Updated Requirements for Anti-Discrimination and Harassment

May 23, 2016 10:15 pm

Updated Requirements for Anti-Discrimination and Harassment

Anti-Discrimination and Harassment

Significant changes to California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) become effective on April 1st. The updates include:

  • Specific requirements for harassment and discrimination training including content to address “abusive conduct” and recordkeeping requirements for e-learning sessions and webinars;
  • Updated definitions relating to gender expression, gender identity and transgender employees; and
  • An employer’s affirmative duty to take reasonable steps to prevent and promptly correct discriminatory and harassing conduct.

One of the biggest changes to FEHA is the express requirement for employers to develop a written harassment, discrimination and retaliation prevention policy that must address eight specific topics including all protected categories covered by the Act, a compliant process that ensures confidentiality to the extent possible, impartial and timely investigations, a guarantee of no retaliation, and appropriate remedial actions and resolutions. The policy may be distributed to employees in print or via e-mail, and should include an acknowledgement return form. FEHA also requires that the policy be translated into any language that is spoken by at least 10% of an employer’s workforce.

You may have received notices from law offices or your payroll service warning you of the impending changes. If your Employee Handbook was prepared by Sierra HR Partners or Fishman, Larsen & Callister you can rest assured that we are on top of these updates and will be providing new policy language in a timely manner. (If your handbook has not been updated through 2016, please contact us so we can be sure it contains the most recent information.) If you have other questions about how the FEHA requirements may affect your business, please contact us.

Form I-9 Expiration Date

You may have noticed that your Form I-9 has an expiration date of March 31, 2016. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has directed that employers continue to use the existing form until its proposed changes are approved by the Office of Management and Budget. Sierra HR Partners will keep you updated when a revised Form I-9 is released.

Sierra HR Partners can provide Anti-Harassment and Discrimination Prevention training for you employees. Our program, developed with lawyers, meets all AB 1825 requirements, including AB 2053’s amendment covering abusive conduct/bullying, in an interactive forum. Click here for more information, or give us a call to discuss booking a session.

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