Effective April 1, 2016, many California employers must begin to comply with new regulations to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) prohibiting harassment and discrimination among employees, interns, volunteers, and independent contractors. These new regulations govern all employers, who regularly employ five (5) full time or part time employees in a year. If these new regulations apply to you, then you are required to do the following:
- Implement an Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Policy (“Policy”). This written Policy must include the requirements in the regulations, including, but not limited to, listing the categories of protected classes; creating a complaint process that meets specific benchmarks; promptly and fairly investigating the complaints in a confidential manner, to the extent possible; and preventing retaliation.
- Translate the Policy into Other Languages. This requirement only applies to employers whose workforce at any facility or office contains ten percent (10%) or more employees who speak a language other than English as their primary language. If this applies to you, then your Policy and your Pregnancy Disability Leave policy must be translated into your employees’ native language.
- Distribute the new Policy. Once the Policy is in place, it must be distributed to your employees to ensure that they understand the Policy, by either physically or electronically sending them to your employees. A signed acknowledgement of receipt and understanding should be obtained from each employee.
- Provide Sexual Harassment Training and Education. Under the existing law, employers with fifty or more employees or contractors must provide sexual harassment training to its supervisors every two years. The new regulations require that employers now maintain records for a minimum of two years, which include the following: the names of the supervisory employees trained, the date of training, the sign in sheet, a copy of all certificates of attendance or completion issued, the type of training, a copy of all written or recorded materials that comprise the training, and the name of the training provider.
This foregoing list focuses on some of the major changes to the FEHA regulations, but it is not exhaustive and should not be treated or considered as legal advice.
As you navigate these new changes in the law, the attorneys at Garcia & Gurney, ALC are happy to help and advise you. Please contact us with any questions or for help updating your policies.