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March 11, 2016

Amendments to California’s Anti-Harassment Laws, Anti-Discrimination Policies Effective April 1

New regulations under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which  prohibit discrimination and harassment in the workplace based on race and gender, among other protected categories, will go into effect on April 1, 2016.

Among other things, the new regulations add these new provisions to FEHA:   

  • A requirement that businesses with five or more employees have a written policy against unlawful harassment, discrimination, and retaliation by supervisors, managers and coworkers, as well as by third-parties (e.g., vendors or customers), in the workforce, and that employers disseminate the policy to all employees.
  • The newly required written policy must list each protected category under FEHA.
  • Provide a complaint process that includes: confidentiality (to the extent possible); a timely response; a timely and impartial investigation by a qualified person; documentation and tracking of investigation process; due process; appropriate remedial actions and resolution of complaints; and timely closure of investigations.
  • The policy must specify that complainants of violations under the policy will not be retaliated against for bringing a complaint or participating in an investigation.
  • The policy must be translated into every language that is spoken by at least 10 percent of the workforce in any location.
  • Extension of anti-discrimination protections to applicants or employees who hold “AB 60” driver’s licenses.

Members should consult with employment counsel to determine how their policies should be revised to ensure they are in compliance. 

To help members ensure their compliance with state mandated sexual harassment training in California, Western Growers is holding two training sessions in Tulare on May 5. One session will be conducted in English and one in Spanish. The classes will focus on the following learning objectives:

  • Define harassment and discrimination
  • Explain the difference between illegal harassment and abusive conduct
  • List and define the two types of harassment that exist
  • State the importance of preventing and addressing harassment in the workplace
  • Understand your responsibilities as supervisors for handling complaints
  • Understand the new regulations under the FEHA

For more information or to register for the class in English, CLICK HERE.

For more information or to register for the class in Spanish, CLICK HERE.