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7 Things You Need to Know About California SB1343

According to SB-1343, by January 1, 2020, 92% of the state’s workforce [roughly 15.5 million workers] will need to have received at least one hour of sexual harassment training for non-management employees; and two hours of training for supervisors. Following the 2020 deadline, these educational thresholds will need to be met again every two years. Here are 7 things HR and compliance professionals need to know about this mandate.

What does SB-1343 change?

California law has required employers having 50 or more employees to provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment training to supervisors every two years since 2005.  SB-1343 instead changes this by requiring employers that employ five or more employees [including temporary or seasonal employees] to provide at least one hour of sexual harassment training to all non-management employees and 2 hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees by January 1, 2020, and once every two years thereafter.

What do you need to do?

Due to the expansive nature of this mandate, your business will likely need to take several measures to satisfy the many requirements.

Prior to the 2020 deadline, your organization will need to schedule and deliver training to your workforce. Worklogic HR offers Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for free to all its clients. Speak with your HRBP to schedule your training. 

What does SB-1343 require workplace training cover?

If you are seeking to create your own training or purchase existing training content, the mandate requires instructional material to teach learners about the federal and statewide ban on sexual harassment, information & practical guidance on sexual harassment prevention, abusive conduct prevention, corrective actions against those who commit harassment, and remedies available to people who experience harassment.

Your training must also teach these additional concepts with practical examples: harassment based on sexual orientation, gender expression & gender identity, discrimination, retaliation, and abusive conduct.

Does SB-1343 require online training or live training?

Both, online and live training are acceptable for employee education if those providing the training sessions have “knowledge and expertise” in harassment prevention, discrimination, retaliation, and harassment. Among other requirements specified in state regulation, trainers also need to have expertise on harassment that occurs on the basis of sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity.

*Training does not need to be completed in a single session. So long as the multiple training sessions add up to the required one hour for non-management staff and two hours for supervisors.

How soon after starting are you required to train new staff?

As stated above, both non-management staff and supervisors are required to receive training by the first mandated deadline of January 1, 2020. Following the initial training deadline, both employee groups will need to be trained within six months of their start dates, or date of promotion to supervisor.

Does SB-1343 apply only to full-time employees, or do part-time and temporary workers require training as well?

Part-time, seasonal and/or temporary staff must receive non-management training within the first 30 days or before completing 100 working hours [which ever comes first].  If temporary employees are employed by a temp services agency, that agency is required to provide the training. Also, the legislation explicitly mentions that migrant and seasonal agricultural workers must be trained in the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Are there any other requirement employers should know about?

The law’s five-employee threshold is not limited to just full-time employees, as it includes employers who “regularly” receive services in accordance with a contract, or those acting directly or indirectly as an “agent” of the employer.

Thus far, SB-1343 represents a significantly more elaborate approach to preventing sexual harassment in the workplace than AB-1825. Although, training alone isn’t an end all, when combined with accountability, effective policies and procedures, organizations all over the state may make a dent in the widespread presence of these harmful events.

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Disclaimer: The information and resources provided herein are not a substitute for experienced legal counsel and does not constitute legal advice or attempt to address the numerous factual issues that inevitably arise in any employment-related dispute. Although this information attempts to cover some major recent developments, it is not all-inclusive, and any recommendations are based upon HR best practices and procedures. We recommend you consult an attorney for legal guidance.

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