Training Guidelines to Sexual Harassment Prevention in California

Author Headshot Written by Liz McDermott

Sexual Harassment Training California

Since California employers with five or more employees must provide sexual harassment prevention training, it's important to understand all the details in order to avoid non-compliance fines.

Vubiz's award-winning California sexual harassment training has been helping businesses of all sizes stay compliant. Online courses are continually updated for businesses seeking a simple solution to meet State laws. In short, the best advice for California employers is to train everyone before starting their first day on the job.

This article covers everything you need to know about California's harassment prevention training requirements.


Definition of Sexual Harassment

It is illegal to harass someone (an applicant or employee) because of their sex. Sexual harassment, which consists of unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature, is just one example. Offensive remarks about a person's sex are not required to be of a sexual nature, and harassment can occur whether or not they are. For example, a woman might be harassed by discriminatory remarks about women in general.

Victims of sexual harassment and offenders can be either male or female, and offenders and victims can be the same sex. Although simple teasing, offhand comments, and isolated incidents that are not particularly serious are not illegal, harassment is when it happens so frequently or is so severe that it creates an uncomfortable or offensive environment or causes an adverse employment decision (such as dismissal or demotion). It is possible for the harasser to be an individual's supervisor, a manager in another department, a co-worker, or someone else.


Definition of Abusive Conduct

Verbal or physical abuse may include abusive behavior such as insults, put-downs, coarse language, or other types of verbal or physical behavior that a reasonable person would deem threatening, intimidating, or humiliating. A person's job performance may be sabotaged or undermined without good reason.


Tracking California’s Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Laws


States across America have now signed into law that employers must provide workplace harassment training in addition to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Federal and State Statutory Bills work together to provide a safe working environment for employees and fight against harassment.


Sexual Harassment Training California AB 1825

California’s Harassment Assembly Bill 1825, which California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed on September 30, 2004, is a California state law that requires employers to provide sexual harassment training and education in the workplace. The law established that all California businesses with 50 or more full-time, part-time, temporary employees or contractors residing in California would be required to provide training in sexual harassment to supervisory employees every two years. AB 1825 went into effect on August 17, 2007, under the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

On October 15th, 2017, SB-396 California State requirements were updated to include training covering discrimination against gender expression, sexual orientation, and gender identity.


Sexual Harassment Training California SB 1343

California's SB 1343 law was passed in 2018, expanding sexual harassment prevention training requirements and affecting many more organizations. It requires employers with five or more employees to provide non-supervisory employees with one hour of sexual harassment training every two years in addition to the two hours of supervisory training already in place.


California Sexual Harassment Training Requirements Today

As of January 1, 2021, California law requires employers with five or more employees to provide two hours of sexual harassment and abuse prevention training for all new and existing supervisory employees. All nonsupervisory employees must also receive sexual harassment and abuse prevention training, which must be at least one hour long.

In addition to providing California-based employees with training, businesses must also provide training to all their employees, even if they work in different locations or live outside of California. Employees are required to finish all training within six months of hire. Temporary and seasonal employees, such as independent contractors, volunteers, or unpaid interns hired to work less than six months, must also take sexual harassment training.

Training must be completed within 30 days of their start date or before they work 100 hours, whichever comes first. Businesses must keep certificates of completion on employee records, and employees must be retrained every two years. Employers should preferably use elearning platforms to increase accessibility to training.


Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Frequency

Training must take place every two years. Employers must provide training and keep records of completed courses for each worker.


What is California Sexual Harassment Training?


The goal of sexual harassment training is to provide workers with examples of abusive behavior, gender identity expression, sexual relationships, and gender-based harassment, among others. In California, sexual harassment in the workplace is defined as a type of workplace harassment. This training must include practical examples and is meant to educate everyone at work, remind them of what constitutes sexual harassment, and inform them of what it is.

California law requires employers to provide sexual harassment and abusive conduct training, so the employer bears the responsibility, including any costs. Workers must receive the training as part of their employment; it must be provided during their working hours, and they are not required to take it during their personal time or annual leave.


What subjects should sexual harassment prevention training cover?

All training must include informational content and hypothetical scenarios on both federal and state law, as well as sexual harassment and sexual misconduct, including practical examples of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Training must include a component on the prevention of abusive conduct as well as a component on harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. According to the training requirements, victims of sexual harassment must be informed of the corrective procedures and remedies available to them.


Interactive Online Courses Support Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

Employers in California may provide classroom education with a qualified trainer or online training. Interactive online courses provide a positive experience for workers while providing businesses with training progress tracking and easy recordkeeping. An added benefit of online training for California employers is the ability to deploy sexual harassment and discrimination prevention training to a dispersed workforce and make it accessible to all employees, wherever they are.


Sexual Harassment Courses

California requires that nonsupervisory employees receive at least one hour of sexual harassment prevention training and that supervisory employees receive at least two hours. However, offering more sexual harassment prevention training at your workplace could be advantageous for both customers and employees. It would continue to provide awareness of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, consequently reducing instances of misconduct and complaints.

For more information, please contact us to inquire about our California Sexual Harassment Prevention training.