Being a business owner in California requires you to be aware of all of the developments that are constantly taking place regarding the legal requirements for those operating within the state. One such new development that you may or may not be aware of is a law known as SB 1343, a sexual harassment training law that was passed on October 1, 2018, and became a requirement as of January 1. Those who have already heard this news have most likely begun implementing the changes in their business that is required by law. Those who have not heard of this law, however, must make sure that they learn about it and figure out what they must do to meet these new requirements. If you have not yet heard of SB 1343, let’s take a look at what it entails and what it will mean for your business.

What Is SB 1343?

To better understand the impact of SB 1343 and how it functions, we first have to understand the existing laws that covered the same issues. The first law regarding sexual harassment training was the Assembly Bill 1825, which required private sector employers with at least 50 employees and all public employers to give two hours of sexual harassment training to supervisory employees within six months of hiring them and then every two years afterward.

SB 1343 effectively changed this current law by lowering the threshold to five employees and even requiring nonsupervisory employees to receive this sexual harassment training every two years as well. The same laws apply to supervisory employees as they did before. However  nonsupervisory employees will only need to take an hour of the same type of training and then follow through every two years, much like the supervisory employees.

SB 1343 also adds requirements to the current laws, such as:

  • Employees must put seasonal employees through sexual harassment training within 30 calendar days after the initial hire date or within 100 hours worked if the employee will only be working less than six months. Services that provide temporary employment must also provide sexual harassment training, not the clients who the employees will work for.
  • Training can be conducted as a group or individually and may be broken down into smaller sessions as long as the requirements are met.

What does this mean for my business?

The biggest thing to keep in mind when it comes to SB 1343 is that a deadline must be met by employers in California. Employers must give proper training to supervisory and nonsupervisory personnel by January 1, 2020. If you do not provide your employees with the proper training, you will be held liable if something should happen in the workplace. It is important that you do all the necessary research and take the proper steps to make sure that your requirements are met sometime in 2019.

That being said, the most difficult part can often be searching for the training. While the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is required by law to develop and provide these types of programs as well as the content and tools that go along with educational courses, a number of providers are out there to give you an excellent SB1343 training program to give to your employees. As long as you know the law and do what you need to do, you will be guaranteed to be up to date on all of your sexual harassment training requirements.

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