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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 material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Reproduction of this material in whole or in part is prohibited without the express prior written consent of Jackson Lewis P.C., a law firm that built its reputation on providing workplace law representation to management. Founded in 1958, the firm has grown to more than 900 attorneys in major cities nationwide serving clients across a wide range of practices and industries including government relations, healthcare and sports law. More information about Jackson Lewis can be found at www.jacksonlewis.com.

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