California expands mandatory harassment training to include LGBT workers
- California’s AB 1825 legislation requiring that employers with 50 or more staff members provide supervisor training to prevent sexual harassment and abusive conduct in the workplace has been amended to add “training inclusive of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation."
- Under AB 1825, supervisors must be trained within six months of hire and undergo retraining every two years. The new training, which goes into effect January 1, 2018, stipulates that training must include specific examples of such harassment on the basis of gender identity or expression or sexual orientation, and that at least a portion of the training must be presented by trainers with knowledge and expertise in these areas.
- The law expands the definition of an “individual with employment barriers” to include transgender and gender nonconforming individuals. Posting requirements have also been included in the law.
A recent survey by CareerBuilder revealed 40% of LGBT workers have experienced bullying in the workplace — 11% higher than the national average. Of those who experienced bullying, 41% reported having to leave their job as a result of the abuse.
The law also requires the California Workforce Development Board to add representatives of organizations that serve transgender and gender non-conforming people to improve its ability to address necessary employment training and education, attorneys from Jackson Lewis P.C. wrote in a blog.
The newest update also includes an amendment to California’s Unemployment Insurance Code including transgender and gender nonconforming individuals as eligible for services and programming under the California Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the attorneys said.
Enacted in 2004, AB 1825 was updated in 2015 to include prevention of “abusive conduct.” While many states have followed suit, including Connecticut and Maine, the trend has not yet gone nationwide. It's a reminder to employers to pay attention to state and local developments that differ from federal law when planning compliance.
- California Legislative Information SB-396 Employment: gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation
- Jackson Lewis P.C. California Adds ‘Transgender,’ ‘Gender Nonconforming Individuals’ to Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for Supervisors
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