Sexual Harassment Training California 2024

Sexual Harassment Training

Originally passed in 2018, the original Senate Bill 1343 required that all businesses with 5 or more employees to train all emploiyees by January 1, 2020 and every two years thereafter.  In late 2023, the state of California amended Senate Bill 1343, which changed the requirements related to sexual harassment training for employers. It implements more proactive measures aimed at preventing or lowering incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace.

This bill is effective as of April 2024, meaning that employers should familiarize themselves with the new requirements as soon as possible to ensure they remain compliant with the law. Non-compliance can lead to legal and punitive consequences, which emphasizes the serious nature of the law and California’s commitment to creating harassment-free workplaces for all individuals.

The requirements under SB 1343 include:

  • Greater coverage: SB 1343 requires that all employers with five or more employees provide sexual harassment training. Prior to 2020, only employers with fifty or more employees had to provide sexual harassment training. Therefore, many small employers that previously did not have to provide sexual harassment training will now have to provide it or risk non-compliance.
  • Broader inclusivity: Before SB 1343 was passed, only supervisors were subject to sexual harassment training. However, SB 1343 extended the requirements to include non-supervisory employees, as well. Under the new law, all supervisory and non-supervisory employees, contractors, volunteers, and unpaid interns are required to complete sexual harassment training.  
  • Increased frequency: The new law required that all employees receive sexual harassment training every two years to reinforce ongoing awareness and attempt to prevent incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace. All non-supervisory employees, contractors, volunteers, and unpaid interns must complete at least one hour of sexual harassment training every two years. The law states that supervisory employees must receive at least two hours of training. Additionally, permanent workers must receive training within six months of being hired. Seasonal workers must receive training within thirty days or one hundred hours of work, whichever comes first.
  • Expanded content: SB 1343 emphasizes the need to include various topics, such as defining sexual harassment, identifying examples of prohibited behavior, explaining the employer’s internal complaint process, and providing legal resources for victims. Additionally, it should include material about abusive conduct and bullying, including information about gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation and, reproductive rights to name a few

While the requirements may seem like a lot, especially for employers who previously did not have to require sexual harassment training, there are many benefits to providing this training and creating a safe and respectful work environment. These benefits include:

  • Having a safe workplace: When employees work in a setting where they feel safe, respected, and free from harassment and discrimination, they can achieve their best work.
  • Improved workplace culture: Fewer incidents of sexual harassment can contribute to the creation of a positive workplace culture that values respect and professionalism. Ultimately, this goal can increase employee happiness, reduce turnover, and foster employee loyalty. If they feel safe and valued, there is a much better chance your employees will stick with you for years to come.
  • Better compliance: Sexual harassment training is beneficial for your business in multiple ways, but it’s not just nice to provide; it’s legally required. The guidelines listed above are requirements for all employers with five or more employees. If these employers fail to provide the required training, they risk serious legal fines and penalties, which can be costly and tarnish your company’s reputation.
  • Awareness and prevention: With sexual harassment training, you aren’t just checking a box; rather, you are ensuring that you are increasing awareness about the problems that come with sexual harassment and arming them with the tools to prevent and respond to it. In this manner, the training helps to protect your staff, which is one of the most important duties an employer has.
  • Protect your business reputation: Very few companies can weather a major sexual harassment scandal. Even those who can will experience irreparable harm to the viability and longevity of their company. Protecting employees by showing your commitment to a harassment-free workplace is one of the best ways to protect your company’s reputation.

To meet the requirements of the law, employers must document the following for all employees who complete the training:

  • Employees’ names
  • The type of training they received
  • The date of the training
  • A sign-in sheet used (if used)
  • Certificates of participation (if issued)
  • Name of the training provider on the employer’s premises

Note that these regulations are in place to ensure a safe and respectful work environment for all and to prevent sexual harassment and abusive conduct. To learn more about California’s sexual harassment training requirements, contact CA HR Services today!