In this issue Jessica L. Jasper-Braley, Esq. provides an important employment law update that impacts most California employers. On April 1, 2016 new regulations became operative that require employers to provide its employees with a written policy on the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Additionally, on April 1, 2016, new requirements took effect regarding the record keeping and content of supervisor sexual harassment training.
IMPORTANT: NEW UPDATES REQUIRED FOR EMPLOYEE HANDBOOKS
On April 1, 2016, the regulations set forth by the Fair Employment and Housing Counsel (“FEHC”) took effect. Among the most important changes is the requirement that in addition to the DFEH-185 brochure on sexual harassment, employers must now provide a written policy on the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.
The written Prevention Of Harassment, Discrimination, And Retaliation policy (“Prevention Policy”) must list all the current protected categories under the Fair Employment and Housing Act. The Fair Employment and Housing Act were most recently updated on January 1, 2016.
Further, the Prevention Policy required by the FEHC has ten specific requirements with multiple subparts. Most notably, the Prevention Policy must provide a complaint process that must include certain requirements. The complaint process is designed to promote a fair, thorough, and timely investigation, resolution, and remedial action, when required, of complaints.
To protect the employee, the employee must be able to file a complaint with someone other than his/her direct supervisor, the complaint/investigation process must be kept confidential to the extent possible, and the Prevention Policy must state that employees will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint or participating in a workplace investigation.
Employment laws change frequently and your Employee Handbook should be reviewed annually for the most recent updates.
Please contact a business law attorney to have an effective employee handbook drafted for your business, or to update to your most recent employee handbook.
SUPERVISOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING UPDATES
As of April 1, 2016, there are new requirements regarding the Supervisor Sexual Harassment Training for covered California employers (employers having 50 or more employees). Beginning in 2005, supervisors are required to receive sexual harassment training every two years. There are new requirements for employers, including, but not limited to, new requirements regarding record keeping and the content of the training.
For the supervisor sexual harassment training, employers are now required to maintain the following records for a minimum of two years:
The names of the supervisory employees trained;
The date of training;
The sign in sheet;
A copy of all certificates of attendance or completion issued;
The type of training;
A copy of all written or recorded materials that comprise the training; and,
The name of the training provider.
In addition to the previous training subjects, the Supervisor Sexual Harassment Training must now include the following:
Abusive conduct training (required as of 2015);
Supervisors’ obligation to report sexual harassment, harassment, discrimination, and retaliation of which they become aware;