AB 1825 and AB 2053 training key to prevention
California employers now have a new guide and other resources to help them comply with the Fair Employment and Housing Act’s (FEHA) requirement to take “reasonable steps to prevent and correct” workplace harassment, discrimination and retaliation.
The Workplace Harassment Guide for California Employers, developed by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), and the California Sexual Harassment Task Force, highlights seven elements of an effective anti-harassment program.
- A Written Policy – A clear and easy to understand written policy that is distributed to employees and discussed regularly at meetings – for example, every six months.
- Management Buy-in – An organization’s management should serve as role models of appropriate workplace behavior, and demonstrate – through their words and actions – that they understand anti-harassment policies and take them seriously.
- Training for Supervisors and Managers – Under two laws, known as AB 1825 and AB 2053, employers with at least 50 workers or independent contractors must provide two hours of sexual-harassment prevention training to all managers and supervisors, once every two years. All new supervisory employees must complete training within six months of assuming their new position.
- Training for Complaint Handlers – The DFEH says that internal investigators must be knowledgeable about standard practices to ensure impartial and fair investigations. This includes being familiar with the relevant anti-harassment laws and policies and investigative techniques for interviewing witnesses, analyzing information and writing reports.
- Policies and procedures for responding to and investigating complaints.
- Prompt, thorough and fair investigations of complaints of harassment or wrongful behavior.
- Prompt and fair remedial action.
New Preventing Sexual Harassment Brochure & Poster
There is also an update to the DFEH’s sexual-harassment prevention brochure and poster that employers are required to distribute and display, respectively. The brochure describes the types of sexual harassment California law prohibits, provides examples of behavior that constitutes sexual harassment, and details procedures and policies for employers to develop and implement to prevent and correct sexual harassment.
Either the poster or the brochure fulfills an employer’s responsibility to provide workers with information on sexual harassment, under Section 12950(b) of the California Government Code, the DFEH said.
“Preventing and correcting sexual harassment in the workplace is not only legally required, but it is one of the best ways that an employer can ensure a healthy and productive workplace for all employees,” said DFEH Director Kevin Kish.
Along with effective training, the DFEH’s new workplace harassment guide, brochure and poster are important tools to help California employers comply with the law, prevent and address sexual harassment and retaliation, and create a harassment-free workplace. Wondering if your current compliance-training program is effective or meets the legal requirements? To help you decide, check out our checklists!