In order to conform with California’s SB1343 training which modifies AB1825, companies in California with at least 5 employees are mandated to offer sexual harassment prevention training to all employees (at least 1 hour) and supervisors (at least 2 hours).
As well as unlawful sexual harassment, the training must also cover other forms of harassment, discrimination, bullying, and retaliation. Prevention and remediation must also be covered in the training.
Our engaging, interactive, California Sexual Harassment training course combines relevant videos, scenarios, and quizzes that your employees will be able to identify with and apply to their roles.
S.B. 1343 requires that all employers of 5 or more employees provide 1 hour of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to non-managerial employees and 2 hours of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to managerial employees once every two years. There is no requirement that the 5 employees or contractors work at the same location or that all work or reside in California. Under the DFEH’s regulations, the definition of “employee” includes full-time, part-time, and temporary employees.
AB1825, which is part of the Fair Employment and Housing Act, first became effective August 17, 2007. The legislation mandates state-wide sexual harassment training for any employee who performs supervisory functions within a company of 50 employees or more.
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What Is Harassment?
Video: Definition of harassment. Examples of real-life stories that illustrate the impact of harassment.
Interactive Screen: What harassment includes and when harassment becomes actionable.
Scenario: Jokes based on an individual’s nationality.
Key Learning: Even if someone doesn’t intend any harm, if the target of the jokes is hurt by the jokes and this is happening on a regular basis, this could create a hostile work environment.
Scenario: Risqué emails that sometimes contain jokes on religion and sexuality.
Key Learning: Jokes that offend some colleagues could contribute to an offensive, hostile work environment.
Scenario: Friendly conversation offering dating advice.
Key Learning: Intent and perception are key to determining if a statement could be considered harassment.
What Is Discrimination?
Interactive Screen: Definition of discrimination. Examples of real-life stories that illustrate the impact of discrimination. Discrimination is never acceptable.
Interactive Screen: Laws and enforcement. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). State-specific laws.
Scenario: Time off for a religious holiday.
Key Learning: Religious accommodation laws allow employers to engage in discussion about these kinds of issues.
Scenario: Promoting when pregnant.
Scenario: Age considerations when promoting someone.
Key Learning: You cannot decide against promoting or hiring someone because you think they are too old.
What Is Retaliation?
Interactive Screen: Retaliation, protected activity, and adverse actions. Retaliation is never acceptable.
Interactive Screen: Real-life examples of retaliation and the impact it has.
Text & Image Screen: Definition of a “covered individual.”
Scenario: Senior colleague verbally abusing a junior colleague.
Key Learning: If you witness harassment or discrimination, you should report what you see and hear without fear of retaliation.
Scenario: What constitutes retaliation?
Key Learning: Any targeted action taken in response to being reported may be considered an act of retaliation.
Scenario: Action to take is subjected to retaliatory practices.
Key Learning: Speak to the individual. If actions continue, report them.
Impact of Harassment & Discrimination
Interactive Screen: Outline the impact that harassment has on the victim, the workforce, the company brand and reputation, productivity and profitability, and on management.
Scenario: Overhearing two colleagues mocking another colleague about religious dress.
Key Learning: In some cases the perpetrators of inappropriate behavior don’t believe they’re doing anything wrong. If you feel comfortable, speak to the perpetrators and ask them to stop.
Scenario: Mocking over religious dress continues.
Key Learning: When the perpetrator doesn’t change their behavior, it’s best to report the incident before the situation escalates.
Scenario: Wider impact that discrimination has in the workplace.
Key Learning: Discrimination may cause a colleague to become withdrawn and less engaged in the workplace. This could have an adverse effect on the workforce, as it may make other colleagues uncomfortable and could cause a divide in working teams and groups.
Laws, Protected Groups, & Types of Harassment
Interactive Screen: Federal discrimination laws. Who’s protected? What’s included?
Interactive Screen: State laws. Examples: California, New York, Washington DC, Massachusetts, New Jersey.
Interactive Services: What do we mean by protected groups? Examples of protected groups. Types of discrimination.
Interactive Screen: Types of harassment. Quid pro quo. Hostile work environment.
Interactive Screen: Affirmative defense – under federal law, an employer can avoid liability for discrimination if it can show three things.
