On August 30, 2019 Governor Newsom signed legislation (SB 778) which extends the deadline to complete the anti-harassment training from January 1, 2020 until January 1, 2021. The bill also provides clarification on the timing of retraining requirements for employees who already received training in 2018 or 2019.
Last year, California enacted legislation which imposed the requirement upon employers with 5 or more employees to conduct anti-harassment training for all employees – supervisory and non-supervisory and including temporary and seasonal employees. Previously training was only required for employers of 50 or more employees.
The revised training required one hour for non-supervisory employees and two hours for supervisory employees, every two years. The deadline for compliance was set for January 1, 2020. This prior bill also indicated that supervisory employees must be re-trained even if they had completed anti-harassment training in 2018. In support of this position, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) had taken the position that any employee (supervisory or otherwise) who completed anti-harassment training in 2018 would need to receive it again in 2019, to satisfy the January 1, 2020 deadline.
Now, SB 778 has clarified that employees who are or were trained in 2019 do not need to be retrained until two years have passed, and then every two years thereafter. So with the training deadline extension, employers who trained in 2018 will now have the opportunity to train again in 2020, instead of 2019. The new amendments also clarify that both new hires in supervisory positions and those promoted into supervisory jobs must be trained within six months of starting the position.
This bill is effective immediately as it was signed as “urgency” legislation.
Nothing has been revised with SB 778 as to the training requirements. The training must be interactive, the trainer must meet certain criteria to be qualified to conduct the training and the training can be done in a group setting or individually.
To assist employees with the training, DFEH is required to develop sample online training courses for both supervisory and non-supervisory personnel.