As an employer, you have certain responsibilities to your employees. Not only are you responsible for providing them with a safe working environment with well-maintained facilities and equipment, but you also need to do your best to provide a place in which they are free from harassment, including sexual harassment. In some places, like California, there are laws in place to help prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, including a recent law that has to do with sexual harassment training.
As of 2020, business owners in California with five or more employees are now required by law to provide their employees with sexual harassment training every two years. This training must be “effective” and “interactive,” according to California law, and there are different requirements for supervisors and non-supervisory employees. Employers can’t simply provide their employees with written information on the topic or direct them to a website on the subject. They have to actually provide them with one to two hours of training, which is to be conducted by a subject matter expert. California employers without a human resources department to handle such matters must find a suitable, interactive online course, or bring in an expert to conduct an in-person training session with their employees.
Because this training requirement is now the law of the land in California (Government Code Section 12950.1), insurance companies are also starting to require proof that the training has been completed. California businesses that are unable to show proof of completion may be denied insurance coverage until they meet the law’s requirements, so it’s best for a business to have the training completed before their insurance company asks for documentation.
Fortunately for small business owners, this law is one of the easier ones to abide by. It requires relatively little from a business in terms of time or resources to stay in compliance with the law. Online courses are available that employees can complete on their own, but some small business owners prefer to hold in-person training sessions to ensure that everyone takes part in the required training by the given deadline. If you have a qualified person on staff, such as someone in your human resources department who is familiar with sexual harassment issues, you could certainly have him or her conduct the training. But if you don’t have anyone in-house, you can bring in an outside person or company that is familiar with the law’s requirements, and that will provide you with the needed documentation following the training session.
If your small business in California has never required its employees to undergo sexual harassment training, it is already out of compliance with California law, since the latest training deadline was January 1, 2023. Employers would be wise to schedule their sexual harassment training session as soon as possible. Not doing so could make your company liable, should any of your employees experience sexual harassment in the workplace, or your insurance could lapse until the training is completed.
To learn more about this and other workplace compliance issues for small businesses in California, visit the Diamond Touch Strategies website.short url: