Capitol Alert

Sexual harassment training for nearly all California workers if Democrat gets her way

A state senator is pushing legislation to require nearly every worker in California to undergo mandatory sexual harassment training.

State law requires supervisors at companies with 50 or more employees to participate in two hours of sexual harassment training once every two years. Senate Bill 1343, introduced by Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, would require companies with five or more employees to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment training to all workers by 2020 and then once every two years.

“In order for this culture shift around sexual harassment prevention to be successful, workers need to feel confident in their workplace policies and procedures,” Mitchell said in a statement.

Mitchell introduced the bill in partnership with California Controller Betty Yee, the state's highest-ranking female elected official, after the "Me Too" movement drew attention to ongoing problems with sexual harassment in all sectors of the workforce, from Hollywood to the Capitol.

Mitchel also serves as the vice chair of the Joint Committee on Rules Subcommittee on Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response, a bipartisan panel of lawmakers charged with crafting new policies to stem sexual harassment in the Legislature. Since December, three male state legislators have resigned and one female is on a leave of absence in light of sexual harassment allegations against them.

SB 1343 instructs employers to give workers information on how to report harassment and requires the Department of Fair Employment and Housing to develop a training video for companies to provide to employees.

The Senate can take action on the bill later this month.

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