California enhances rules for workplace sexual harassment prevention training
California is taking steps to ensure workplaces are safer and harassment-free for employees. Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed a new bill that will require more employers to provide sexual harassment prevention training. The measure, along with several others, was passed in response to a larger conversation about sexual harassment at both the state and national levels.
Under SB1343, employers with five or more workers will be required to provide sexual harassment prevention training to both supervisors and non-supervisory employees by January 1, 2020. The law builds on the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, which mandates employers with 50 or more employees to provide supervisors with at least two hours of sexual harassment prevention training every two years.
The new measure greatly expands the number of California employers who must provide training. It also extends the training obligation to all employees in non-supervisory positions. According to state Sen. Holly Mitchell, who authored the bill, around 15.5 million workers will be affected.
Mitchell stressed the importance of protecting all employees. While the #MeToo movement drew attention to high-profile sexual harassment cases, she highlighted the “undeniable” fact that “sexual harassment also occurs in less-glamorous workplaces” such as the restaurant industry and corporate offices.