Aug. 31, 2018: INSURANCE JOURNAL - Bill to Expand Harassment Training Requirements Passes California Assembly

August 31, 2018

The California Assembly on Thursday voted unanimously on a plan to address workplace sexual harassment and expand a requirement for harassment training to small businesses.

Current law requires all employers with 50 or more employees to provide two hours of sexual harassment prevention training only to supervisors.

Senate Bill 1343, authored by state Sen. Holly J. Mitchell and sponsored by state Controller Betty T. Yee, would extend this requirement to employers with five or more employees, and ensure similar training in multiple languages for all workers.

Employers could comply with SB 1343 by directing employees to view California Department of Fair Employment and Housing online training, which the bill requires DFEH to produce in multiple languages, to raise employee awareness on harassment and discrimination in diverse work force sectors.

From 2005 to 2015, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received about 85,000 sexual harassment complaints. Of the charges that specified jobs, 14.2 percent came from the accommodation and food service industry, 13.4 percent came from retail trade, and 11.7 percent came from manufacturing.

The measure now returns to the Senate for concurrence on amendments. The Senate is expected to vote on SB 1343 by Friday before adjourning the 2017-18 session of the Legislature.