New Requirements in California for Sexual Harassment Training

Sexual harassment and abusive conduct training is a good thing, but couldn’t these regulations be a little more clear?

Over the course of a few years and with the making of a couple important movements, the world has been served a wake-up call to the realities of sexual harassment and otherwise abusive workplace cultures. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is answering that call by amending the law that requires Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct training to include a wider net of employers, and the deadline to be in compliance is coming up!

This is a policy you’ll want to stay on top of because it’s a step in the direction toward ending
workplace harassment and helping you and your employees thrive in a healthier environment.
So here’s the nitty gritty for food and beverage owners.

All California businesses with five or more employees must provide Sexual Harassment and
Abusive Conduct training to all employees by January 1, 2021. Note the date y'all, there’s been
an extension
. By “all employees”, DFEH means any “full-time, part-time, and temporary employees, unpaid
interns, unpaid volunteers, and persons providing services pursuant to a contract (independent
contractors).” And that includes those in supervisory roles.

What’s a supervisor? Well, if someone has, “... authority to hire, fire, assign, transfer, discipline,
or reward other employees” then they’re a supervisor says DFEH. They take it even further to
state, “A supervisor is also anyone with the authority to effectively recommend (but not
necessarily take) these actions if exercising that authority requires the use of independent
judgment.” So if you’re the owner of a business, then you too get to participate in the mandatory
sexual harassment and abusive conduct training.

But not all employees must be trained equally. The amended bill requires that non-supervisory
employees receive one hour, and supervisory employees receive two hours of sexual
harassment and abusive conduct prevention classroom training or other comparably interactive
training. All new hires must complete the training within six months of employment. Employers
are also responsible to provide this training every two years.

So here’s another layer — you have to make sure you’re providing your employees the correct
sexual harassment and abusive conduct preventative training. You can go two ways to ensure
that. Either hire a trainer that meets a few very specific qualifications
, or you can visit the DFEH website that, as stated in the bill, must provide both training courses in lieu of paying a trainer and will be available later this year.

And lastly — drum roll please, the moment you’ve all been waiting for — yes there is paperwork.
Employers are required to keep documentation of training for at least two years. Documentation
should include: names of employees, dates of training, signatures, copies of certifications, type
of training performed, any material used in the training and, last but not least, the name of the

That was a lot of stuff to pack into a blog, but the moral of the story is — training is a good thing.
California is putting processes into practice to help you help your employees be better
people and treat each other with kindness. Who knows, maybe this is taking us one step closer
to world peace. So sure it’s another regulation added to a long list of regulations
 that you have to constantly
think about, but it’s all for the greater good. If you’re looking for more information or want to
watch out for any date changes, you can find all you need on the California Department of Fair
Employment and Housing website.


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Ashley Lange is a content writer for, the #1 job site for the food and drink industry. Poached is devoted to making the process of hiring and being hired faster, easier and more thorough — so you can do it well and less often


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