This week the California Chamber of Commerce launched The Workplace, a podcast that provides expert and entertaining commentary on issues critical to California employers and employees.
Episodes will include discussions about California employment laws, legislative proposals, and national and state politics.
To listen or subscribe, visit www.calchamber.com/theworkplace.
Episode 1 features Erika Frank, CalChamber executive vice president, legal affairs and general counsel, and Laura Curtis, CalChamber policy advocate, as they discuss sexual harassment in the workplace, the #MeToo movement and how to lead the charge in preventing harassment from happening in the workplace.
Frank and Curtis also discuss California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which obligates all California employers to take steps to prevent harassment from occurring in the workplace, regardless of number of employees.
“For employers it’s very important to look at this as a benefit, a benefit to them because it’s only going to make their workplace a better place to work, where the culture is all in agreement as far as what’s appropriate conduct and what’s not,” says Frank.
In addition, employers need to be aware of new sexual harassment prevention training requirements that will have an impact on virtually every business in the state and all those businesses’ employees and supervisors.
SB 1343 (Chapter 956, Statutes of 2018) requires that all employers of five or more employees provide 1 hour of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to non-managerial employees and 2 hours of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to managerial employees once every two years.
Under SB 1343, there is no requirement that the five employees or contractors work at the same location or that all work or reside in California.
Under the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) regulations, the definition of “employee” includes full-time, part-time and temporary employees.
State officials recently clarified that the new law requires all employees to be trained during calendar year 2019. This means that employees, including supervisors, who were trained in 2018 or before will need to be retrained again in 2019.