Do you have questions about the sexual harassment training required due to SB 1343 that went into effect January 1, 2019 for any California employer with 5 or more employees? If you don’t have 5 employees currently, you may want to read the information in the event you do end up hiring during 2019 to hit that minimum, and/or because you may use workers from a staffing agency or independent contractors which may affect your worker count.

The new law states that all nonsupervisory employees must receive one hour of sexual harassment training and supervisors must receive two hours. Training must take place within 6 months of hire or promotion and every two years after the initial session. Seasonal employees must have training within 30 calendar days after hire date or within 100 worked hours, whichever comes first.

As the law stands now, if any employees were trained in 2018, they must be trained again in 2019 to meet the new requirement. However, according to the CalChamber, they are currently involved in discussions with the legislature to exempt anyone who took training in 2018 from having to do so again in 2019. So you may want to wait until later in the year to schedule training for them in case this aspect of the law is reversed.

Here are some facts from CalChamber regarding the required training:

  1. Who is considered a “qualified trainer”?
    • Attorneys who have been members of the bar of any state for at least 2 years and whose practice includes employment law.
    • Human Resource professionals or harassment prevention consultants with at least 2 years of practical experience in:
      1. Designing or conducting training on discrimination, retaliation and sexual harassment prevention;
      2. Responding to sexual harassment or other discrimination complaints;
      3. Investigating sexual harassment complaints; or
      4. Advising employers or employees about discrimination, retaliation and sexual harassment prevention
    • Law School, college or university instructors with a post-graduate degree or CA teaching credential and either 20 hours of instruction about employment law under FEHA or Title VII.
  2. Do I need to pay my employees for time spent in training? The answer is yes. And the cost of training is also the responsibility of the employer, not employee.
  3. What if a current employee already received training from a prior employer?
    • A supervisor who’s received valid training within the prior two years (after the required 2019 training) must only be given (and be required to read and acknowledge receipt of) the employer’s anti-harassment policy within six months of assuming the supervisory position.
    • The supervisor must be put on a tracking schedule to make sure they have the required training within 2 years of their last certified training.
    • The law only addresses supervisory training. The regulations do not mention duplicate training of nonsupervisory employees.
    • The burden of establishing that prior training was legally compliant remains with you as the employer.
  4. Do I have to train employees who work remotely in other states? When you count your employees to determine if training requirements apply, employees located anywhere including independent contractors must be included. However, whether you must train those who work remotely out of state will depend on whether they supervise or otherwise interact with employees located in California. If they do, you’ll want to make sure those employees are given training.
  5. If I hire a temporary employee from a staffing agency, do I need to provide the training to that individual? If you utilize temporary or seasonal employees from a staffing agency, it is the agency’s responsibility to provide the training. It’s a good idea to make sure the staffing company has explicitly agreed to provide the training.
  6. Do I need to provide training to independent contractors? You aren’t required to provide training to them since the law specifically states supervisory and nonsupervisory employees. However, this assumes your independent contractors are properly classified.
  7. What are the types of training that comply with the requirements?
    • In-Person Training – classroom-like training featuring content created by a trainer.
    • E-Learning – involves online training that features individualized, interactive and computer-based training. Trainees must have the opportunity to ask a trainer questions and receive a response within two business days.
    • Webinars – internet based seminars transmitted over the internet in real time. Employers must document that each trainee who is not physically present in the same room as the trainer actually attended the training. They must also document that the trainee actively participated in the interactive content. They must also provide trainees with the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers to those questions.
  8. How long must training be and does it need to be taken all at once? The total length of training is two hours for supervisory and one hour for nonsupervisory employees. It can be broken up into shorter segments as long as each employee completes the minimum training requirements over the course of their training year.
  9. What kind of training-related documentation do we need to keep? Employers must keep the following for a minimum of two years:
    • The name of the person trained;
    • The date of training;
    • The type of training (live/classroom, e-learning, webinar, or other interactive training);
    • The name of the training provider;
    • The sign-in sheet;
    • A copy of all certificates of attendance or completion issued; and
    • A copy of all written or recorded materials that comprise the training.
    • E-Learning: A trainer must maintain all written questions received and all written responses or guidance provided for two years after the date of responses. Employers are advised to confirm this information is being properly maintained.
    • Webinar: For two years after the date of the webinar, the employer must maintain:
      1. A copy of the webinar;
      2. A copy of all written materials used by the trainer; and
      3. All written questions submitted during the webinar and all responses or guidance the trainer provided during the webinar.

To assist you with meeting this new requirement, I have put together resources for you for different types of training.

  1. Online training courses are available on my website. Search sexual harassment in the box just under the category listing at https://affordablebookkeepingandpayroll.com/online-training/#/documents and you’ll see four options (one in Spanish). There are courses for both supervisory and non-supervisory available.
  2. On-site training can be done with Priscilla Anderson of She Executives 323-524-3840. She offers organizational training for a group rate or individual training. Training can be done at your location, or your employees can go to her trainings set at locations in various areas within Southern CA.

It’s very important that you comply with this legislation if your worker count meets the minimum 5 (remember temporary/seasonal and independent contractors are included in this figure). If you have questions, please let me or my staff know. We can be reached at 310-534-5577 or contact@abandp.com.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici and freedigitalimages.net

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