Employers in California with 50 or more workers must provide at least two hours of sexual harassment Seal_of_Californiaprevention training to all supervisors.  The requirements of what topics this training must include has changed since AB 1825 was passed requiring the training.  For example, AB 2053 required as of January 2015 “prevention of abusive conduct as a component of the training and education”, and in April 2016, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Council issued new regulations addition additional topics.

Employers issuing training to its employees must review the training to ensure that the training at least covers the following five topics:

1.      The law – California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

  • A definition of unlawful sexual harassment under California and Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, other forms of harassment covered by the FEHA, and discuss how harassment of an employee can cover more than one basis.
  • FEHA and Title VII statutory provisions and case law concerning the prohibition against and the prevention of unlawful sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation in employment.
  • The types of conduct that constitutes sexual harassment.

2.      Remedies

  • Remedies available for sexual harassment victims in civil actions, and potential employer and individual exposure and liability.

3.      How to prevent harassment

  • Strategies to prevent harassment in the workplace.
  • Supervisors’ obligation to report sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation of which they become aware.
  • Practical examples, such as factual scenarios taken from case law, news and media accounts, hypotheticals based on workplace situations and other sources, which illustrate sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation using role playing, case studies, and group discussions.
  • The limited confidentiality of the complaint process.
  • Resources for victims of unlawful sexual harassment, such as to whom they should report any alleged sexual harassment.
  • In addition to discussing the strategies to prevent harassment, the training should also cover the steps necessary to take appropriate remedial measures to correct harassing behavior, which includes an employer’s obligation to conduct an effective workplace investigation of a harassment complaint.
  • Training on what to do if the supervisor is personally accused of harassment.

4.      Policies

  • The essential elements of an anti-harassment policy and how to utilize it if a harassment complaint is filed.  Either the employer’s policy or a sample policy shall be provided to the supervisors.  Regardless of whether the employer’s policy is used as part of the training, the employer shall give each supervisor a copy of its anti-harassment policy and require each supervisor to reach and to acknowledge receipt of that policy.

5.      Anti-Bullying

  • A review of the definition of abusive conduct (for more information on this aspect please read my article here).