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  • Sean Cooney

California's New Employment Laws For 2019


  • Anti-sexual harassment training is now required for employers with at least 5 employees (threshold reduced from 50 employees)

  • 1 hour of anti-harassment training required for non-supervisory employees (training requirements previously applied to supervisory employees only)

On September 30, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a series of bills related to workplace sexual harassment and discrimination. The new bills, which arose out of the #MeToo movement, expand existing anti-harassment legislation and create new obligations for both large and small California employers.

Prior to the passage of SB 1343, employers with at least 50 employees have been required to provide training in the prevention of sexual harassment to all employees in a supervisory position. SB 1343 makes two key changes to this requirement.

Expands Requirements to Smaller Employers. The training requirement now applies to all employers with at least 5 employees. This means many small employers are now subject to the training requirement for the first time.

Creates New Training Requirements For Non-Supervisory Employees. Employers must provide at least one hour of sexual harassment prevention training to all non-supervisory employees. This training must be provided within six months of the employee’s assumption of either a supervisory or non-supervisory position. The training must be provided once every two years.

In addition, there are new sexual harassment training requirements for temporary or seasonal employees. Employers must provide sexual harassment prevention training to such employees within 30 calendar days after the hire date or within 100 hours worked if the employee will be employed for less than six months.

The new requirements go into effect on January 1, 2019. However, employers have until January 1, 2020 to become compliant with the new regulations. As a practical matter, this means employers must conduct training in 2019.

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