California Government Code Section 12950.1, which sets forth the requirements for sexual harassment training and education, was recently amended to include an anti-bullying training requirement. As of January 1, 2015, California employers who employ 50 or more employees must now include prevention of abusive conduct as a component of the required sexual harassment training and education to be provided pursuant to Section 12950.1.
Abusive conduct is defined as conduct of an employer or employee in the workplace, with malice, that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive and unrelated to an employer’s legitimate business interests.
- Abusive conduct may include the following:
- Repeated infliction of verbal abuse, such as the use of derogatory remarks, insults or epithets;Verbal or physical conduct that a reasonable person would find threatening, intimidating or humiliating; or
- The gratuitous sabotage or undermining of a person’s work performance.
This new requirement of Section 12950.1 means all supervisory employees, within the first six months of their assumption of a supervisory position, must receive this anti-bullying training in addition to the already required sexual harassment training and education. Ongoing training must occur no less than every two years. The training must include information and practical guidance as well as practical examples aimed at instructing supervisors in the prevention of harassment. In addition, the training and education must be presented by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.
If you have questions regarding California's new anti-bullying training and education, please contact your Kutak Rock attorney, or the author of this client alert.