment training requirement threshold from employers with 50 or more employees to employers with 5 or more employees, including non-supervisorial employees in the training.

Existing law, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide at least 2 hours of prescribed training and education regarding sexual harassment, abusive conduct, and harassment based upon gender to all supervisory employees within 6 months of their assumption of a supervisory position and once every 2 years.

SB 1343 instead requires an employer who employs 5 or more employees, including temporary or seasonal employees, to provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees and at least one hour of sexual harassment training to all non-supervisory employees by January 1, 2020, and once every 2 years thereafter.

In addition, the bill requires DFEH to develop or obtain 1-hour and 2-hour online training courses on the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace and to post the courses on the DFEH Internet Web site. DFEH is also required to make existing informational posters and fact sheets, as well as the online training courses, available to employers and to members of the public in specified alternate languages on the department’s Internet Web site.

This required training can be provided with other training of employees and the employees can complete this required training individually or as part of a group presentation. They can also complete the training in shorter segments as long as the total hourly requirement is reached.

The new law allows an employer to develop its own training module or direct employees to review the online training course required by the DFEH. In addition, DFEH is required to develop or obtain two online training courses. The course for non-supervisory employees must be one hour in length while the course for supervisory employees must be two hours in length.

Chris Micheli is an attorney and legislative advocate for the Sacramento governmental relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc. He can be reached at 916-448-3075.