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Sexual harassment training will soon be mandatory in California

Many positives have come out of the "#MeToo" movement. One of the more positive outcomes has been the passing of laws requiring increased sexual harassment training in the workplace. At least six states including California have passed laws requiring employers to offer this in recent months.

California's newly passed law requires all employers who have five or more workers to offer mandatory sexual harassment training effective January 2021.

All employees will be required to complete this training during their first six months on the job or from the time this law goes into effect. Nonsupervisory workers will have to complete hour-long sessions whereas supervisors will need to take a 2-hour class. Workers will be allowed to complete the trainings via webinar or with an in-person trainer.

Temporary or seasonal workers who are slated to work for an employer for up to six months must also complete such training within either 100 hours or 30 calendar days on the job (whatever comes first).

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has created a virtual training course that employers can have their workers take. State lawmakers allow for business owners to develop their curriculum and to have their workers sit in on such classes if they like instead. Any program that an employer offers must be created and delivered by someone who is an expert on sexual harassment though.

California employers are required to offer their employees refresher training once every two years once the new law goes into effect at the beginning of 2021. Company ownership is required to track their employees' completion of such training should they be audited in the future.

The #MeToo movement caught many lawmakers by surprise. Many of the legislators believed that there was adequate sexual harassment training and that such ill-treatment was a rare occurrence in the workplace. The lawmakers found that this wasn't the case as they listened to more of the movement's supporters though.

If you've been treated inappropriately at the hands of a peer or supervisor in your San Francisco workplace, then you should know that you don't have to remain silent. An attorney who believes in workers' and civil rights can advise you of the next steps that you can take in your case to ensure in the future that no one else is treated as poorly as you were.

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