Help May Be On The Way – Breathing Room and Common Sense for Harassment Prevention Training

In the Legislature’s rush to react to the #metoo movement last year it passed Senate Bill 1343 with a clear flaw. The bill, which dramatically expanded the requirement to conduct sexual harassment prevention training, required employers to conduct training in 2019 even if they had already conducted the training in 2018. In effect, it created a one-time exception to the normal two-year cycle for training. It also forced nearly a million employers without any prior experience with harassment prevention training compliance to learn about and conduct the training within a one-year period.

Fortunately, it appears that the Legislature is going to fix the flaw. Unfortunately, it may come too late for many employers who have already acted on the mandates in Senate Bill 1343.

The fix will come in the form of Senate Bill 778. The bill would move the deadline for training non-supervisory employees from January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021. The bill also clarifies that employers who conducted training in 2018 are not required to repeat the training in 2019. It also specifies that employers who conduct the training in 2019 may wait two years before conducting refresher training. In short, employers can stay on and continue the familiar two-year cycle of training.

The legislation remains pending, but with little expressed opposition, it is likely to pass in the near future. If passed in its present form, the bill would go into effect immediately. Do not hesitate to contact us if this development in harassment prevention training law creates further complications for your organization. We can help.