Harassment Training Deadline Extended, Clarified
Thursday, September 05, 2019
Governor Newsom signed “clean up” legislation to help clarify training deadlines for employers.
Some California employers now have until Jan. 1, 2021 to train employees on sexual harassment prevention—a one-year extension of the original Jan. 1, 2020 deadline.
The deadline was not extended for employers of seasonal and temporary employees, who are hired to work for less than six months. Starting Jan. 1, 2020, these employees must be trained within 30 calendar days after their hire date or within 100 hours worked, whichever occurs first.
Employer Training Deadlines
Under the new law, SB 778, all employees — supervisory and nonsupervisory — must be trained by Jan. 1, 2021.
Below is a quick breakdown for employers who’ve trained employees this year or in previous years.
|Year you last trained:||Next required training|
|2019||2021||SB 778 clarifies that employers who train their employees in 2019 aren’t required to provide refresher training until two years from the time the employee was trained.|
|2018||2020||SB 778 allows those employers who trained employees in 2018 to maintain their two-year cycle and still comply with the new January 1, 2021, deadline.|
|2017||2019||Employers who trained supervisors in 2017 under prior law, known as AB 1825, should still train those employees this year in order to maintain their two-year cycle.|
Last year, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed SB 1343, requiring all employers with five or more employees to provide sexual harassment prevention training to all employees — supervisors must receive two hours of training and nonsupervisory employees must receive one hour. Training must take place within six months of hire or promotion and every two years thereafter.Background
Shortly after SB 1343’s passage, many questions arose about how to coordinate the newly imposed training requirements with trainings provided earlier. As previously reported, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) took the position that in order to comply with the Jan. 1, 2020, deadline, employers who trained their employees in 2018 would need to train them again in 2019, resulting in those employees being trained twice within a two-year period.
Listening to employers’ concerns about this law’s unintended consequence, on Aug. 30, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 778 — emergency “clean-up” legislation that took effect immediately, extending the sexual harassment prevention training deadline under SB 1343 from Jan. 1, 2020, to Jan. 1, 2021.
Employers who trained their employees in 2018 can now maintain their two-year cycle and provide subsequent training in 2020 while still complying with the deadline. SB 778 also clarifies that employers who train their employees in 2019 aren’t required to provide refresher training until two years from the time the employee was trained.
The bill, however, does not affect the portion of the law addressing seasonal and temporary workers.