AB 1825 will add Section 12950.1 to the Government Code, relating to employment practices, effective January 1, 2005. Generally, it requires that by January 1, 2006, employers must provide at least 2 hours of training and education regarding sexual harassment to all supervisory employees who are employed as of July 1, 2005, and to all new supervisory employees within six months of their assumption of a supervisory position. This 2-hour requirement is only intended to establish a minimum. It is not meant to discourage an employer from providing more frequent training and education regarding sexual harassment.
Under the new law, any employer who has provided this training and education to a supervisory employee after January 1, 2003, is not required to provide training and education by the January 1, 2006 deadline. After January 1, 2006, each employer must provide sexual harassment training and education to each supervisory employee once every two years. For purposes of this law, “employer” means anyone regularly employing 50 or more persons or regularly receiving the services of 50 or more persons pursuant to a contract, or any person acting directly or indirectly as an agent of such an employer. It also applies to the state, or any political or civil subdivision of the state, and cities.
The training and education acquired under this bill must be presented by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in the prevention of harassment, discrimination and retaliation. The training must contain information and practical guidance regarding federal and state statutes concerning sexual harassment, and the remedies available to victims of sexual harassment in employment. It must also include practical examples aimed at instructing supervisors in the prevention of harassment, discrimination and retaliation.
Finally, a claim that the training and education required under Section 12950.1 was not provided to a particular employee does not in and of itself result in the liability of any employer to any present or former employee or applicant in any action alleging sexual harassment. Conversely, an employer’s compliance with this section does not insulate the employer from such liability.
For more information, contact your Rutan & Tucker attorney or call (714) 641-5100.