EXPANDING POLICY AND NOTICE REQUIREMENTS TO PROTECT EMPLOYEES « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


PREVENTING WORKPLACE HARASSMENT – California’s Guidelines and Mandatory Measures

California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the state agency responsible for enforcing the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), has released a new employer guide and an updated sexual harassment brochure to further assist California employers in developing effective anti-harassment programs.

According to DFEH Director Kevin Kish, “Preventing and correcting sexual harassment in the workplace is not only legally required, but it is one of the best ways that an employer can ensure a healthy and productive workplace for all employees. DFEH is pleased to provide these resources to help employers develop and implement effective policies.”

The May 2017 Workplace Harassment Guide for California Employers describes key elements of an effective anti-harassment program and explains how to conduct and document a fair investigation.  For example, the guide advises what to do in “he said/she said” situations when there are no direct witnesses to harassment, and how to arrive at factual conclusions.

The DFEH’s revised brochure now defines the types of sexual harassment and specifically enumerates six actions all California employers must take to prevent and correct harassment:

  1. Provide copies of the brochure to all California employees;
  2. Conspicuously display the DFEH’s “California Law Prohibits Workplace Discrimination and Harassment” poster in compliance with DFEH’s posting rules;
  3. Develop a harassment, discrimination and retaliation prevention policy (Anti-Harassment Policy) in accordance with California law;
  4. Properly distribute its Anti-Harassment Policy;
  5. Translate its Anti-Harassment Policy into every language spoken by at least ten percent of the workforce; and
  6. Provide mandatory sexual harassment training if and as required by law.

For more information, please contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Cindy Bamforth

June 22, 2017