Scenario: Drafting a job advertisement without discriminating against any protected groups.
Key Learning: Discriminatory conduct is prohibited in all aspects of the employment process, including recruitment.
Scenario: Candidate for an interview is in a wheelchair.
Key Learning: Unless it causes an employer undue hardship, refusing to accommodate an applicant or employee with a disability is discrimination.
Scenario: Consequences of rejecting a candidate because they might become pregnant.
Key Learning: Pregnancy is a class that is protected under both federal and state law. Marital status is a class that is protected under certain state anti-discrimination laws.
Interactive Screen: Definition of sexual harassment. It doesn’t have to be sexual in nature – could include offensive remarks about a person’s sex.
Interactive Screen: What constitutes sexual harassment? Verbal harassment, non-verbal (visual) harassment, physical harassment, teasing and offhand comments.
Interactive Screen: Does it have to be sexual? Who’s impacted? What does the law say? What is a hostile environment? What is quid pro quo? Are there specific laws to protect transgender people?
Scenario: A drunken proposal while at a work conference.
Key Learning: Just because an employee is not at work, they may not engage in inappropriate conduct that would otherwise be impermissible in the workplace itself.
Scenario: Spreading rumors about a colleague’s sexuality.
Key Learning: Offensive comments about a person’s sexuality are harassment, even if the victim doesn’t hear.
Scenario: Personal history interfering in a promotion decision.
Key Learning: Must have solid reasons for reaching a hiring decision.
Scenario: Same-sex harassment – one colleague sending another flirty emails and sticky notes.
Key Learning: Conduct constitutes harassment because the conduct is unwelcome and it has unreasonably interfered with his colleague’s work.
Scenario: Inappropriate physical touching.
Key Learning: Conduct may be considered harassment if it is unwelcomed and it makes the victim uncomfortable.
Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Harassment
Video: Define gender identity. Discrimination against an individual because that person is transgender is discrimination because of sex.
Scenario: Hiring a new team member who is in a same-sex relationship.
Key Learning: You cannot treat individuals differently because of their sexual orientation or preference.
Scenario: Whispers about gender reassignment.
Key Learning: When someone at work goes through a gender transition, it’s important to have in-person training with the employee’s managers and the colleagues who work directly with the transitioning employee.
Intent vs Perception
Interactive Screen: The difference between intent and perception. The burden of proof. The importance of perception.
Scenario: Proof of general discrimination.
Key Learning: Employees who assert discrimination claims must show that they suffered an adverse employment action because of their protected class or trait. Proof of this “causal connection” is at the heart of employment claims.
Scenario: Proof of age discrimination.
Key Learning: It’s important that a manager can show that they hired a candidate because the candidate was the best candidate for the job
Scenario: Legitimate nondiscriminatory reasons for not offering a promotion.
Key Learning: If required, you must be able to present a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason why a candidate didn’t get promoted.
Scenario: Perception of a joke about nationality.
Key Learning: You might not intend a comment to be offensive, but it may be perceived in that way. The impact of a perceived offense can be given greater weighting in law than the original intent.
Interactive Screen: Explain the ADA. Define disability. ADAAA. Applicability and enforcement.
Interactive Screen: Evaluating performance. Essential job functions. Marginal job functions.
Interactive Screen: Explain reasonable accommodations. Qualified individuals. Undue hardship.
Interactive Screen: Examples of the ADA in action.
Text & Image Screen: Outline the steps required when an accommodation is needed or requested.
Scenario: Hiring and the essential job functions.
Key Learning: You can only ask questions that you would lawfully ask any applicant. You cannot ask a person with a disability questions that you would not ask any other applicant.
Scenario: Downturn in productivity due to a medical condition.
Key Learning: Both federal and state laws restrict an employer’s ability to make disability-related inquiries. All discussions about reasonable accommodation should include HR.
Scenario: Accommodation request from employee with carpal tunnel syndrome
Key Learning: Reasonable accommodations vary based on the individual circumstances. Normally, only the manager needs to know the nature of the accommodation and that the accommodation has been approved. And remember, privacy laws and company policy protect the confidentiality of personal information, including medical details.
Preventing Harassment & Discrimination
Interactive Screen: A manager’s obligations, responsibilities, and reporting requirements.
