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California DFEH: Train ‘Em Again and Again

by D. Gregory Valenza | | December 2, 2018

Everybody knows AB 1825 requires larger California employers to train supervisors every two years, within six months of hire or promotion, etc.  The mandated training primarily addresses sexual harassment, but must include other elements such as “abusive conduct” not based on sex, and more.

However, some people don’t yet know that, as part of its “Me Too” legislation package, the Legislature passed SB 1343.  Among other things, SB 1343 extends the AB 1825 training requirement to smaller employers (5 or more employees anywhere).  Training also must include all employees, not just supervisors. However, non-supervisors only receive a minimum of 1 hour of training, rather than the 2 hours required for supervisors.

The new law requires compliance by January 1, 2020.  That means small employers must comply during 2019; and all employers must train their non-supervisors during 2019 as well.

But here’s something even large employers will want to know.  Let’s say your business is covered by AB 1825, so you trained most of your supervisors in 2018.  Do you have to train all your supervisors again during 2019 to comply with SB 1343?

Why yes. Yes you do, according to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.  The DFEH issued a fact sheet saying as much here

Also, SB 1343 requires the DFEH to create a compliant training program available online.  But DFEH states in the fact sheet that it won’t finish its work until the end of 2019. So, employers will risk non-compliance by waiting for the DFEH. 

DFEH has published a training toolkit for employers new to the training requirement, and for employers wishing to check their training against the DFEH’s standards.  You can find that toolkit here.

The toolkit includes links to posters and brochures, and even a sample Powerpoint training program.  However, compliant training must be provided by qualified trainers, and must be interactive. So, do not rely on the Powerpoint alone to comply with AB 1825 or SB 1343. 

The DFEH fact sheet linked above also contains other useful information about the training obligation.  So, give it a read here.    


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