CA Harassment Training Mandate


By:  Dale Mask

California Assembly Bill 1825 (CA AB 1825)

Employers with 50 or more employees must provide two hours of training and education to all supervisory employees within one year of January 1, 2005. An employer is exempt if it has provided sexual harassment training and education to employees after January 1, 2003. Effective January 1, 2006, each employer must provide sexual harassment training and education to each supervisory employee once every two years.

Governor Schwarzenegger has signed Assembly Bill 1825 (AB 1825) requiring California employers of 50 or more to provide supervisors with two hours of sexual harassment training every two years.

To determine the number of employees you have, you must include temporary service employees and independent contractors.  As the law does not specifically state the 50 employees must work within California, the law will apply to California employers with 50 total employees no matter where they work.

Because the law requires supervisory training, you must also determine which employees have "supervisory authority." 

This term is loosely defined to include anyone having the authority to exercise independent judgment to:

  • Hire, fire, lay off, promote, assign, reward, or discipline employees;

  • Direct the work activities of other employees; or

  • Effectively recommend any of these actions.

With this loose definition, it seems likely that employees who make recommendations to managers on these issues must receive training whether or not they have the title of “supervisor.”

Implementation of AB1825 CA Harassment Training

Phase One

  • Supervisors employed as of July 1, 2005 must receive two hours of training by January 1, 2006.

  • Supervisors hired or promoted into a supervisory position after July 1, 2005 must complete the training within six months of hire or promotion. Supervisors who have received training after January 1, 2003 need not be re-trained by January 1, 2006.

Phase Two

  • Beginning January 1, 2006, the law requires ongoing training for all supervisors within six months of becoming supervisors.

  • Plus, supervisors must be given at least two hours of anti-harassment training every two years.

The Training Must Include

  • Information and practical guidance regarding both federal and state sexual harassment laws

  • Information on how to prevent and correct harassment

  • Information on available remedies to victims

Also, the training must be "interactive." This means that video training would not be sufficient without some sort of discussion, and a question and answer session or other similar techniques led by a qualified trainer. However, online training that includes interactive components developed by qualified experts would meet the law's requirements.

Training itself does not provide a defense to a claim of sexual harassment, however, according to the CA Chamber of Commerce, the failure to train “…may be looked upon by a court as grounds for punitive damages in a sexual harassment lawsuit.”

What to Do?

  • Communicate the new legal requirement to upper level management

  • Update all harassment policies and procedures

  • Implement an ongoing harassment training program

  • Identify who should be trained

  • Create a documented tracking system regarding supervisory training on harassment

By:  Dale Mask

© 2015 Alliance Training and Consulting, Inc.



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