• California Mandates Sexual Harassment Training
  • March 20, 2005 | Author: Richard A. Ross
  • Law Firm: Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. - Minneapolis Office
  • The California legislature has enacted a law requiring employers with 50 or more employees to provide sexual harassment classroom training to all supervisors. California Government Code, Section 12950.1 is effective January 1, 2006. The new law requires that all supervisors employed on or before July 1, 2005, and all new supervisors receive "at least two hours of classroom or other effective interactive training and education regarding sexual harassment." Supervisors must receive this training at least once every two years.

    The training under this new statute must include:

    ". . . information and practical guidance regarding the federal and state statutory provisions concerning the prohibition against and the prevention and correction of sexual harassment and the remedies available to victims of sexual harassment in employment. The training and education shall also include practical examples aimed at instructing supervisors in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, and shall be presented by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation."

    An employer's failure to provide the training will not automatically result in liability for the employer if a sexual harassment claim is asserted against the employer. Conversely, employers who provide the training are not automatically insulated from liability. The agency enforcing California's Fair Employment and Housing Law is empowered to issue an order mandating compliance with this new law.

    This new law has yet to be enforced or interpreted by the Courts. However, some commentators are already speculating that employers with fewer than 50 employees in California may also be subject to the mandatory training requirements. If you have employees working in California and have questions regarding the new law, please consult an employment law attorney.