Sexual Harassment Training Required in California

California has implemented a law that requires all managers to have sexual harassment training at least once every two years, with new managers getting the training within six months of employment. An upcoming webinar on this issue is offered that includes the author of the amendment.

While the law’s requirements will create mediocre learning design (because people need more frequent reminders to maximize spontaneous remembering), the law is newsworthy as a potential omen for what may come in the training-and-development industry (and not just for sexual harassment training).

The law as written may have benefits because it is certainly better than nothing, but unfortunately the law repeats several mistakes endemic in our field:

  1. It utilizes a "butts in seats" standard.
  2. It assumes training will be sufficient.
  3. It doesn’t provide for any testing (except seat butts).
  4. It doesn’t assess performance follow-through at all.

The law does say:

The training and education required by this section is
intended to establish a minimum threshold and should not discourage
or relieve any employer from providing for longer, more frequent, or
more elaborate training and education regarding workplace harassment
or other forms of unlawful discrimination in order to meet its
obligations to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent and
correct harassment and discrimination.

Employers who really care about minimizing sexual harassment will provide for "longer, more frequent, [and] more elaborate training."