California DFEH Posts Free Online Sexual Harassment Prevention Course

June 5, 2020

California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is now offering employers and their employees free online training courses to satisfy California’s sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training requirements, which were expanded in 2018 to cover nonsupervisory employees.

By Jan. 1, 2021, California businesses with five or more employees must provide all nonsupervisory employees with one hour of sexual harassment prevention training every two years.

For new hires, such training must be offered within six months of hire. California law previously mandated that employers with 50 or more employees provide supervisory employees with two hours of training every two years, and within six months of hire. That requirement remains in place, but now applies to all employers with five or more employees. Employers must maintain records of all employees’ anti-sexual harassment training for a minimum of two years, and the training must be repeated on a biennial basis.

The DFEH’s web-based training — which includes practical examples of unlawful harassment based on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation — is accessible via computer or mobile device. It is presently offered in English and will soon be available in Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and Tagalog, with support for those with hearing or visual impairments. Upon completion of the training, employees will be able to save or print a certificate of completion, which employers can retained to satisfy California’s record-keeping requirements.

The DFEH online training currently consists of a one-hour non-supervisor sexual harassment prevention course, with a supervisor-specific course to be posted online by the DFEH in the near future.

For assistance or advice on implementing or updating existing training programs or policies to comply with these new requirements, or for questions related to this article, please contact the authors, your McGuireWoods contact or a member of the firm’s labor and employment group.