More requirements for Small Business owners, and HR Managers

Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Is Now Required

With recent changes to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the California legislature has made it easier for employees to win sexual harassment claims.

For example, employees can qualify their sexually hostile environment claims with just one incident of harassment.  In many cases, employers won’t be allowed to prohibit testimony – and may have to change provisions of confidentiality agreements during settlement negotiations.

In such an environment, providing sexual harassment training isn’t just common sense — it’s now required by law.

Small Businesses Are Not Immune

Any business with 5 or more employees is now required to provide sexual training to employees, specifically:

  • 2 hours of sexual harassment training to supervisors
  • 1 hour of sexual harassment training to non-supervisory personnel

You have until January 1, 2020 to meet this requirement.  You can avoid lawsuit by updating the following training and HR procedures immediately.

Legal Dos and Don’ts

In your anti-harassment training, DO be sure to include:

  • Clear expectations of  employee conduct including anti-bullying policies
  • Components on harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation

In your interactions with employees, DON’T

  • Try to entice employees to release discrimination or other FEHA claims in exchange for bonuses, raises or continued employment.

Other changes in 2019

  • Payroll Records: You are now required to provide employees and ex-employees with copies of their payroll records. As a result, you can charge for copying but you can’t deny them the copies.
  • Recruiting: Pay range and hourly rate disclosure information doesn’t have to be provided to current employees or prospective employees on the first interview. However, it must be disclosed to candidates going beyond the initial interview.
  • Lactation Facilities: You must provide a specific lactation area that is not a bathroom and meets state guidelines — unless you can show undue hardship.

Questions about how the changes affect your company? Contact me by calling 650.518.0327 or by email at

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