In 2003, a total of 4,231 sexual harassment cases were reported in California, which is up slightly from 4,189 cases in 2002, according to the California State Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
California employers are now required under Assembly Bill 1825 (AB 1825) to provide sexual harassment training for their supervisors, as part of a statewide effort to educate businesses about the issue of sexual harassment.
The mandate went into effect on January 1, 2005 and requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide training and education on sexual harassment for supervisors every two years. It was introduced by Assemblywoman Sarah Reyes, D-Fresno, California.
Employers have twelve months to implement the requirement that is being welcomed by civil rights enforcement officials and human resource experts across the state. As part of the new California law, the two hours of training must include practical information on the laws against sexual harassment and on remedies for victims.
The training must be performed by qualified presenters with knowledge and expertise in the prevention, discrimination, and retaliation related to sexual harassment. No self training videotapes or other media type programs are acceptable as they will not meet the requirement.
Exempt from the initial phase of the law are employers who have provided at least two hours of sexual harassment training to supervisors, while all employers with 50 or more employees must comply with the new law.