California Sexual Harassment Training Requirements
Federal law prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace and provides a framework for filing complaints about it when it occurs, but it is up to each state to develop its own policies for preventing workplace sexual harassment. From a legal perspective, sexual harassment at work is a form of employment discrimination based on the protected characteristics of sex, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Part of the reason that it remains so widespread is that a lot of people don’t know, or pretend not to know, that the behavior they are engaging in or witnessing fits the legal definition of sexual harassment, even if they know that it bothers the victim. For example, they might claim that saying negative things about a woman’s physical appearance is not sexual harassment (since it does not involve flirtation or physical touching), even though, legally, it is. California is one of only a few states to require employees to complete training sessions about sexual harassment laws and sexual harassment prevention. To find out more about preventing sexual harassment in the workplace, contact a Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyer.
All Employees Must Complete the Training, but the Format Is Flexible
California law requires all employees to complete a training session on sexual harassment laws and practical strategies for preventing and addressing sexual harassment in the workplace. This law went into effect in 2020, with the first training session to be completed by January 1, 2021. Now all employees must repeat the training once every two years; the training materials are also updated to reflect changes in the law.
Training materials issued by the state are available in English, Spanish, Tagalog, Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese. The training course for employees in non-supervisory roles is one hour long, and the one for supervisors is two hours. Employers may offer the training sessions in person or online, and employees need not necessarily complete the training in one sitting. New employees must complete the training within 30 days of starting work, and all employers with five or more employees must offer it.
Who Is Exempt From Participating in Sexual Harassment Training?
Independent contractors, unpaid interns, and volunteers are not required to complete the training, and neither are employees whose work location is outside California, even if a California company issues their payroll payments. Likewise, if you move from one California job to another, you do not need to do a new sexual harassment training within 30 days of starting your new job if your most recent training at your old job was less than two years ago.
Speak With a Los Angeles Employment Discrimination Lawyer
Whether or not your employer has complied with the requirements for sexual harassment training, you have the right to file a complaint if sexual harassment occurs in your workplace. A Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer can help you deal with your employer’s human resources office, the EEOC, and other relevant parties. Contact Obagi Law Group, P.C. in Los Angeles, California to discuss your situation or call 424-284-2401.