June 24, 2016 Category: Discrimination
What is the California Law Requiring Supervisor Training on Workplace Discrimination and Workplace Harassment?
California AB 1825 (Government Code § 12950.1) amended the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Government Code § 12900 et seq., to require employers of 50 or more employees to provide at least two hours of effective training to all supervisory employees on prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace; workplace discrimination (including racial discrimination, religious discrimination, age discrimination, sex discrimination, gender discrimination, and other types of discrimination in the workforce); and workplace retaliation at least once every two years.
A Brief History of AB 1825
AB 1825 and the Connecticut law it was modeled after are the most rigorous workplace discrimination and workplace harassment training laws in the United States. When AB 1825 went into effect California employers scrambled to large law firms seeking the necessary EEO classes and EEO training necessary to maintain compliance with the new law. Clearly that training was expensive, as billable hours racked up.
Nevertheless, in the early years employers saw a discernible decline in age discrimination, gender discrimination, and race discrimination. Employers and their supervisors also learned useful human resources and management practices regarding hiring, lawful termination, employee privacy, and family and medical leave act issues that contributed to a more positive overall working environment immediately.
The Impact of Employer Compliance with AB 1825
Undoubtedly, employers have a responsibility to eliminate workplace discrimination and workplace harassment. By allowing these unlawful practices to flourish in the workplace, employers pay the high price of litigation costs in addition to low morale, decreased productivity, and an overall negative reputation in the community.
In the ten years since AB 1825 was enacted, employers who once dreaded the taking up supervisor work time for training courses now welcome the idea of allowing their supervisors the time to learn the latest laws and tactics to reduce unlawful workplace discrimination and workplace harassment. Modern employers understand that not only are they able to avoid employee lawsuits, they also gain a more productive overall workforce when their businesses are free from hostile environments. In short, effective anti-discrimination training is not only a legal requirement; it is a prudent business decision.
Changes in California Discrimination Law Mean Changes in Employer Policies
In addition to fostering a positive, non-discriminatory work environment, California’s discrimination laws are ever changing. Businesses and their supervisors absolutely must learn about changes in the law. For example, in 2013 California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law bills that took effect at the beginning of 2014 changing definitions of discrimination against military victims (AB 556) and victims of certain violent crimes (SB 292).
New definitions can mean existing EEO policies are now out of date and non-compliant with California and federal law. By keeping regular training schedules you can be sure that your business is compliant with the latest laws regarding workplace discrimination and workplace harassment in addition to maintaining compliance with the bi-annual training requirements set forth by AB 1825.
Cost-Effective Electronic Methods of AB1825 Compliance can Save Time and Productivity
With the advent of e-learning and online compliance training, developing equal employment opportunity programs and policies that are AB 1825 compliant has become easier and more cost-effective than ever. Certified training companies like Syntrio, Inc. provide two-hour training courses that meet the requirements of AB 1825 with respect to discrimination in the workforce; sexual harassment prevention; retaliation prevention; lawful (non-discriminatory) hiring, interviewing and termination; workplace ethics, cultural diversity and other relevant topics.
If you have sexual harassment in the workplace and your employer’s obligations, it is important you speak with a San Jose harassment lawyer right away. Contact the Briski Law Firm if you require immediate legal assistance.