How to Comply with California’s New Workplace Sexual Harassment Training

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By Prema Roddam and Sherwood Tung

California recently passed workplace reforms to strengthen sexual harassment prevention, and legal protection for victims. The legislation includes several new requirements for workplace sexual harassment training. An increased number of California employers will need to comply with training requirements by 2020.

Workplace Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in California

Governor Jerry Brown passed legislation that expands California’s sexual harassment prevention training. New requirements impact which employers must provide training, to whom, and how frequently. All affected employers must comply by 2020.

What is Impacted?

 Which Types of Businesses or Employees?

What’s Different?

Which employers must provide training

All employers of five or more employees

Previously, only employers of 50 or more employees had to provide training

Who must be trained

Supervisory and non-supervisory employees

Used to only affect supervisory employees

Temporary, seasonal, short-term employees – within either:

·         30 calendar days after the date of hire, or

·         100 worked days

New regulation

Employees must be re-trained every two years. Temporary services employers must provide this training for employees they place at end client sites.

How Should Employers Provide Training?

Employers will need to deliver online sexual harassment training by 2020. The length of training varies by role:

  • Two-hour courses for supervisory employees
  • One-hour courses for non-supervisory employees

To ensure participation, online training courses must require trainees to regularly respond to questions.

Employers must provide online training in English, and in any additional languages spoken by a consequential number of employees who do not speak English.


California employers should develop compliance plans for sexual harassment training. To ensure your firm is ready to fully comply with all new California laws, seek the advice of an experienced Chugh, LLP attorney.

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