New Law Extends, Clarifies Harassment Training Deadline

Some California employers now have until January 1, 2021 to train employees on sexual harassment prevention—a one-year extension of the original January 1, 2020 deadline.

The deadline was not extended for employers of seasonal and temporary employees who are hired to work for less than six months. Starting January 1, 2020, these employees must be trained within 30 calendar days after their hire date or within 100 hours worked, whichever occurs first.

Employer Training Deadlines

Under the new law, SB 778, all employees—supervisory and nonsupervisory—must be trained by January 1, 2021.

Below is a quick breakdown for employers who’ve trained employees this year or in previous years.

• Year you last trained: 2019; Next required training: 2021. SB 778 clarifies that employers who train their employees in 2019 aren’t required to provide refresher training until two years from the time the employee was trained

• Year you last trained: 2018; Next required training: 2020. SB 778 allows those employers who trained employees in 2018 to maintain their two-year cycle and still comply with the new January 1, 2021, deadline.

• Year you last trained: 2017; Next required training: 2019. Employers who trained supervisors in 2017 under prior law, known as AB 1825, should still train those employees this year in order to maintain their two-year cycle.

The bill does not affect the portion of the law addressing seasonal and temporary workers.

CalChamber Resources

The California Chamber of Commerce makes it easy to effectively train employees and fulfill compliance obligations. Learners can take their individual, self-paced training in English or Spanish when it best fits their schedules. The CalChamber has both a 2-hour Supervisor version and a 1-hour Employee version.

Also available is an updated free Required Harassment Prevention Training FAQs white paper, which answers many employers’ questions about complying with the new training requirements.

Staff Contact: Bianca N. Saad

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Bianca N. Saad, a member of the CalChamber legal affairs team since April 2018, was named vice president, labor and employment - content, training and advice in mid-November 2021, assigned to develop and lead the content and training strategy for existing and emerging products and training, as well as overseeing CalChamber subject matter experts. She serves as a co-presenter for CalChamber compliance seminars and webinars. Saad brought to the CalChamber legal affairs team the perspective of an employee representative, coming from nearly eight years in private practice as an employment law and litigation attorney. She graduated with honors from the University of Miami with a B.B.A. in business management. She earned her J.D. from California Western School of Law.