By Charlie Voelker, Esq.
The California Fair Employment and Housing Council recently amended the Fair Employment and Housing Act’s (FEHA) regulations related to the state’s harassment training mandate for supervisors. At a high level, the most significant change for employers is a new “affirmative duty to take reasonable steps to prevent and promptly correct discriminatory and harassing conduct.” (Cal. Gov. Code § 11023(a)). Further, the amendments specifically authorize the Department of Fair Employment and Housing to exercise its “police powers” by “independently seek[ing] non-monetary preventative remedies” against employers who fail to discharge this duty, even in the absence of a specific charge of harassment or discrimination. (Cal. Gov. Code § 11023(a)(3)).
It’s important to note that eLearning remains an endorsed method for delivering the required training (Cal. Gov. Code § 11024(a)(2)(B)). While the new regulations impose specific record-keeping requirements for employers who deliver the training online, these requirements are easily addressed by Skillsoft’s existing cloud-based solution. The directive to distribute the employer’s anti-harassment policy and provide a mechanism for learners to ask questions that arise during the training, which are also addressed by Skillsoft’s solution, remain.
With respect to the content of the mandated anti-harassment training, the regulations call for an expansion of the coverage of the prevention and negative effects of “abusive conduct” in the workplace. (Cal. Gov. Code § 11024(c)(2)(M)). Therefore, Skillsoft is updating its program to include additional information on topic of abusive conduct. If you are a current harassment solution customer, please don’t hesitate to contact your account representative with any questions about how we will make this process simple for you and your managers. If you’ve not yet utilized Skillsoft’s solution to deliver harassment training to your California managers, there’s never been a better time to get acquainted with our approach and ensure your organization is meeting its obligations under the FEHA.
Charlie Voelker, Esq. is the Legal Compliance Solution Manager at Skillsoft.