S.B. 1087 Focuses on Sexual Harassment Prevention
A new California law makes big changes for Farm Labor Contractors (“FLCs”) aimed at preventing sexual harassment. The changes affect FLC licensing requirements and employee training. California Labor Commissioner Julie Su sent a letter to all California FLCs in December summarizing the changes made by the new law. (The letter can be found here: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/Letter_to_FLC.pdf)
Continuing Education. The annual continuing education requirement for FLCs increases from eight (8) hours to nine (9) hours under the new law. The extra hour is for sexual harassment prevention training. The Labor Commissioner states that if an FLC completed the 8 hour requirement before December 31, 2014, the additional hour is not required for its 2015 renewal.
Employee Training. All employees, both supervisors and non-supervisors, must receive training for identifying, preventing, and reporting sexual harassment in the workplace. Supervisors must receive at least two (2) hours of training each year. Non-supervisors must be trained at the time of hire and at least once every two years. Prior to this new law, only large employers (50 or more employees) were required to provide supervisors with sexual harassment training. Now, all FLCs must train their supervisors, regardless of size. Further, supervisor training is now required on an annual basis, rather than every other year.
License Eligibility. Anyone that has committed sexual harassment of an employee or employed a supervisor that committed sexual harassment of an employee within the proceeding three (3) years will be prohibited from getting an FLC license. Further, the FLC’s license may be revoked, suspended, or denied renewal if the FLC or a supervisor is found to have committed sexual harassment of an employee.
Penalties for Unlicensed FLCs. The penalty for operating without an FLC license after suspension, revocation, or denial has doubled from $5,000 to $10,000.
Application and Examination Fees. The fee to apply for an FLC license or license renewal is now $600 (increased from $500) and the fee to take the FLC examination is now $184 (increased from $100).
Advice to Employers
The first step towards sexual harassment prevention is developing and enforcing an anti-harassment policy. Sexual harassment training should be provided for all employees that includes training on the employer’s procedures for reporting sexual harassment. Resources available through the DFEH website may be used during training, including the DFEH Sexual Harassment pamphlet, which should be provided to all employees. The pamphlet can be found here: http://www.dfeh.ca.gov/res/docs/Publications/DFEH-185.pdf. Employers should keep records of all trainings for employees. Our firm regularly provides sexual harassment training for employers and advises employers on these issues. Also, our February webinar will focus on sexual harassment issues. For more information please call our office or visit our website at www.suttonhague.com/events.