• California Revises Proposed Regulations on Harassment Prevention Training
  • August 22, 2006 | Authors: Daniel J. McCoy; Allen M. Kato; Saundra L. M. Riley
  • Law Firms: Fenwick & West LLP - Mountain View Office ; Fenwick & West LLP - San Francisco Office ; Fenwick & West LLP - Mountain View Office
  • The California Fair Employment and Housing Commission issued proposed regulations governing mandatory sexual harassment prevention training for supervisors. The regulations offer several important clarifications and changes to the original law:

       

    • Employees and contractors working at different facilities, whether inside California or out-of-state, must be counted in determining whether the employer has the 50 or more employees or contractors necessary for coverage.

       

       

    • "Webinar training" (an internet-based program transmitted over the internet or intranet in real time) or "e-learning program" (an electronic but non-Web based program) must take the supervisor no less than two hours to complete.

       

       

    • An e-learning program must provide a link or directions on how to directly contact trainers or educators. The trainer/educator must respond to questions within a reasonable time, but no less than two business days after the question is asked. The program may include a "book-marking" feature that allows the supervisor to pause, and then resume the training later so long as the actual program is two hours in duration.

       

       

    • A webinar must ensure that the supervisor attends the entire training and actively participates in interactive content, discussion questions, hypothetical scenarios, quizzes or tests, and other activities. The supervisor must also have opportunity to ask questions, and the trainer must answer them.

       

       

    • Training must include questions that assess learning, skill-building activities, hypothetical scenarios, and discussion questions so that the supervisor remains measurably engaged in the training.

       

    • Employers must document the training by including the supervisor's name, date of training, the type of training, and the name of the trainer, educator or instructional designer. Employers must retain such documentation for a minimum of two years.

       

    • Employers that expand to 50 employees/contractors must begin training within six months after reaching the threshold.

       

    • For newly-hired supervisors who received the requisite training with a prior employer within the previous two years, a new employer is not required to re-train the supervisor. It need only give the supervisor a copy of the employer's anti-harassment policy, and secure the supervisor's acknowledgement of having received and read the same.

       

    • In addition to training, the employer must provide each supervisor with a copy of the harassment policy, and require each supervisor to acknowledge receipt of, and to read the policy.