California Employers who have at least 50 employees are required to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment training to their supervisors and managers every two years. New supervisors and managers must be trained within six months. This requirement exists in the Fair Employment & Housing Act at Govt. Code Sec. 12950.1.
The training has to be interactive, must be conducted by a qualified trainer, and must cover at least:
- the policy against sexual harassment
- definitions of sexual harassment
- descriptions and examples of sexual harassment
- responding to events of sexual harassment
- preventing sexual harassment
- protection against sexual orientation and gender identity harassment
- bullying in the workplace
A 2005 survey indicated more than 60% of California start-up companies had no sexual harassment policy as is required by state and federal law. In reality, probably more than 90% of California small businesses fail to have sexual harassment policies that include prohibitions against same-sex harassment and gender identity harassment. Failure to have a written policy and statement against harassment is a violation of the law itself, which requires employers to take all measures available to prevent such harassment from occurring in the first place.
The Lesson: Maintain an up-to-date policy, and train your supervisors and managers if you have at last 50 employees.