California Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

California leads the way in tackling workplace sexual harassment and discrimination. The state recognizes the importance of educating companies and employees about the definition and implications of sexual harassment within its jurisdiction. In line with this commitment, California has introduced SB 1343, a recent law that expands the requirements for sexual harassment prevention training.

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Don’t Leave Compliance to Chance – Know the Harassment Laws (SB 1343) and Regulations for the State of California

California State-Mandated Training Requirements

Since 2006, California has had some of the most comprehensive harassment training requirements in the United States. In 2015, California amended its law to require training on preventing abusive conduct in the workplace. In 2016 the state began requiring training on the illegality of harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Following a trend in harassment training legislation, in 2019, California expanded the coverage of its law (SB1343) to require all employees (supervisory or not) to receive training on the prevention of workplace harassment.

What type of organization must provide training?  California’s harassment training law applies to all public and private organizations operating within the state.
What is the minimum number of employees for training to be required?  Employers with five or more employees must provide training on the prevention of workplace harassment and abusive conduct. Independent contractors, seasonal employees, interns, part-time and temporary employees count toward the five-employee requirement.
How frequently must training be conducted?  All employees must receive training at least once every two years under California law.
How soon must training be conducted?  Training must be completed within six months of assuming a position or within 30 calendar days if the employee is temporary or seasonal.
Training must be provided to all non-supervisory employees by January 1, 2021, unless training was conducted in 2019, in which case training must be provided within two years after initial training.
What segments of the workforce must receive training? 
  • Managers (including anyone with supervisory duties); 
  • Non-supervisory employees; 
  • Temporary and seasonal employees (if they work more than 30 calendar days or 100 calendar hours in a year). 
  • Independent contractors and unpaid interns are recommended by California to receive training (but not required). 
  • If an employee is employed by a temporary service provider, it is the responsibility of the service provider to provide the training. 
What is the minimum duration of training?  California requires supervisory employee training programs to be at least two hours in duration;
California requires non-supervisory employees to receive at least one hour of training.
What records must be kept following training? 

California requires the following training records to be kept for at least two years: 

  • Names of attendees; 
  • Date of training; 
  • A copy of the employee sign-in sheet (if applicable); 
  • Certificates of completion; 
  • A statement on the type of training; 
  • All materials provided; and 
  • The name of training provider. 
What are potential penalties for failing to conduct training?   The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) can order noncompliant employers to conduct training as a matter of law. 
What are the mandatory content requirements under California law? 

Training must include the following elements: 

  • Federal and State statutory provisions and case law concerning the prohibition against and prevention of sexual harassment; 
  • Examples of conduct that can be considered sexual harassment; 
  • Remedies and resources available to victims of sexual harassment; 
  • Strategies to prevent sexual harassment; 
  • Supervisor responsibilities to prevent sexual harassment; 
  • A statement on the illegality of discrimination; 
  • Practical examples of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation; 
  • Information on the prevention of abusive conduct; 
  • A link to the employer’s harassment policy, which the learner must acknowledge having read; 
  • Bystander intervention training is encouraged, but not required by the California law. 
Are there any additional training elements required by California law?  California also requires a qualified “trainer” to be available to answer questions on training content within 48 hours.
Trainers must maintain a copy of all questions received (and answers provided) for a period of two years.
Are there any policy or posting requirements under California law? 

Yes, California requires the following of employers in the state:

  • Employers must post a poster detailing discrimination in the workplace and the illegality of sexual harassment in a “prominent and accessible location in the workplace.” The poster must include information on transgender rights and is available online from the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing. 
  • Employers must also acquire from the DFEH website and distribute to employees “in a manner that ensures distribution to all employees, such as with the employee’s paycheck” an information sheet about the illegality of sexual harassment and employee remedies and complaint procedures 

Syntrio can help your organization comply with the ever-changing sexual harassment training landscape.

Preview the U.S. Workplace Harassment and Discrimination Training Coursee

Don’t leave compliance to chance.

Access Syntrio’s “Harassment Training Requirements in the United States and U.S. Territories” brochure today and ensure your organization meets its obligations while promoting a culture of respect and equality.

Syntrio Harassment Training Requirements in the United States and the U.S. Territories


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