California Online Sexual Harassment Training

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In California, as throughout the United States, it is illegal to sexually harass or discriminate based on various protected classifications in the workplace.

Training Requirements

EEO Training, LLC recommends all employers in the United States, regardless of size and location, provide sexual harassment and discrimination training to all new hires (including contractors) and on a regular, periodic basis.

In California, employers with at least five (5) employees must instruct all employees on sexual harassment and discrimination prevention at least within 180 days of hire and at least once every two years thereafter.

Specifically, employers must provide at least two hours of classroom or other effective interactive training and education to all supervisory employees in California, and at least one hour of such instruction to all nonsupervisory employees in the state. New supervisory and nonsupervisory employees must receive instruction within six months after they assume a position.

Supervisors are not subject to the training requirements if they complied within the past two years through their current employer or a prior, alternate, or joint employer and they received, read, and acknowledged receipt of their current employer's anti-harassment policy within six months after assuming a new supervisory position or within six months after the employer became subject to the requirements. Their current employer has the burden of establishing such prior compliance.

Employees who have received compliant training within the past two years from a current, previous, alternate or joint employer, or who receive a work permit from the Labor Commission that required them to receive compliant training within the past two years, must read and acknowledge receipt of the employer's anti-harassment policy within six months of assuming their new position. Employees must then be placed on a two year tracking schedule based on their last training. The current employer has the burden of establishing the prior training was compliant with the requirements.

Employers also must provide instruction on sexual harassment prevention to seasonal employees, temporary employees, and employees who are hired to work for less than six months. This instruction must be provided within 30 calendar days of hire or within 100 hours worked, whichever occurs first. If a temporary employee is employed by a temporary services employer (as defined in Cal. Lab. Code § 201.3) to perform services for clients, that employer(not the clients) must provide the instruction.

To track the frequency of training, employers can use either or both of the following methods:

Individual basis: Employers can track training on an individual basis by measuring two years from the date each supervisor last completed training.
Training-year basic: Employers can designate a training year in which they train some or all of their supervisors. These supervisors must be retrained by the end of the subsequent training year, which is two years later. If new supervisors receive initial training in a non training year, they can be retrained in the next training year and every training year thereafter.

Effective interactive training includes any of the following:

Classroom training, which is in-person instruction provided by a qualified trainer (see trainer requirements below) who creates the content and provides it to supervisors in a setting removed from their daily duties.
 E-learning training, which is individualized, interactive, computer-based training created by a qualified trainer (see trainer requirements below) and an instructional designer. Instructional designers develop training content based on trainer-provided material and their own expertise in current instructional best practices. This training must provide a link or directions on how to contact the trainer with questions and provide guidance and assistance within two business days after questions are asked.
Webinar training, which is an internet-based seminar with content that is created and taught by a qualified trainer (see trainer requirements below) and transmitted over the internet or intranet in real time. This webinar must provide an opportunity to ask questions, have them answered, and otherwise seek guidance and assistance.

Trainers must be:

Attorneys who have been admitted for at least two years to any U.S. state bar and whose practice includes employment law under California's Fair Employment and Housing Act or Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964;
HR professionals, harassment prevention consultants, or, peer-to-peer trainers with at least two years of practical experience in designing or conducting discrimination, retaliation, and harassment prevention training; responding to harassment or discrimination complaints; investigating harassment complaints; or advising employers or employees on discrimination, retaliation, and harassment prevention; or
Professors or instructors who teach at a law school, college, or university, have a postgraduate degree or California teaching credential; and have 20 instruction hours or at least two years of experience at a law school, college or university teaching about California's Fair Employment and Housing Act or Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Trainers who lack the required amount of experience, but are otherwise qualified, can team teach with a qualified trainer in classroom or webinar training if that person supervises them and is available during these training sessions to answer questions from participants.

Sexual orientation and gender identity or expression: Training that addresses harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression must be presented by trainers or educators with relevant knowledge and expertise.

AB 1825
AB 2053
SB 396
SB 530
SB 778
SB 1343
2 CCR § 11024

Disclaimer: Information located on this website is intended to be informational only and cannot be relied upon as legal advice. Any employer reading this information is strongly encouraged to seek their own legal counsel for advice on sexual harassment and discrimination prevention.