California Harassment Training Requirements


Harassment Training Requirements

California law mandates all California employers, including temporary employees and independent contractors, to comply with the state’s sexual harassment prevention training requirements. One hour of training is required for all employers of 5 or more employees, while two hours of training are required for supervisors and managers. 

Newly hired managers and those promoted to managerial roles must be trained within six months. 

The check marks in the table below indicate which training topics are required by state law.

Topic Required by Law   |   Topic Not Required by Law

  • Topics
  • Regulations
  • Legislation
  • AB 1825
    SB 1343 (Emtrain founder Janine Yancey was an expert witness and helped draft this law)
    2 CCR § 11024
  • Who needs to be trained?
  • Managers and employees
  • Time requirements
  • Managers: 120 mins over 2 years (60 min per year)
    Employees: 60 mins over 2 years (30 mins per year)
    New hire managers & newly promoted managers: Within 6 months (2 hours)
    New hire employees: Within 6 months (1 hour)

  • Frequency
  • Every 2 years; Recommended annually
  • Interactivity / Ability to ask questions and get trainer's answers

    Where the employee learner can ask questions about the concepts in a safe, anonymous way and get answers and guidance from subject matter experts.

  • Definition of protected characteristics

    A description of the personal characteristics that are protected by law in each state.

  • Types of sexual harassment (quid pro quo and hostile work environment)

    A description of the actions or situations that would create either quid pro quo harassment (this for that) or hostile work environment harassment.

  • Parties to harassment

    A lesson about different people who can be involved in harassment, such as co-workers, clients, interns, a person of any gender.

  • Remedies available

    A lesson about what a person can recover in a lawsuit for harassment, such as money for economic harm, emotional harm, etc.

  • Strategies to prevent harassment

    A description about the different personal and organizational behaviors to promote respect and minimize harassment.

  • Practical examples from case law, news, and media

    Real stories to illustrate the concepts.

  • Limited confidentiality of the complaint process

    A lesson about the logistics of filing a harassment complaint and how there is no legal right to confidentiality.

  • Resources for victims and complainants

    A description of the employer's resources that are designed to help people complaining of harassment.

  • Duty to investigate

    A lesson on the legal duty of the employer to investigate all claims of harassment and the minimum requirements of the investigation.

  • What to do if supervisor is personally accused

    A lesson on how a supervisor or manager should respond if accused by a subordinate employee of harassment.

  • Personal liability of harasser / Criminal liability

    Information about if and when an employee can be sued personally for harassment (as opposed to just named in the lawsuit) and if an accused faces criminal liability.

  • Personal liability only
  • Supervisor's obligation to report harassment

    A lesson for supervisors to teach them to promptly report any claims of harassment, even if it doesn't appear like a formal complaint.

  • Elements of the employer's harassment policy

    A lesson outlining and covering all the components of the employer's harassment policy and complaint procedure.

  • Review of the elements of abusive conduct

    Information about when conduct is considered abusive and, whether abusive conduct is illegal in that region. For example, abusive conduct is not illegal in any state in the United States but it is illegal in different provinces in Canada.

  • Bystander intervention

    A lesson on how people who witness harassing or disrespectful conduct can and should intervene to protect the employee and stop the conduct.

  • Retaliation

    A lesson on when actions meet the criteria of retaliation and an explanation that retaliation is illegal.

  • Protected Characteristics in California

    • Race
    • Color
    • Religion (includes religious dress and grooming practices)
    • Sex/gender (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and/or related medical conditions)
    • Gender identity, gender expression
    • Sexual orientation
    • Marital status
    • Medical condition (genetic characteristics, cancer or a record or history of cancer)
    • Military or veteran status
    • National origin (includes language use and possession of a driver's license issued to persons unable to provide their presence in the United States is authorized under Federal law.)
    • Ancestry
    • Reproductive health

    More information on Sexual Harassment Training in California

    Emtrain’s Founder and CEO Janine Yancey was asked by the California Legislature to provide expert testimony regarding SB 1343 and help draft the final language of Senate Bill 1343 (SB 1343).

    The anti-harassment policy and complaint process must be clearly outlined when taking an e-learning course, and adherence to state law is vital. Along with the human resources department, all relevant stakeholders should ensure that the program aligns with California sexual harassment training requirements, including harassment laws set by the state of California.

    A certificate of completion should be awarded to learners upon successful completion. All California employees must be retrained in accordance with the schedule, ensuring ongoing compliance with state laws.

    Special focus must be given to providing a comprehensive understanding of abusive conduct, harassment prevention training requirements, and compliance training specific to California’s sexual harassment prevention training guidelines.

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