In 2004, the state legislature made California the first state in the U.S. to mandate sexual harassment training for supervisors. Last month, the California Office of Administrative Law Judges approved final regulations implementing the training requirements. The new rules become final on August 17, and initial training under the law must be completed by December 31, 2007. Employers with California operations should review any existing harassment training program to assure that they comply with the new requirements. Many standard training programs will not meet the California requirement of a minimum of two hours of training every two years. For example, an online training program should be modified so that the California participant cannot advance through the program at a faster rate.
Under the final rules, any questions raised by a trainee must be answered by the employer within two days. With online training, the program should be structured to both solicit and provide feedback to such questions. If training is done in person, the new California rules require that the person conducting the training have a high level of qualification and experience. Now that the final training rules have been released, a large number of vendors are offering companies based in and outside of California with training programs designed to meet these requirements.