On August 30, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed urgency legislation to extend the deadline to provide certain employees required sexual harassment training until January 1, 2021. (Senate Bill 778). Last year, Senate Bill 1343 amended Government Code section 12950.1 to require employers with five or more employees to provide two hours of sexual harassment prevention training to all supervisory employees and one hour of sexual harassment prevention training to all nonsupervisory employees by January 1, 2020.
Employers who are currently rushing to meet the January 1, 2020 deadline can take a breather. The California legislature recognized that requiring employers who had their last training in 2018 to provide training in 2019 in order to meet the January 1, 2020 deadline would force employers to provide the training twice in a two year period. SB 778 addresses this issue by extending the deadline to provide the training to January 1, 2021. Employers who have already provided the training in 2019 are not required to provide the refresher training until two years after the date of the training, sometime in 2021.
There are several provisions that Senate Bill 778 did not change. Starting January 1, 2020, seasonal, temporary, or other employees who are hired to work for less than six months must be provided sexual harassment prevention training within 30 calendar days after their hire date or within the first 100 hours worked, whichever occurs first.
Government Code section 12950.1(a) still requires employers to provide the training to new nonsupervisory employees within six months of hire and to new supervisory employees within six months of hire or the assumption of a supervisory position. Other aspects of the training requirement did not change. The training must be presented by trainers or educators with the expertise in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. It must include practical examples and material on the prevention of abusive conduct. The subjects covered must include harassment on the basis of gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.