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SB-1343 Employers: sexual harassment training: requirements.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/20/2018 04:00 AM
SB1343:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 19, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 1343


Introduced by Senator Mitchell

February 16, 2018


An act to amend Sections 12950 and 12950.1 of the Government Code, relating to employment.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1343, as amended, Mitchell. Employers: sexual harassment training: requirements.
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act makes specified employment practices unlawful, including the harassment of an employee directly by the employer or indirectly by agents of the employer with the employer’s knowledge. The act requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide at least 2 hours of prescribed training and education regarding sexual harassment, abusive conduct, and harassment based upon gender, as specified, to all supervisory employees within 6 months of their assumption of a supervisory position and once every 2 years, as specified.
This bill would instead require an employer who employs 5 or more employees to provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment training to all employees by January 1, 2020, and once every 2 years after that, as specified. The bill would require the Department of Fair Employment and Housing to develop a 2-hour video training course on the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace workplace, as specified, and to post it so that it available for streaming or downloading on the department’s Internet Web site. The bill would also require the department to provide existing informational posters and information posters and fact sheets, as well as the Internet training videos regarding sexual harassment prevention, available to employers, in employers and to members of the public in specified alternate languages. languages on the department’s Internet Web site.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 12950 of the Government Code is amended to read:

12950.
 In addition to employer responsibilities set forth in subdivisions (j) and (k) of Section 12940 and in rules adopted by the department and the council, every employer shall act to ensure a workplace free of sexual harassment by implementing the following minimum requirements:
(a) (1)  The department shall amend its current department’s poster on discrimination in employment to shall include information relating to the illegality of sexual harassment. This amended poster shall be distributed to employers when the supply of the current poster is exhausted. One copy of the amended poster shall be provided by the department to an employer or a member of the public upon request. The amended poster shall be available at each office of the department, and shall be mailed if the request includes a self-addressed envelope with postage affixed. Multiple copies of the amended poster shall be made available online by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Each employer shall post the amended poster in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace.
(2) Post a poster developed by the department regarding transgender rights in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace.
(3) Provide sexual harassment training as required by Section 12950.1.
(b) Each employer shall obtain from the department its information sheet on sexual harassment, which the department shall make available to employers for reproduction and distribution to employees. One copy of the information sheet shall be provided by the department to an employer or a member of the public upon request. The information sheets shall be available at each office of the department, and shall be mailed if the request includes a self-addressed envelope with postage affixed. Multiple copies of the information sheet shall be made available online by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Each employer shall distribute this information sheet to its employees, unless the employer provides equivalent information to its employees that contains, at a minimum, components on the following:
(1) The illegality of sexual harassment.
(2) The definition of sexual harassment under applicable state and federal law.
(3) A description of sexual harassment, utilizing examples.
(4) The internal complaint process of the employer available to the employee.
(5) The legal remedies and complaint process available through the department.
(6) Directions on how to contact the department.
(7) The protection against retaliation provided by Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations for opposing the practices prohibited by this article or for filing a complaint with, or otherwise participating in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing conducted by, the department or the council.
(8) A link to to, or the Internet Web site address for, the sexual harassment training video developed pursuant to Section 12950.1 and located on the Internet Web site of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
(c) The information sheet or information required to be distributed to employees pursuant to subdivision (b) shall be delivered in a manner that ensures distribution to each employee, such as including the information sheet or information with an employee’s pay.
(d) The Department of Fair Employment and Housing shall make these materials the poster, fact sheet, and training video available in at least three alternate languages and shall provide them to an employer upon request. English, Spanish, Mandarin, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean, and any other language that is spoken by a “substantial number of non-English-speaking people,” as that phrase is defined in Section 7296.2. The department shall make versions of the training video with subtitles in each language and shall orally dub the video into each language other than English. Simplified Chinese shall be sufficient for subtitling purposes.
(e) The department shall make the poster, fact sheet, and training video required by this section, and the corresponding translations, available to employers and to the public through its Internet Web site in formats that may be streamed or downloaded.

(e)

(f) Notwithstanding subdivisions (j) and (k) of Section 12940, a claim that the information sheet or information required to be distributed pursuant to this section did not reach a particular individual or individuals shall not in and of itself result in the liability of any employer to any present or former employee or applicant in any action alleging sexual harassment. Conversely, an employer’s compliance with this section does not insulate the employer from liability for sexual harassment of any current or former employee or applicant.

(f)

(g) If an employer violates the requirements of this section, the department may seek an order requiring the employer to comply with these requirements.

SEC. 2.

 Section 12950.1 of the Government Code is amended to read:

12950.1.
 (a) By January 1, 2020, an employer having 5 or more employees shall provide at least two hours of classroom or other effective interactive training and education regarding sexual harassment to all employees in California within six months of their assumption of a position. An employer who has provided this training and education to an employee after January 1, 2019, is not required to provide training and education by the January 1, 2020, deadline. After January 1, 2020, each employer covered by this section shall provide sexual harassment training and education to each employee in California once every two years. The training and education required by this section shall include information and practical guidance regarding the federal and state statutory provisions concerning the prohibition against and the prevention and correction of sexual harassment and the remedies available to victims of sexual harassment in employment. The training and education shall also include practical examples aimed at instructing supervisors in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, and shall be presented by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.
(b) An employer shall also include prevention of abusive conduct as a component of the training and education specified in subdivision (a).
(c) An employer shall also provide training inclusive of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation as a component of the training and education specified in subdivision (a). The training and education shall include practical examples inclusive of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, and shall be presented by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in those areas.
(d) The state shall incorporate the training required by subdivisions (a) to (c), inclusive, into the 80 hours of training provided to all new employees pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 19995.4, using existing resources.
(e) Notwithstanding subdivisions (j) and (k) of Section 12940, a claim that the training and education required by this section did not reach a particular individual or individuals shall not in and of itself result in the liability of any employer to any present or former employee or applicant in any action alleging sexual harassment. Conversely, an employer’s compliance with this section does not insulate the employer from liability for sexual harassment of any current or former employee or applicant.
(f) If an employer violates this section, the department may seek an order requiring the employer to comply with these requirements.
(g) The training and education required by this section is intended to establish a minimum threshold and should not discourage or relieve any employer from providing for longer, more frequent, or more elaborate training and education regarding workplace harassment or other forms of unlawful discrimination in order to meet its obligations to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent and correct harassment and discrimination.
(h) (1) For purposes of this section only, “employer” means any person regularly employing 5 or more persons or regularly receiving the services of 5 or more persons providing services pursuant to a contract, or any person acting as an agent of an employer, directly or indirectly, the state, or any political or civil subdivision of the state, and cities.
(2) For purposes of this section, “abusive conduct” means conduct of an employer or employee in the workplace, with malice, that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to an employer’s legitimate business interests. Abusive conduct may include repeated infliction of verbal abuse, such as the use of derogatory remarks, insults, and epithets, verbal or physical conduct that a reasonable person would find threatening, intimidating, or humiliating, or the gratuitous sabotage or undermining of a person’s work performance. A single act shall not constitute abusive conduct, unless especially severe and egregious.
(i) For purposes of providing training to employees as required by this section, an employer may develop his or her own two-hour training module or may direct employees to view the training video referenced in subdivision (j).
(j) The Department of Fair Employment and Housing shall develop and make available on its Internet Web site, a two-hour video training course on the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace in accordance with the provisions of this section.