Scenario: Educating your team on how to prevent harassment and discrimination.
Key Learning: We do not tolerate harassment or discrimination of any kind. Ensure that all of your team are aware that there are multiple channels for raising concerns.
Scenario: Handling a potential harassment and discrimination situation.
Key Learning: Empathize with an employee making a complaint and assure them that the company will investigate the complaint. Do not investigate any concerns or complaints yourself, even though your efforts might be well intentioned.
Scenario: Dealing with an offensive joke.
Key Learning: A key factor in preventing harassment and discrimination in the workplace is the faith an employee has in their manager to deal with such matters.
Recognizing Harassment & Discrimination
Interactive Screen: How to recognize and deal with potential harassment and discrimination situations.
Scenario: Possible discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Key Learning: Discuss the situation with the individual to see what he or she says and also speak to the other team members. Then, you can make a decision on whether you need to take any further action.
Scenario: Dealing with possible retaliation.
Key Learning: We do not tolerate retaliation, whether it comes directly from the individual or individuals involved in the original incident or from their colleagues or friends.
Scenario: Assigning projects to groups from the same ethnic background.
Key Learning: Be on the lookout for instances of harassment and discrimination, and where such instances occur, whether real or perceived, report them. Treat everyone equally and apply the same rules to everyone.
Managing Harassment & Discrimination
Interactive Screen: Handling complaints. Keeping an open mind. Understanding approach. Never retaliate. Follow policies. Confidentiality. Malicious complaints.
Scenario: Handling a sexual harassment complaint.
Key Learning: Certain situations don’t immediately warrant launching a formal investigation. However, if talking to both parties doesn’t result in the required behavior change, you’ll need to inform the appropriate department.
Scenario: Continuation of scenario on handling a sexual harassment complaint.
Key Learning: You should never investigate any concerns or complaints that are brought to your attention. Always inform the employee making the complaint that the company will keep the complaint confidential to the fullest extent possible under the law.
Scenario: Handling a complaint about failing to obtain a promotion.
Key Learning: If you fail to handle a situation like this with tact and compassion, it could lead to the employee filing a discrimination complaint. It is also important to keep HR informed of any situations on your team that could potentially escalate into discrimination cases.
Scenario: Handling a complaint about harassing behavior.
Key Learning: Sometimes, employees can find it very difficult to raise harassment or discrimination issues, so it’s vital that you act in an understanding manner and let the person know that we will investigate thoroughly. It’s also important that you inform HR of the situation immediately.
Interactive Screen: Define what diversity means. Innovative ideas and solutions to challenging issues can come from seeking input from those whose perspectives are different from our own.
Scenario: Encouraging diversity in the workplace.
Key Learning: It’s important that every member of the team is supporting and contributing to workplace diversity.
Scenario: Question on religious attire.
Key Learning: It takes time and patience to commit to diversity in the workplace. Grasp the opportunity to learn.
Interactive Screen: Creating an inclusive workplace. Include everyone. Take time to learn. Participate. Broaden your horizons.
Scenario: After-work drinks that compromise a team member’s beliefs.
Key Learning: Social activities and practices that are comfortable for you, may not be for everyone, and vice versa.
Interactive Screen: A workplace that promotes inclusion gains true value from its diverse workforce. Inclusive managers value diversity. What does an inclusive workplace look like? Promoting inclusivity. Fostering inclusion. Benefits of a diverse workplace.
Scenario: Team member considering a transfer because he doesn’t fit in with the team.
Key Learning: Actively support inclusion by encouraging a diverse group of employees to learn about their colleagues.
Scenario: Making a team member feel part of the team.
Key Learning: You are responsible for providing opportunities for staff to interact, inside, and sometimes outside, of work.
What Is Workplace Conduct?
Video: What is workplace conduct? Our company is committed to providing you with a safe, respectful, equitable, professional, and ethical workplace.
Interactive Screen: What is a Code of Conduct? Why do we need one? When will you need to use the CoC? What is your role?
Scenario: Manager asking for a favor in return for a promotion. Favor is unrelated to work.
Key Learning: If you are asked to do something that you think may breach our Code of Conduct, the best course of action is to politely and unequivocally decline.
