New Sexual Harassment Training Requirements Beginning in 2019

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Regulation

A new law comes into effect in January and makes significant changes to sexual harassment training requirements.   Prior to the new regulations coming into effect, sexual harassment prevention training did not need to be addressed in businesses that had less than 50 employees. 

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

“This new law SB 1343 lowers that threshold significantly,” said AgSafe President and CEO Amy Wolfe.  “The total number of people that you employ over the course of the year, part time, full time, temporary, or seasonal. If you have five or more folks, you now need to address anti-harassment prevention requirements that include training for supervisors and now training for non-supervisory employees.” 

All supervisors will need to receive two hours of education as part of the new sexual harassment training requirements.  The new law also addresses non-supervisory employees for the first time as well. All employers in California will now have until January 1, 2020 to ensure that non-supervisor employees are properly trained as it relates to harassment in the workplace.  “Anybody who doesn’t supervise people now has to have one hour of training that speaks to what does harassment look like…and a myriad of other things that are very specifically laid out in the law itself,” said Wolfe.

Along with encompassing more employees who require training, the new law requires that employees receive the training every two years. “So, your shop guys with you right now and you expect he’s going to be with you for the next six to ten years.  He needs to get this one-hour training by January 1 of 2020 and then from whatever date you train him, every two years to that date you have to make sure that he is retrained,” Wolfe noted.

As many smaller and family-owned farms might have qualified for different exemptions for various types of training requirements, Wolfe noted that it is important that the entire agricultural industry is aware of the new law.  The new threshold of five employees effectively covers all operations in California.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West