Harassment training mandatory

By Ashley Loza
Kern Valley Sun

By January 1, 2020, all California employers with more than five employees are required to ensure that their employees have received sexual harassment training.

The requirement is part of Senate Bill 1343, which went into effect in September of 2018. The bill is an extension of Assembly Bill 1825, effective in 2007, which mandated that any supervisory employee in a company of 50 employees or more must attend sexual harassment training.

These bills are requirements of the Fair Employment and Housing Act of 1959 which prohibited discrimination in the workplace. The prohibition of sexual harassment was added in 1980.

SB 1343 makes requirements more stringent, requiring businesses of more than five employees to ensure that all employees receive training – one hour for non-supervisory employees and 2 hours for supervisory employees. All employees must receive training every two years thereafter as well.

Among other requirements, the training must ensure that employees are taught the definition of sexual harassment under applicable state and federal law, as well as an employee’s options for filing a sexual harassment complaint and their protections against retaliation.

The training also includes specifications of how to avoid discrimination against California’s protected statuses. These statuses are race/color; ancestry/national origin; religion/creed; age (over 40); mental and physical disability; sex/gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions); sexual orientation; gender identity/expression; medical condition; genetic information; marital status and military/veteran status.

While training courses are available online, the Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce has partnered with training development specialist Robin Paggi to bring these workshops to the Kern River Valley.

These workshops will be held on April 11 and May 9 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for supervisory employees and from 1 to 2 p.m. for non-supervisory employees.

To sign up, contact the KRV Chamber at (760) 379-5236 or email office@kernrivervalley.com.