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Last year, the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 1343 cascaded the requirement for sexual harassment training to all California employers with 5 or more employees. Prior to SB 1343, sexual harassment training was only required for California employers with 50 or more employees, and limited to supervisory personnel, requiring two hours of sexual harassment training within six months of hire, then every two years thereafter.

SB 1343 required all California employer with 5 or more employees, including temporary or seasonal employees, to provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees and at least one hour of sexual harassment training to all nonsupervisory employees by January 1, 2020. SB 1343 included no grace period for employers who completed the training in 2018, as required, and there was little direction from the Department of Fair Employment and Housing on how an employer could meet this commitment since the Department was allowing themselves most of 2019 to develop a training plan to roll out to employers.

Governor Newsom listened to the cries for help from employers and signed SB 778 which went into effect immediately on August 30th. The new legislation pushes back the deadline for training nonsupervisory employees until January 1, 2021. In addition, SB 778 clarified that any supervisory employee who received training in 2018 or 2019 as required under the prior law, could remain compliant if supervisors continue with the training biannually.

COUNSEL TO MANAGEMENT:

Although a win for employers, SB 778 only provides a reprieve of time for employers. The requirement to train all employees is still in effect and employers should not sit on their laurels for the next year. The law provides specific details regarding requirements of content, duration, frequency, training methods and trainer qualifications. If you have any questions about moving forward to ensure your company is compliant with SB 1343, contact the experts at the Saqui Law Group, a division of Dowling Aaron Incorporated.

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