Scenario: Overhearing a senior colleague using a racial slur.
Key Learning: It may seem obvious what to do in this situation. But, if you were in any doubt, our Code of Conduct explains that this type of behavior is unacceptable. Each of us has a duty to report inappropriate behavior and uphold our core values.
Bullying in the Workplace
Interactive Screen: What is bullying? Examples of bullying. What to do if you are a victim. Subtle forms of bullying.
Interactive Screen: Real-life examples of the impact of bullying.
Scenario: Persistent and public criticism from a colleague.
Scenario: Constant public criticism can have an adverse effect on a person’s confidence in their work and may cause them to be less engaged in group activities or team meetings.
Scenario: Action to take when someone refuses to stop criticizing a colleague in public.
Key Learning: Bullying doesn’t always involve raised voices or threats of violence. It can take the form of repeated criticism, or even nonverbal actions, such as aggressive body language. Exclusion is also a form of bullying.
Interactive Screen: What is abusive conduct? Verbal. Physical. Protected characteristics.
Scenario: Identifying actions that constitute abusive conduct.
Key Learning: In situations that involve abusive conduct, employers must take affirmative action and, in some cases, disciplinary measures against offending employees.
Scenario: Identifying the actions that should be taken when abusive conduct is reported.
Key Learning: The company should act to ensure that all employees are aware of what constitutes abusive conduct and that this conduct will not be tolerated.
Violence in the Workplace
Video: Workplace violence can happen to anybody, whatever their role and whomever they work for. It is any form of violent or aggressive behavior that creates a hostile work environment.
Interactive Screen: Prevention. Zero tolerance policy. Don’t stay silent. Don’t remain a victim. Know who protects you.
Interactive Screen: Real-life experiences of violence in the workplace.
Scenario: Identifying behaviors that may indicate the potential for workplace violence.
Key Learning: Overreacting to a normal request, abusing a customer, taking a lot of time off with no explanation, and obsessing with shootings in the news are all potential red flags for workplace violence. No single one of these signs is a sure indicator that someone may turn violent, but they should be enough to alert you to the possibility that action may need to be taken.
Scenario: Identify the actions to take when someone becomes verbally threatening.
Key Learning: It’s your duty to recognize the warning signs for workplace violence and to implement our zero tolerance policy by reporting all incidents and concerns immediately. You will never be asked to intervene with an individual directly.
Social Media Risks
Interactive Screen: Additional risks of harassment and discrimination posed by social media. Vicarious liability. Use outside of business hours.
Interactive Screen: Real-life example of the misuse of social media and the consequences that follow.
Scenario: Hacking into a colleague’s online dating profile and changing their sexual orientation.
Key Learning: Sexual orientation is a protected group. Mocking someone’s sexual orientation will likely upset many people and cause hurt.
Scenario: Posting inappropriate comments on social media outside of working hours next to a photo where the employee is wearing a polo shirt with a company logo.
Key Learning: Employees can be held liable for their actions outside of work hours and off work premises, as well as for their conduct within the workplace.
One of a manager’s many responsibilities is preventing harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
Companies have a responsibility to maintain a working environment free from harassment and discrimination. Interactive Services’ SB1343 training for abusive conduct, harassment, and discrimination makes companies in California a safe and comfortable place to work. It is vital that employees and managers are trained on the relevant policies, where they are, what they are, and how to implement them. Our training makes it clear that your company will not tolerate harassment, discrimination, or abusive conduct.
In addition to knowing and implementing the company policies, it is a manager’s obligation to report any conduct that violates the law or company policy – whether the violation is actual or suspected. Managers need to be trained on how to do this appropriately.
Companies implement a zero tolerance policy, and managers need training on how to communicate this to teams to help prevent harassment and discrimination. Remember, harassment and discrimination lead to poor employee morale, low productivity, and, potentially, legal action.
A workplace that promotes inclusion gains true value from its diverse workforce. Inclusive managers value diversity. They know that ethnicity, race, culture, religion and beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, and ability are valuable attributes of an individual’s identity.
Inclusive managers are committed to abolishing stereotypes and recognize the value of different perspectives.
Interactive Services’ materials train inclusive managers to always be looking for ways to promote inclusion.
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