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CA FEHA Updated with Sexual Harassment Training Requirement

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October 2, 2006, the California FEHA (Fair Employment and Housing Act) was amended to include rules requiring certain employers to provide minimum mandatory sexual harassment training for all employees with supervisory responsibilities.

Government Code 12950.1 states the following provisions:

Sexual harassment training and education requirements for new supervisory employees; contents of training and education; definitions; employer liability; violation of requirements.

(a) By January 1, 2006, an employer having 50 or more employees shall provide at least two hours of classroom or other effective interactive training and education regarding sexual harassment to:

  • All supervisory employees who are employed as of July 1, 2005
  • All new supervisory employees within six months of their assumption of a supervisory position

Any employer who has provided this training and education to a supervisory employee after January 1, 2003, is not required to provide training and education by the January 1, 2006, deadline. After January 1, 2006, each covered employer shall provide sexual harassment training and education to each supervisory employee once every two years. The training and education required by this section shall include information and practical guidance regarding:

  • Federal and state statutory provisions concerning the prohibition against harassment
  • The prevention and correction of sexual harassment
  • The remedies available to victims of sexual harassment in employment

Furthermore, the training and education shall include:

  • Practical examples aimed at instructing supervisors in the prevention of harassment, discrimination and retaliation.
  • Shall be presented by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in the prevention of harassment, discrimination and retaliation.

(b) The state shall incorporate the training required by subdivision:

  • into the 80 hours of training provided to all new supervisory employees
  • pursuant to subdivision of Section 19995.4 of the Government Code, using existing resources.

(c) For purposes of this section, "employer" is defined as any person regularly employing 50 or more persons or regularly receiving the services of 50 or more persons providing services pursuant to a contract, or any person acting as an agent of an employer, directly or indirectly, the state, or any political or civil subdivision of the state, and cities.

(d) The code states that compliance with this section does not necessarily result in liability of any employer to any present or former employee or applicant in any action alleging sexual harassment nor does compliance insulate the employer from such liability.

(e) If employers violate the requirements of this section, the commission shall issue an order requiring the employer to comply with the training and education requirements of this section.

(f) The requirements of this section are intended to establish a minimum threshold and should not discourage or relieve any employer from providing for longer, more frequent or more elaborate training and education regarding workplace harassment or other forms of unlawful discrimination to meet its obligations to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent and correct harassment and discrimination.

By: Dale Mask

(Dale Mask is not an attorney. The above information is a general overview of the law and is not intended to be considered legal advice. For legal information or consultation, seek the help of a qualified attorney.)

 

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