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Nearly a year after the deadline for employers to comply with the requirement to provide supervisory employees with sexual harassment training, recent amendments by the California Legislature and regulations issued by the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC) have clarified the requirements for how that training should be conducted. As a result of legislation enacted in 2004, companies with 50 or more employees were required to provide two hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees by Jan. 1, 2006, and every two years thereafter. However, many questions regarding the requirements for mandatory sexual harassment training were left unanswered. The Legislature answered one of these questions in its 2006 session by enacting AB 2095. The bill, which amends Government Code section 12950.1, specifies that training is only required for supervisors located in California. In addition, after numerous proposals and revisions, the FEHC has issued final proposed regulations that resolve many questions concerning sexual harassment training requirements, including who must provide and receive training, specific requirements for conducting the sexual harassment training, and the timing and tracking of supervisor training. The regulations were sent to the Office of Administrative Law for review and approval and were expected to become final in February. Anti-harassment training applies to companies doing business in California that employ at least 50 employees or contractors. In determining whether an employer has 50 employees, both part-time and full-time employees must be counted. In addition, the 50-employee threshold must be met for each working day in any 20-week period in either the current or preceding calendar year. Importantly, the 50-count threshold includes employees and contractors who work or reside both inside and outside California. Although employees outside the state are included in the head count, only supervisors within California are required to be trained. Specifically, the regulations pertain to supervisors who are located in California and who have authority to “hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward, or discipline other employees, or the responsibility to direct them or to adjust their grievances, or effectively to recommend that action” if the exercise of the authority requires the use of independent judgment and is not merely routine or clerical in nature. The regulations confirm that a variety of methods can be used to conduct the training. In particular, the training may be conducted in classrooms, on computers or by “Webinars” (live Internet-based training), subject to specified requirements based on the method utilized. Classroom training must be conducted in a setting removed from the supervisor’s daily duties. Computer-based training must provide a link or directions on how to contact the trainer. If the training is conducted in a Webinar, the employer must be able to demonstrate that supervisors attended and actively participated in the training and that there are opportunities for the attendees to ask questions and receive answers. Regardless of the format, the training must be prepared by an individual with expertise in “current instructional best practices” based upon material provided by a “subject matter expert.” An expert is defined as an individual with legal education and either practical experience or “substantial practical experience in training in harassment, discrimination and retaliation prevention.” For classroom and Webinar settings, the training must be presented by an individual who, through either formal education and training or substantial experience, can effectively lead in-person or Webinar training. If the trainer is not an expert, another expert must be available to answer questions during the training session or within two business days. The content of the training must include questions that assess learning, skill-building activities, hypothetical scenarios and discussion questions. In addition, the training must include:

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