On May 30, 2018, the California State Senate approved Senate Bill 1343, a sexual harassment training bill, which will now move on to the State Assembly. While the bill has not yet been fully passed, it is important to know what this bill means for employers and employees if it is voted into action.
How does the revised bill help victims?
SB 1343 will provide training and valuable information to more California workers on sexual harassment prevention, as well as how to recognize harassment, and who to contact if they believe they are a sexual harassment victim.
How does the bill change training laws to hold employers accountable?
Current law requires all employers with 50 or more employees to provide two hours of sexual harassment prevention training only to supervisors.
If passed, SB 1343 would extend this requirement to employers with five 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 nonsupervisory employees by January 1, 2020, and once every 2 years thereafter.
Additionally, the bill requires:
- The Department of Fair Employment & Housing to develop a training video for training purposes, so employers can provide employees training via video if they wish;
- The Department of Fair Employment & Housing provide similar training, as well as existing informational posters and fact sheets regarding sexual harassment prevention in multiple languages for all workers so they know what sexual harassment is and what their rights are under the law; and
- Allows employers to develop and provide their own training video and sexual harassment information sheet, given that the employer provides equivalent information to its employees that contains, at a minimum:
- The illegality of sexual harassment;
- The definition of sexual harassment under applicable state and federal law;
- A description of sexual harassment, using examples;
- The internal complaint process of the employer, available to the employee;
- The legal remedies and complaint process available through the department;
- Directions on how to contact the Department of Fair Employment & Housing;
- A link to the Department of Fair Employment & Housing’s online sexual harassment training; and
- The protection against retaliation provided by Title II of the California Code of Regulations for opposing, filing a complaint, or participating in an investigation or hearing regarding sexual harassment or discrimination practices.
Violations to SB 1343 may result in the Department of Fair Employment & Housing seeking an order requiring that an employer comply with the requirements of the bill.
It is important to the attorneys at McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP that anyone who has been a victim of sexual harassment is heard. If you have questions or need assistance with a possible sexual harassment case, please contact our office at 310-474-1582 or visit our website for a free consultation.