January 19, 2020

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California Governor Newsom Extends Employers’ Deadline to Comply with Anti-Harassment Training Requirements

On August 30, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 778, which amends Section 12950.1 of the California Government Code. SB 778 extends California employers’ obligation from January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021, to comply with sexual harassment trainings as outlined under California Government Code section 12950.1.

Please recall, per Govt. Code section 12950.1, an employer with 5 or more employees must provide at least 2 hours of interactive training regarding sexual harassment to all supervisory employees and at least 1 hour of interactive training regarding sexual harassment to all nonsupervisory employees within 6 months of their assumption of a position. The deadline initially imposed was January 1, 2020. Please find a Jackson Lewis article discussing these obligations here.

SB 778 amends Govt. Code section 12950.1 to instead require that an employer with 5 or more employees provide the sexual harassment training by January 1, 2021, and once every 2 years thereafter. This bill further clarifies that an employer who has provided sexual harassment training in 2019, is compliant with the training requirements and is not required to provide it again until 2 years thereafter. Accordingly, as the training deadline extends to January 1, 2021, employers who trained in 2018 will now have the opportunity to train again in 2020, instead of 2019. This extension addresses employers’ confusion with the compliance training deadlines.

SB 778 took effect immediately on the Governor’s signing as an urgency statute.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020


About this Author

Kate L. Brown Employment Attorney Jackson Lewis

Kate L. Brown is an Associate in the San Francisco, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Her practice focuses on representing employers in workplace law matters, including preventive advice and counseling.

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

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, reductions in force, and discipline and termination questions. She also conducts training seminars on employment related issues, including sexual harassment prevention training.