AB1825 California's Sexual Harassment Training Law
Unfortunately California continues to try and legislate everything and it always creates additional costs to businesses.
Is AB1825 Good For Business?
It is not a wonder why businesses are leaving California by the droves.
Because of this new law your organization is required to have already completed the first round of training. Arguably this is yet one more burden that has been placed on California businesses that may have an impact on driving them out of the state.
The new AB1825 regulation requires that the businesses provide a minimum of two hours or more of sexual harassment training to every supervisor every two years. Even more of a burden is that they are counting independent contractors and temporary employees as being employees of the organization. This may not sound like a tremendous burden but when you add all the other requirements on California based company’s it begins to add up quickly. Not just in the idea of the cost of training but the management of the entire process.
The new law, AB1825, also requires that the sexual harassment training include practical guidance on the federal and state statutory laws. In addition, it must provide effective remedies on how to prevent or correct sexual harassment. The remedies must be communicated and available to the victims. Like most new laws the real meat of the law will come from legal actions played out in the courts. Similar to the ADA laws when they first came out. Initially so much was left to interpretation until a judge makes a ruling. Then everyone scrambles to make their adjustments to comply.
When a company is challenged in court from a victim everyone will quickly see that the new law, AB1825, will be tested. The court is going to want to see and/or know that the company fulfilled its requirement to train the supervisor’s. They will question why the victim was placed into a situation whereby they were sexually harassed, discriminated, or retaliated against. My guess is that the company will be found liable for not going far enough to stop or prevent the violation.
I am not questioning whether or not individuals within an organization should be sexually harassed or not. Of course they should not be! What I am questioning is why do we need the new law, AB1825, when there are already so many laws and requirements on the books about all the laws above. My argument is that companies already know they cannot tolerate sexual harassment in the work place. Many have learned that lesson from paying out huge law suits for violating them.
Do your research, before you go out and spend thousands of dollars on training your supervisors. Make sure the training will meet every aspect of the new law. Even though I do not agree the law is necessary I do strongly recommend that you take it very seriously. Not doing so may end up costing you huge sums of money in fines and/or law suits. Do your homework thoroughly.
Meeting the Training Requirements!
One of the rules that the new California Sexual Harassment law AB1825 requires is that supervisors receive training once every two years. As I understand this requirement is not based on a calendar year but a rolling calendar. Strictly from a administrative point of view this places a burden on employers to maintain accurate records for every supervisor that they have.
For the larger organizations it will mean that they will have to keep very good records of everyone's training dates so that they do not violate the two year rule
For those employers that have a limited number of supervisors complying with AB1825 will not be that difficult; however, for the larger organizations it will mean that they will have to keep very good records of everyone's training dates so that they do not violate the two year rule. I guess they could elect to do everyone on the same date each year but then you have those that may be sick, on vacation, or other reasons they cannot be present. Make up dates go on forever.
Does the government really understand the financial impact it can have on companies?
Whenever a new law like AB1825 comes out the government rarely has a complete idea of how it will impact organizations out there that must live with their decisions. Training every two years does not sound like an overwhelming amount of training on something as important as Sexual Harassment. And does the government really understand the financial impact it can have on companies that will now have to either train in house staff to conduct the training, or hire companies to do it for them.
True enough the new AB1825 sexual harassment law does create a whole new demand for specialized trainers and companies that can fulfill the government requirements. The only problem is that every expense that a company must put out has to be recouped somewhere. It boils down to simple mathematics in business and that is you either need to increase sales, increase the price, or reduce expenses. Often reducing expenses comes in the form of fewer employees.
Understand that complying with AB1825 is not an option and I am very much a supporter of insuring that no one is sexually harassed in the work place. I have handled numerous claims of sexual harassment over my thirty plus years in management; however, the outcome of any of those claims would not have changed if they had occurred after the new law taking effect. The reason I believe this is because there are laws on the books already!