Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in California

California Assembly Bill 1825 codified in California Government Code section 12950.1 requires that employers train supervisors on sexual harassment every two years.

AB 1825 applies only to entities that regularly employ 50 or more employees or regularly receive the services of 50 or more persons pursuant to a contract. Presumably the “receiving services” language is an attempt to avoid deciding if a worker is an employee or independent contractor. Although not specified by the statute, courts have held that Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)’s other minimum employee requirements count only employees working in California.

The law imposes an initial and continual training requirement on covered employers.  Covered employers must provide sexual harassment training and education to each supervisory employee once every two years, and to each new supervisory employee within six months of their assumption of a supervisory position.

While AB 1825 does not define “supervisor,” presumably, the definition contained in the FEHA will apply. A “supervisor” is any individual having the authority “to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward, or discipline other employees, or the responsibility to direct them, or to adjust their grievances, or effectively to recommend that action . . . if the exercise of that authority is not of a merely routine or clerical nature, but requires the use of independent judgment.” (Government Code § 12926(r).)

The training must be conducted via “classroom or other effective interactive training” and include the following topics:

  • Information and practical guidance regarding the federal and state statutory provisions concerning the prohibition against and the prevention of sexual harassment.
  • Information about the correction of sexual harassment and the remedies available to victims of sexual harassment in employment.
  • Practical examples aimed at instructing supervisors in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.

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