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How to Comply With California’s New Requirement to Provide Anti-Harassment Training on Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Sexual Orientation

On October 15, 2017, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 396, a new law that requires employers in California with 50 or more employees to provide training on policies that prohibit harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. This training is to be provided as a component of the already-required two-hour sexual harassment training provided to supervisory employees once every two years and within six months of an employee’s assumption of a supervisory position.

California Expands Harassment Training Requirements

On October 15, 2017, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 396 into law. California employers with 50 or more employees currently must provide two hours of sexual harassment training for supervisors every two years. This legislation expands the subjects that the mandatory supervisor training must include.

New California Bill Would Require Sexual Harassment Training to Include Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Harassment

As introduced, Senate Bill 396 by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) dealt with medical residence training programs. However, recently the contents of the bill were stripped out and replaced with new and unrelated language (a procedure referred to as a “gut and amend” in legislative lingo). The new language proposes to expand California employers’ obligations regarding sexual harassment training.

California’s Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training Requirements Amended

New California Fair Employment and Housing Act regulations that went into effect April 1, 2016, requiring employers to have a discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and prevention policy also set new benchmarks for mandatory sexual harassment training procedures.

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