California brokers: you were likely aware of the law passed last year requiring employers with five or more employees to provide sexual harassment training by January 1, 2020. A recent change was passed to give you more time to provide this training.

Now, by January 1, 2021, employers of five or more employees need to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment prevention training to all supervisory employees. Additionally, employers will need to provide at least one hour of training to all nonsupervisory employees. This training will need to be completed within six months of hiring a new employee and repeated once every two years.

How does this law affect brokers employing sales agents and other independent contractors?
California’s Department of Fair Housing and Employment specifies that independent contractors are included when employers are determining whether they are required to provide the training. For example, when a broker employs three regular employees and two independent contractors, they will need to provide training, as they have five or more employees. The same is true of brokers with unpaid interns or volunteers. However, the independent contractors do not need to be present for training, only the broker’s regular employees.

Brokers and other employers who already provided this training in 2019 may wait two years to repeat the training — they do not need to repeat the training before the 2021 deadline.

The training may be provided:

  • in a classroom setting or through another interactive training method;
  • individually or as part of a group; and
  • in a single setting or broken up into shorter segments.

The training will consist of information regarding:

  • federal and state laws on the prohibition and prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace;
  • resolutions available to victims of sexual harassment in employment;
  • practical examples aimed at supervisors for preventing sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation; and
  • the prohibition of harassment based on gender identity, expression and sexual orientation.

The training will be delivered by trainers or educators with knowledge or expertise in the prevention of harassment, discrimination and retaliation. The training will also include a way for employees who have completed the training to print and save a certificate of completion.

Employers who want to go above and beyond these minimum training requirements are welcome to provide additional training.

Related article:

Employer responsibilities to correct harassment in the workplace expanded