All California Employees Must Complete Harassment Training in 2019

By now, most employers are aware that effective January 1, 2019 California has expanded its law requiring sexual harassment training to not just supervisory employees who are employed in organizations with 50 or more employees, but now to all employees working in organizations with 5 or more employees.

Many employers have been complying with the California managerial requirement since the original AB 1825 was enacted in 2005 by providing bi-annual training for managers and supervisors. Those employers naturally assumed that if they had provided the mandatory training to their supervisors during calendar year 2018 they would be exempt from training until at least calendar year 2020. Not so.

Employees who were trained in 2018 or before need to be retrained

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing just released new guidance on this issue that clearly states that employers must provide training in the calendar year 2019 regardless of whether they conducted training in 2018. Indeed, the DFEH interprets the law to mean “[e]mployees who were trained in 2018 or before need to be retrained.”

Given this official guidance from the DFEH, Syntrio cannot stress enough that your organization must schedule and conduct training for all employees by January 1, 2020. Given the emphasis the DFEH has placed on 2019 as a mandatory training year just weeks into the effective period of the law we can assure you that they will be looking out for those employers who choose to ignore the agency’s guidance and “hide their head in the sand.” We urge you to understand the DFEH’s opinion on this matter and act accordingly.

Since 2007, Jonathan has practiced labor and employment law, with a focus on litigation, individual plaintiff and class action discrimination, harassment, and other employment-specific cases as well as focusing his practice toward advising employers on preventive practice. Jonathan has presented over 100 live employment discrimination and harassment prevention training courses across all 50 states.

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