Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Now Required for Nearly All California Businesses and Each Employee


The #MeToo movement has spurred the California Legislature to significantly expand mandatory sexual harassment prevention training to all employers with five or more on payroll, including seasonal and temporary workers. Companies now must train supervisors and subordinate workers alike. Previously, only businesses with 50 or more employees have been obligated to provide such training and, then, only to their supervisors.

As revised, California Government Code section 12950.1 requires all five-plus employers to provide at least two hours of “classroom or other effective interactive training and education” to all supervisory employees and at least one hour of such classroom or other effective sexual harassment training to all non-supervisory employees.  There are special rules for seasonal, temporary and agricultural employees. Section 12950.1 mandates the first such delivery by January 1, 2020, and once every two years after that.

The expanded law also directs the Department of Fair Employment and Housing to develop or obtain two online training courses, one for supervisors and the other for non-supervisory employees, on the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace and to post the courses on the department’s internet website.

This section dictates only the minimum requirements and “should not discourage or relieve any employer from providing longer, more frequent, or more elaborate training and education … to meet its obligations to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent and correct harassment and discrimination.” Section 12950.1(g). Accordingly, the revisions specify that an employer is free to develop its own training module for compliance. Section 12950.1(j)

Please contact one of our attorneys Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin with any questions on these changes. Our office will continue to provide such California-mandated interactive anti-harassment, -discrimination, and -retaliation training, including on-site seminars for flat fees. Contact officemgr@tbowleslaw.com for more information and to schedule your seminar.

Tim Bowles

November 30, 2018


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