Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training in California

Sexual harassment is an issue that effects every workplace. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination based on sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation, and can include begavior of a sexual nature or otherwise. One of the most common types of harassment in the workplace is sexual harassment. 

Sexual harassment includes any unwelcome behavior that is related to someone’s gender, sexual orientation, or sexual in nature. These comments or actions can be directed at or about an individual, a group, or a gender specifically. Common types of sexual harassment can include sexual advances, Inappropriate workplace materials, and discrimination based on someone’s gender or identity. 

Discrimination based on someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity is illegal and companies found to participate or have knowledge about sexual harassment can face lawsuits. The EEOC had over 10,000 sexual harassment complaints in 2021. For sexual harassment statistics for the past ten years visit

The best way to deal with sexual harassment in your company is to prevent it. Prevention includes offering training, providing a line of communication to report issues, and taking action against harassment. 


California state law requires that every company with over 5 employees require sexual harassment training within six months of being hired and retrained every two years. Every employee, including supervisors, must be trained. Supervisors are required to receive an extra hour of training. Harassment can happen in person or over the internet, so even if your employees work from home, training is still required and encouraged. 

Training must cover what behaviors are considered sexual harassment, how to report it, resources for survivors, and examples to help supervisors recognize and prevent harassment. It is a supervisor’s responsibility to report any claims of harassment and training should cover the process of a harassment complaint. 

When companies don’t require training, harassing incidents are less likely to be reported or addressed. Harassment in the workplace can lead to hostile work environments, loss of productivity, and costly settlements. When employees are trained on what sexual harassment is, they are more likely to report it if they see it. When supervisors know how to handle harassment claims, they are able to maintain a healthy work environment, which leads to a more productive company.  

Training can be online, in person, or through a webinar. Companies are also required to monitor and keep track of their employees’ training. Some companies provide specific sexual harassment training in California which covers all the requirements under California law. Training for sexual harassment should be specific to your industry, cover what constitutes sexual harassment, and provide real resources for your employees. 

Lines of Communication

Employees should have multiple lines of communication available for them to report and harassing behavior done to them or any they have witnessed. Employees should be encouraged to seek out their manager, supervisor, or human resource representative if they are aware of any sexual harassment happening. It is helpful to frequently remind employees to report these issues, and provide reliable ways to do so. 

The more lines of communication open between the employees and management about these concerns, the more likely incidents will be reported. Some employees won’t feel comfortable reporting these issues face-to-face. Others might need an anonymous option. Make sure you make it clear to your employees that they can report these claims through email, anonymous hotline, in-person, or through the mail. 

If an employee feels they have been harassed or discriminated against in California, they can also report the incident to This complaint must be made within three years of the incident. These complaints can lead to lawsuits against the company. The easiest way for a company to avoid these lawsuits is to encourage reporting and take action quickly against the claims. 

Take Action

When a claim is made, quick action will keep the work environment safe and comfortable for everyone. It is important to listen to the complaint completely and earnestly, offering empathy to the victim. The first step is making sure the victim feels heard and seen. After hearing the claim, immediate action is required while the investigation takes place. The best course of action is dependent on the complaint, but the goal is to protect the victim from the alleged harasser until a conclusion is made. 

By taking immediate action, you are protecting your employees while you have time to investigate the claims. This will help your employees see you as an ally, creating more trust for the future. Investigating the claim should be done thoroughly. It is always a good idea to hire a third-party investigator for neutrality in the situation. Once the investigation is complete, make a fair conclusion about the claim, and take reasonable action based on that conclusion. Both parties should be informed of the investigation, and any action that is taken. 

Participating and encouraging training, providing resources for reporting, and taking action can help reduce harassment cases in your company. 

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.