What is sexual harassment training?
Sexual Harassment Prevention training is an interactive training covering a broad scope of topics that are required to be covered under California law. This may include topics such as:
- The definition of sexual harassment under the Fair Employment and Housing Act
- Types of conduct considered to be sexual harassment
- How to prevent sexual harassment
- Reporting sexual harassment
- Discuss harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, which shall include practical examples inclusive of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.
The purpose of this training is to bring awareness to sexual harassment and conduct that is not permitted in the workplace. California takes this subject very seriously and wants all workers to feel safe and comfortable showing up for work everyday.
Is sexual harassment training effective for employees?
Yes, Sexual Harassment Prevention training provides employees with the tools and resources to identify what is considered to be sexual harassment and how to put a stop to it. Sexual Harassment Prevention training is extremely effective in bringing awareness to employees on conduct that is prohibited from the workplace. The training will address the correct process of reporting and dealing with this behavior. Furthermore, employees will feel more comfortable showing up to work knowing that all employees should have the same understanding of appropriate behavior.
Since Sexual Harassment Training is interactive, this gives employees the opportunity to ask questions and give examples of harassment they have experienced while on the job. Creating an environment where employees can discuss situations and how to deal with these situations creates effective communication.
Lastly, Sexual Harassment Training is effective for reducing lawsuits or harassment claims in the workplace. Employers must approach workplace harassment prevention with extreme caution to reduce the risk of lawsuits. Preventing this is not only imperative for legal reasons but also to prevent stress and under-performance in the work environment.
When is sexual harassment training required in California and how often?
Effective January 1st 2021, Sexual Harassment Prevention training is required for all employers with employees in the state of California. The state requires employees or non-managers to complete one hour of training whereas managers must complete two hours of training. Employees are required to receive their training within their first six (6) months of hire. This training will expire after two years for all workers and then all workers must take the training again.
Employees will need to receive their Sexual Harassment Prevention training every two years due to everchanging laws in California. As California adds new protected classes or new bills regarding harassment, employees will need to be updated on this material so they can act accordingly in the workplace.
Is sexual harassment training required by federal law?
Sexual harassment training is not required by federal law but is mandated in 6 different states in the U.S. Here is a list provided of the 6 states that require prevention training:
- New York
Although most states do not require sexual harassment training, they do strongly encourage employers to implement this training for employees. Even if this training is not required for an employer’s state, it will only serve their company good. Bringing awareness to sexual harassment can help make your employees feel comfortable at their job.
Should employers have a policy in place?
Yes, all employers should have a Harassment policy outlined in their employee handbook. In addition to distributing the Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s DFEH-185 brochure on sexual harassment, an employer shall develop a harassment, discrimination, and retaliation prevention policy that covers topics such as:
- Lists all current protected classes
- Stating that the law prohibits coworkers and third parties, as well as supervisors and managers, from engaging in prohibited conduct
- Implements a complaint process to ensure that complaints are handled properly
- Instructs supervisors to report any complaints of misconduct to a designated company representative
- Indicates that when an employer receives allegations of misconduct, it will conduct a fair, timely, and thorough investigation
- Makes it clear that employees shall not experience retaliation as a result of addressing a complaint
Once this policy is in place, all employees should receive a copy and sign off on the policy. After the employee has signed off on the policy, they can be held liable for all prohibited conduct listed in the policy. This signed copy should be stored in the employee’s personnel file and updated as sexual harassment policies change.
Why is sexual harassment training important?
Sexual Harassment training is important because the training brings awareness to supervisors and managers on conduct that will not be tolerated in the workplace and how to take disciplinary action. Employees will receive a better understanding of how to report this behavior and managers will receive a better understanding of how to deal with the conduct. Educating employees on what conduct is and is not appropriate can eliminate sexual harassment between employees, customers, and vendors. Once employees have a strong understanding of sexual harassment and what it consists of, employees will feel more comfortable dealing with situations and speaking up instead of ignoring the harasser or feeling uncomfortable coming to work.
What services does Bizhaven provide to employers?
Bizhaven provides employers with both onsite or virtual Sexual Harassment Prevention training to employees and managers. Bizhaven’s training is interactive where employees can ask questions and provide scenarios of conduct they have seen happen in the workplace. Employers can speak with their HR Business Partner to schedule a time that is most convenient for them and their employees. If getting your employees together for the training onsite is too much of a hassle, Bizhaven provides the training virtually as a webinar where employers can have their employees sign in to join from wherever they are.
Bizhaven does not only perform the training for employers but we work with your staff to build SOP’s to deal with potential problems as they arise in the workplace. This includes the process for managers dealing with sexual harassment or ensuring that the termination process is handled professionally.