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New bill would require sexual harassment training for all employees

As sexual harassment continues to be a part of our national conversation, the obvious next step seems to be determining how we stop sexual harassment before it happens. One California lawmaker thinks the solution is to mandate employee training.

Senate Bill 1343, introduced by Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) in partnership with California Controller Betty Yee, would require companies with five or more employees to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment training to all workers by 2020, and then once every two years. 



Expanding training beyond management

This would essentially require every employee in the state to take sexual harassment training. Current state law only requires supervisors at companies with 50 or more employees to participate in two hours of training once every two years.

The bill instructs employers to give workers information on how to report harassment and requires the Department of Fair Employment and Housing to develop a training video for companies to use.

Empowering employees

This training could be significant for California, as it can instruct employees what harassment is and help them curb their own behaviors that they may or may not be aware of.

Anyone can be a victim of sexual harassment, and training all employees on how to determine when they are being harassed can give them the tools they need to stand up for themselves and end sexual harassment in the workplace. It can also help bystander employees identify harassing behavior they witness and report it.

Even though this bill could be a positive step forward, it would require the training to be completed  at some point within the next two years, which is a long time to wait for change. Your workplace may not be a sexual harassment-free space now, and you deserve to feel confident and comfortable going to work today. If your employer is not yet taking sexual harassment seriously, you can still take a stand with the help of employment law advocates



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