On April 1, 2016, amended regulations under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act will take effect. Any employers with employees in California should make sure they are in compliance with the new regulations:
Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation Policy
Employers must implement a written harassment, discrimination and retaliation prevention policy that is distributed to all employees and obtain acknowledgments that the employees have received and understand the policy. Employers must distribute the policy using one or more of the following methods:
- Printing out the policy and providing it to all employees, along with an acknowledgment form for the employee to sign and return;
- Sending it by e-mail, with an acknowledgment-of-receipt form;
- Posting it on the company’s intranet, with a tracking system that ensures that all employees have read the policy and acknowledged receiving the policy;
- Discussing the policy at the time of hire or during an employee’s orientation; and/or
- Any other way that makes certain that the policy is received and understood; and
- Translate their policy into languages spoken by at least 10 percent of their workforce.
Employers must create and maintain adequate methods for employees to bring complaints and methods for investigating these complaints. Complaints must be:
- Designated as confidential, to the extent possible;
- Responded to in a timely manner;
- Investigated in a timely and impartial manner by qualified personnel;
- Documented and tracked for reasonable progress;
- Provided appropriate options for remedial actions and resolutions; and
- Closed in a timely manner.
Training requirements, which apply to employers with 50 or more employees, have been updated with:
- New documentation and recordkeeping requirements; and,
- New content requirements, including: addressing the negative effects of abusive conduct in the workplace; supervisors’ obligations to report misconduct; and the steps that can be taken to correct and remedy harassing behavior.