Latest News Regarding Harassment Training Requirements in California and Illinois
Important Update to Harassment Training Requirements in California
In response to the significant confusion about the timing of California’s expanded sexual harassment training requirements in Senate Bill 1343, the state recently enacted Senate Bill 778. This new legislation extends the deadline for employers to provide anti-harassment training for non-supervisory employees from January 1, 2020, to January 1, 2021. This change effectively makes 2020 a “training year” for California employees.
Also, SB 778 clarifies that employers who provided training to existing managers in 2019 do not need to offer it again in 2019; they may wait the usual two-year period and provide the next round of training accordingly.
After the January 1, 2021 deadline, newly hired employees must receive training within 6 months. There is no change to the existing requirement that newly hired or promoted managers must receive training within six months of their start date.
Illinois Increases Harassment Prevention Measures
Illinois recently became the latest state to impose new requirements for harassment prevention training.
Illinois – new sexual harassment training mandate
In August, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed Senate Bill 75. The law requires employers in Illinois to provide sexual harassment training to all employees.
SB 75 amends the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) to include a new definition of “harassment” and to expand the Act’s coverage to certain “non-employees” such as independent contractors.
Sexual harassment prevention training in Illinois
Beginning in January 2020, all businesses in Illinois must provide their employees with annual workplace sexual harassment prevention training. SB 75 directs the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) to produce a model sexual harassment prevention training program. Employers within the state can either use the IDHR’s program or a program that meets or exceeds the minimum requirements applicable under the IHRA. Employers who fail to provide the mandated training can face penalties of up to $5,000.
Skillsoft’s workplace harassment prevention training
Skillsoft’s Legal and Ethics Compliance Training provides a suite of workplace harassment prevention training - all developed and maintained in partnership with our legal subject matter experts. These courses are designed to educate employees to recognize the various forms of harassment, including sexual harassment, effectively respond to possible incidents, and understand their part in preventing inappropriate conduct. Furthermore, our learner-centric instructional design approach incorporates the latest brain science research to develop instructional content that brings about real behavioral change. With new courses in development designed to address the Illinois mandate, Skillsoft can help your organization comply with regulatory changes and create respectful, inclusive work environments.
Charlie Voelker is the Director for Compliance Products at Skillsoft.