October 19, 2021

Volume XI, Number 292

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October 18, 2021

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California Compliance Deadline for Harassment Prevention Training Still Set for January 1, 2021

In 2018, California law extended anti-harassment training requirements to employers with 5 employees or more and mandated that non-supervisors also receive such training, in addition to supervisors. The original deadline for completion of that training was January 1, 2020.  Current California law requires employers with 5 or more employees to provide one (1) hour of sexual harassment prevention training to nonsupervisory employees and two (2) hours of sexual harassment prevention training to supervisors and managers.  This interactive training must occur every two years and must include prevention of abusive conduct as a component, among several other topics required to be covered.

In 2019, California Governor Newsom signed legislation extending the deadline under California Government Code section 12950.1 for initial compliance to January 1, 2021. The amendment to the California Government Code also clarified that an employer that provided sexual harassment training in 2019 is compliant with the training requirements and is not required to provide training again for two years.

Many employers delayed training in early 2020, due to COVID-19 stay at home orders and hoped by summer they could reschedule. As in-person training continues to be difficult under state and county guidance, many employers thought the Governor might further extend the deadline.

However, much like the state minimum wage increase set for January 1, 2020, neither the California legislature nor the Governor have made any moves to extend the deadline for compliance despite the ongoing pandemic.  The January 1, 2021 compliance deadline to provide sexual harassment training remains.

While providing employees in-person training may not be feasible, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) allows for training to occur live in a classroom, online, or in “any other effective, interactive format.” Training may be completed by employees individually or as part of a group presentation and may be completed in segments as long as the total hourly requirement is met.

Regardless of how training is completed, employers should remember to retain records of all employees’ training for a minimum of two years.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume X, Number 240
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About this Author

Susan E. Groff, Jackson Lewis, disability accommodation lawyer, protected absence attorney
Principal

Susan E. Groff is a Principal in the Los Angeles, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She advises and counsels management on various employment related issues.

Ms. Groff advises employers on complying with federal and California requirements for disability accommodation and protected leaves of absence.

In addition, Ms. Groff counsels employers on a host of other employment issues, including wage and hour laws, harassment and discrimination complaints, workplace investigations,...

213-689-0404
Joelle Mervin Labor & Employment Attorney
Associate

Joelle A. Mervin is an Associate in the Los Angeles, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C.  Her practice focuses on representing employers in workplace law matters, including preventive advise and counseling.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Ms. Mervin was an attorney at the National Labor Relations Board where she investigated and litigated allegations of unfair labor practices in various industries including healthcare, entertainment, and manufacturing.  Previously, she practiced education law and provided advice and counsel to clients on general education...

213-689-0404
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