Pleasanton Sexual Harassment Training Attorneys Offer Reliable Guidance
Helping your business comply with mandatory training requirements
The California legislature has ordered virtually all businesses in the state to conduct sexual harassment training for their employees. While this may seem like a burden on your small business, strict compliance with the law has its advantages. Allegations of sexual harassment can drastically undermine your organization, damage your company’s brand and expose you to liability for civil judgments. Preventing any or all of those consequences is well worth the brief time and nominal expense of compliance. But how should you approach training to have the greatest impact on your company culture? Garcia & Gurney, A Law Corporation in Pleasanton has the answer.
Our seasoned employment law attorneys conduct thorough training for employees at all levels, providing pertinent information that can prevent inappropriate conduct and facilitate resolutions to conflicts that might lead to legal disputes. Additionally, we can provide guidance on formulating practices and protocols that empower workers to report incidents so that management can remedy situations before they get out of hand. When you entrust your training to our firm, you will get practical knowledge and advice that enables you to avoid potentially costly disputes.
California’s requirement of mandatory sexual harassment prevention training
California employment law requires all companies that have five or more full-time employees to provide one hour of training in order to prevent abusive conduct and sexual harassment among its California-based non-supervisory workers. There is a two-hour requirement for California-based supervisory employees. These requirements apply even if all five employees do not work at the same site, or even within the state. The law does not cover independent contractors, volunteers or unpaid interns.
What needs to be included in the training?
The training you provide must include information about federal and state law prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace. It must educate workers as to the kind of conduct that constitutes harassment and inform them of the process for seeking a remedy. The training must inform workers about victims’ rights — such as the freedom from retaliation for reporting incidents of harassment — and must touch on the topics of sexual orientation and gender identity.
How can sexual harassment prevention training lessen an employer’s exposure to liability?
If sexual harassment were to occur within your organization, the company could be found liable and forced to pay compensatory and punitive damages to the victim. However, if you have complied with the law — provided training and implemented protocols for reporting and investigating incidents — you can prevent sexual harassment from occurring and/or escalating to a legal dispute. If harassment occurs, the individual harasser can be held personally liable, and the company can also be held strictly liable if the harasser is a supervisor. However, the company’s compliance with the training requirement can prevent an award of punitive damages, which a court can only order if the employer has shown a reckless disregard for the law.
Our employment law attorneys conduct discreet but thorough sexual harassment investigations to determine the facts behind the allegations. When companies engage us early in the process, we can often resolve the issues without complaints escalating to litigation.
Enshrining your policy in your employee handbooks
Your policy against sexual harassment should be stated unequivocally in your company’s employee handbook. Our attorneys help companies draft thorough policy statements on harassment and all other pertinent matters in order to help you build a positive, ethical corporate culture.
Inquire today about sexual harassment training from our employment law attorneys
Garcia & Gurney A Law Corporation in Pleasanton helps California employers conduct mandatory sexual harassment training for their workers. Call us today at 925-468-0400 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.