This is bill-signing season in California, and in the last few weeks, the Legislature has approved two bills of note.
Sexual Harassment Training Deadline Extended
On January 1, 2019, a new law (SB 1343) went into effect that significantly expanded California's mandatory sexual harassment prevention training requirements. Under SB 1343, all California employers with 5 or more employees must provide two hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees, and one hour of training to nonsupervisory employees. The training must take place within 6 months of hire or promotion to a supervisory position, and every two years thereafter.
SB 1343 required employers to provide this training by January 1, 2020, unless the employer already provided this training after January 1, 2019. This meant that for employers who provided training in 2018, they would have to again provide training in 2019 instead of waiting the two years.
Based on employers' concerns, Governor Newsom signed SB 778 on August 30, 2019 - an emergency clean-up bill that took immediate effect. SB 778 extends the sexual harassment prevention training deadline under SB 1343 from January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021. Now, employers who trained their employees in 2018 can maintain their two-year cycle, and will not be required to provide training 2 years in a row. SB 778 further clarifies that employers who train their employees in 2019 are not required to provide refresher training until two years from the time to employee was trained.
The law also requires training for seasonal/temporary employees and migrant or seasonal agricultural workers.
What Does This Mean for Your Company?
The content of the training is also specified by law and employers should ensure their training meets these requirements.
Please reach out if you have questions about your training schedule or the content of your training. We can provide trainings at your workplace, or help you select a compliant program and set a schedule.
California Wades Further Into Worker Classification Debate
On September 18th, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 5, which is aimed at requiring companies in the gig economy, including on-demand and ride-hailing companies such as Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash, to treat workers as employees rather than independent contractors. The legislation codifies a recent California Supreme Court decision, Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court, 4 Cal. 5th 903 (2018).
Summer is here, a time when employers scramble to cover vacation schedules and employees burn through their PTO.
It’s also Pride Month. I thought I’d take this opportunity to discuss some important employment laws designed to ensure equal opportunity at work for LGBT people.
Nationwide, there are still 26 states that do not have laws banning discrimination against LGBT workers. And there are important cases pending before the Supreme Court that will determine whether sexual orientation discrimination is prohibited by federal law (Title VII).
But in California, it is unambiguous that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination are unlawful.
In recent years, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing has issued key regulations on protections for gender identity and expression. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 2, §§ 11030 – 11031.)
Read more for key takeaways:
It is International Worker’s Day, which has its roots in advocacy for the eight-hour work day, and the 5-day work week. Since the social movements of the Industrial Revolution, California has been on the forefront of regulating wages and hours of work.
Today, the California Labor Code contains over 9,000 sections (yes, you read that right)! And many of the most significant California employment laws are not even codified in the Labor Code, such as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (Government Code sec.12940, et seq.).
For this reason, today is a good day to remember some of the new Labor Code provisions that went into effect January 1, 2019. (Expect to hear more from me in the future as new labor bills wind their way through this legislative session.)
I am passionate about providing entrepreneurs and individuals effective and high-quality representation in all aspects of California labor and employment law.
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