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California Adds ‘Transgender,’ ‘Gender Nonconforming Individuals’ to Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for Supervisors

By Michelle E. Phillips, Cary G. Palmer and Sierra Vierra
  • October 24, 2017

Employers subject to California’s mandatory sexual harassment training requirement for supervisors will need to ensure their programs include prevention of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation following an amendment (SB 396) to California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

On October 15, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 396 into law. California remains at the forefront of promoting awareness and protections of transgender and gender nonconforming individuals in the workplace.

As of January 1, 2018, employers must display a poster issued by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing regarding transgender rights in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace. The Department’s poster is available on its website.
 
SB 396 amends Government Code section 12950.1, which requires an employer with at least 50 employees to provide supervisors at least two hours of training regarding sexual harassment and abusive conduct. Amended Section 12950.1 includes harassment training on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. The training must provide examples of such harassment, and the trainer must have knowledge or expertise in this area.

Employers should consult with the Jackson Lewis counsel with whom they work on how best to prepare and deliver compliant and impactful transgender training materials.
 
In addition to creating new poster and training requirements, SB 396 also amended the Unemployment Insurance Code (UIC) in two significant ways. First, the UIC was amended to include transgender and gender nonconforming individuals as persons eligible for programs and services offered under the California Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Second, the UIC was amended to allow community-based organizations that assist transgender and gender nonconforming individuals to serve as members on the California Workforce Development Board.

(For more on the state regulations in this area, see our article, California’s New Regulations Offer More Protection for Transgender Individuals.)

If you have any questions regarding the new requirements or want to discuss training programs tailored to your organizational needs, please contact our firm’s LGBT national expert or the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.

©2017 Jackson Lewis P.C. This Update is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between Jackson Lewis and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of their own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the express written consent of Jackson Lewis.

This Update may be considered attorney advertising in some states. Furthermore, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Jackson Lewis P.C. represents management exclusively in workplace law and related litigation. Our attorneys are available to assist employers in their compliance efforts and to represent employers in matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. For more information, please contact the attorney(s) listed or the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.

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