FAQ: Preventing Sexual Harassment Training

Overview of AB 1825

Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law Assembly Bill 1825, mandating employers with 50 or more employees provide 2 hours of training and education to all supervisors once every two years.

How many employees should we have before we must have training?

California employers with 50 total employees or independent contractors including those outside the state, even if the headquarters are outside California, qualify for mandatory training.

How long do we have before training a new hire or a newly promoted employee?

New supervisors must be trained within 6 months of hire or promotion.

How does California define “Supervisor”?

A supervisor has the authority “to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward, or discipline other employees, or the responsibility to direct them, or to adjust their grievances” and “that authority is not merely of a routine or clerical nature, but requires the use of independent judgment.” 

What about Supervisors outside of California?

For employers required to train supervisors under AB 1825, only supervisors located in California need be trained.  It is highly recommended that any supervisor be trained, even though that person might not work in California. A judge I spoke with said the first questions she asks are "Did you do the training and do you have documentation?"

Level of Trainer Expertise

The regulations require those conducting the training to be experienced trainers and experts in the field. To be a subject matter expert, the trainer must have practical experience in harassment, discrimination, and retaliation training, and knowledge of relevant California and federal laws.

Does compliance with AB 1825 protect us from liability for sexual harassment?

Rulings by the Supreme Court, state and federal agencies indicate that employers providing sexual harassment training, with an anti-harassment policy and a complaint procedure that has been clearly communicated will minimize their liability exposure. Although compliance with AB 1825 will not totally immunize an employer from civil liability, it will contribute to lowering the susceptibility.

Additional information is available at the CA Department of Fair Employment and Housing site.