California DOFE Launches Free Sexual Harassment Prevention Tutorial Course

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Sexual harassment in California is a real problem and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing has come up with a plan to help deal with it. Employers are being held responsible and they have to let employees take part in free sexual harassment prevention training.

Deadline Given

Employers have been given until 1 January 2021 to provide the anti-sexual harassment training to their employees. This training is free and was launched on 20 May to take on the matter of sexual harassment at the workplace.

Training Requirements

Any employer that has five or more employees is expected to let them take part in the training. Each of the employees has to finish at least one hour of the sexual harassment prevention training if they are in non-managerial positions.

However, employees in supervisor or managerial positions have to finish at least two hours of the training. This is because these employees have to know the right way to deal with any incidents at the workplace. Often, sexual harassment in California will lead to further steps being taken and employees must know how to react.

The training that managers and supervisors have to take is not covered by the Department’s online training program.

Independent contractors and part-time or temporary workers must also be provided with the training. However, properly classified independent contractors do not have to be trained.

Why This Training?

In 2018, former Governor of California, Jerry Brown, signed into law Senate bill 1343 and it requires that employers who have five or more employees must provide them with the sexual harassment prevention training.

It was concluded that millions of California employees do not completely understand or know their responsibilities and rights under the anti-harassment laws. They might also not be aware of how to detect or report inappropriate behaviour.

At first, the deadline for the required training was set for January of 2020 but legislation introduced and signed into law in 2019 by Governor Gavin Newson saw the deadline get extended to 1 January.

How The Training Is Done

The anti-sexual harassment training can be finished in person, through a webinar or online. Since Covid-19 is currently making contact with others dangerous, many employers are giving the training to their employees online. The training is then completed through the Department or another official training provider.

Expectations 

It is expected of employers that newly-hired employees must finish the training within six months after they were hired or promoted. Additionally, all employees have to complete the training every two years after their initial training.

Any employees who were hired after 1 January 2021 will only be asked to read and acknowledge receipt of their new employer’s anti-harassment policy. This is only if they received training from their previous employer. It is the new employer’s responsibility to get a copy of the new employee’s training certificate from their old employee. Once the date of the new employee’s initial training has been determined, the additional required training dates can be determined.

Dealing With Sexual Harassment

If something inappropriate has happened, many seek a sexual harassment lawyer who serves all of California, as a company may not be based where the harassment took place.

It is not uncommon for harassment to happen during work outings or celebrations that take place at different venues. This does not mean the harassment should not be reported or is seen as something that has nothing to do with the workplace.

Victims of sexual harassment in California must not hesitate to hold the perpetrator accountable regardless of where the incident took place. At no point should a victim be made to feel that they are powerless – they have rights.

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About the Author: Andrea Parker

Andrea Parker is a reporter for Zobuz. She previously worked at Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Andrea is based in NYC and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe coffee addiction, she's a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.