In October 2017, the #MeToo movement opened the eyes of millions worldwide to the devastating and lasting impacts of sexual harassment in the workplace and beyond. While all states have some form of law that makes sexual harassment in the workplace illegal, most only require training for supervisors. In the wake of #MeToo, more states like California are implementing bills that mandate sexual harassment training for all employees and employers, even in the private sector. With the deadline for meeting the California Sexual Harassment Training requirements quickly approaching, you must ensure your training goes above and beyond.
What Constitutes Sexual Harassment in California?
Some individuals might think that what constitutes sexual harassment is obvious. However, it would be detrimental to assume that everyone knows what qualifies as harassment. Perhaps you’ve sat in a large conference room watching a training video with co-workers, or you’ve seen that very uncomfortable episode of The Office. Whatever your level of knowledge, California takes sexual harassment seriously, as well they should. The state is taking steps to ensure that all employers and non supervisory employees know the signs of sexual harassment and are empowered to prevent it. Here are just some examples of sexual harassment in the workplace:
- Derogatory comments, slurs, epithets, or jokes;
- Employment offers or other benefits in exchange for sexual favors;
- Leering or rude gestures;
- Graphic comments, sexually degrading words, sexually suggestive or obscene messages or invitations;
- Unwanted touching, such as back rubs, pats on the butt, pinching, or “accidental” brushes against your chest or other parts of your body.
Our California Anti-Harassment Training Course meets all the requirements of California law. Purchase your course here.
Mandated Actions Against Harassment
As far back as 1964, California law has made workplace sexual harassment illegal. Through the years, the state has continued taking a progressive lead in regulating how businesses handle sexual harassment allegations, take actionable steps to prevent it, and ensure exceptional training for all associates.
- Create Policy and Procedure
Developing policies and procedures that meet California Sexual Harassment guidelines is the first action step against harassment. California regulations mandate that it is the responsibility of employers to create an environment in the workplace that is free from harassment. Policies and procedures must address the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Additionally, they need to create a process that ensures the correct handling of sexual harassment complaints, such as confidentiality and response time.
- Distribute Literature
Sexual Harassment Law in California mandates that employers provide literature on preventing sexual harassment to all staff. To meet this requirement, executives must distribute government drafted or approved brochures and materials on sexual harassment. You can access The Facts About Sexual Harassment pamphlet on the DFEH website. However, organizations can provide their own literature as long as it meets the standards set by California legislation.
- Training for All Employees
The Governor of California approved Senate Bill 778, requiring all businesses with five or more employees to provide a minimum of two hours of sexual harassment training by January 1st, 2021. Moreover, all associates must attend the training, including supervisors and executives. Any new, supervisory and non-supervisory hires have up to six months to complete the required training.
- Prevent and Stop Harassment
This might seem like the obvious goal of such mandated requirements of California’s Sexual Harassment Training; however, if the #MeToo movement taught us anything, it has taught us that in the context of sexual harassment in the workplace, no one should ever make assumptions. It is the responsibility of companies, both private and public, to train all staff on sexual harassment--and it’s their responsibility to prevent it and stop it. Meaning, they must create a safe space to report any harassment claims without fear of being ignored or facing retaliation.
It has become mandatory for the workplace to provide educational literature on sexual harassment to their worker. Sometimes, it could be difficult to provide adequate training material.
Luckily, Arrow Up can incorporate a thorough training course to help reduce sexual harassment occurrences in your business.
Related Link: Has Sexual Harassment at Work Decreased Since #MeToo?
Ensure that Your Sexual Harassment Training Meets Requirements
It’s imperative when you set about the task of meeting the requirements of Sexual Harassment Training in California, that you utilize quality, approved training methods. As such, you should take appropriate measures when drafting your training sessions. These steps should include the following:
- Set appropriate training objectives,
- Check the minimum requirements that are included in your content,
- Verify that you are employing qualified trainers,
- Ensure that the modes of training are allowed, per California’s SB 778.
Want to see a sample of your purchase before you buy it? View our Sexual Harassment Prevention Training demo.
Meeting the Deadline for Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training
It has been said, “Knowing is half the battle.” What this means is that once you have the knowledge, you must do something about it. Knowing that training is mandated and designing your training sessions is only a part of the process. Originally, SB 778 set the deadline for mandatory training as of January 1, 2020. However, this date has been extended to January 1, 2021.
It’s likely that the current lockdowns have forced delayed reactions for meeting the California Sexual Harassment Training deadline. However, this is no time to wait. Planning out your sessions can take time, not to mention that putting them into action will as well. Thankfully, you are not alone.
At Arrow Up Training, we want to help businesses rise to the occasion and provide quality sexual harassment training.
The #MeToo movement showed the world how crucial it is that everyone takes up the cause of preventing and stopping sexual harassment in the workplace. This issue is not something to procrastinate on. When employees see that their leaders, managers, supervisors, and executives are taking workplace sexual harassment seriously, they will follow suit.
Have more questions about California Sexual Harassment Training requirements? Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.