California is one of the six states in the country that now requires sexual harassment training in the workplace. As most people know, this is in response to the impact that viral movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp have had on our society.
In light of this, employers must understand what the new changes to California’s laws will mean for their business.
A review of the sexual harassment training requirements
State lawmakers passed a law in 2018 that requires employers with at least five employees to conduct sexual harassment training. These requirements applied to many more businesses, both large and small, than before. The previous law stated that only employers with 50 or more employees needed to conduct sexual harassment training.
This law also established requirements for employers to provide:
- Supervisory employees with two hours of classroom training and additional education;
- Nonsupervisory employees with one hour of classroom training;
- Training for new employees within six months of their hire; and
- Training for temporary or seasonal employees within the first 30 days or 100 hours of work.
All employees must complete this training again every two years.
The deadline for training has been extended
There is no doubt that this training is critical, especially in today’s environment. However, organizing the training to meet these strict legal requirements can be complicated for employers charged with running a business and handling company matters daily.
Thankfully, a new law amended the 2018 law and extended the deadline to provide training, so employers have more time to organize their plans and train their employees. Now, employers have until January 1, 2021, to train their employees under these new requirements.
What does this mean for employers?
The original deadline of January 1, 2020, came up fast for employers. With the new amendment, they now have another year to:
- Create an effective and relevant training program;
- Update their own company’s policies to reflect the legal changes;
- Ensure employees understand these changes; and
- Complete the training obligations to comply with the law.
These steps can be time-consuming, especially in addition to running a successful business. However, employers must set aside time and take advantage of the extended deadline.