Legislative Update 2020: Sexual Harassment Training for Janitorial and Construction Workers

Attorney Nicholas Kanter

Nicholas Kanter | Shareholder

November 5, 2019
Attorney Tal Burnovski Yeyni

Tal Burnovski Yeyni | Associate

November 5, 2019

Last in our series of California’s legislative updates is a summary of bills aimed at sexual harassment in the janitorial and construction industries:

Assembly Bill 547: Authorizes the DLSE to Compile a List of Qualified Trainers 

In 2016 Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1978 (The Property Service Workers Protection Act) that established various requirements for the janitorial industry, including a requirement to provide training in the prevention of sexual violence and harassment at least once every two years. AB 1978 required the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) to develop training employers can use to satisfy the requirements of the bill. However, to date the DLSE has not developed the required training materials.

AB 547 builds on AB 1978’s requirements and directs the DLSE to compile a list of qualified organizations and peer trainers that janitorial employers would be required to use to provide in-person sexual violence and harassment prevention training for non-supervisors. The list of qualified organizations and trainers is expected to be available on the DLSE website by January 1, 2021.

AB 547 also clarifies that training shall be consistent with applicable CA law concerning harassment training (1 hour for nonsupervisory employees; 2 hours for supervisory employees), and further provides:

  • The cost of the training will be $65.00 per participant (unless the parties agree in a collective bargaining agreement on an alternative payment option). The fee may be adjusted as needed;
  • Employers must complete and sign a form certifying training was provided and the trainer was paid in full;
  • Employers must document employee participation by maintaining a sign in/out sheet, with printed writing and signature, for the training.

Until the training requirements are established, employers may meet their obligations by providing employees with a DFEH-185 pamphlet, as appropriate.

Senate Bill 530: Extends Due Date for Temporary Employee Harassment Prevention Training and Implements Special Training Requirements for Construction Employees

Last year Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1343, which required employers with 5 or more employees to provide harassment prevention training to supervisory and non-supervisory employees. The bill also required employers with seasonal/temporary workforce (hired to work 6 months or less) to provide harassment training to their workforce starting January 1, 2020. SB 530 extends this start date (for temporary/seasonal workers) to January 1, 2021.

Additionally, SB 530 provides special harassment prevention training requirements for employers in the construction industry that employ workers pursuant to a multi-employer collective bargaining agreement. The bill also requires the DLSE to develop an industry specific harassment and discrimination prevention policy and training for employers in the construction industry. The DLSE is to provide its recommendations by January 1, 2021.

Nicholas Kanter and Tal Burnovski Yeyni are employment defense attorneys.

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