Staying Compliant With California’s New Nonprofit Sexual Harassment Training Rules

The #MeToo movement brought monumental change to Hollywood, politics, and a host of other industries. When the state of California passed SB-1343 last year, the nonprofit sector joined that list. The new legislation significantly expanded the number of people who would be required to undertake mandatory sexual harassment training.

In the past, California law stated that supervisors at nonprofits with more than 50 employees were required to go through the training. With the passing of the new legislation, every employee in an organization that employs more than five paid staff members will need to participate in sexual harassment training.

The Training

The exact nature of the training will depend on an employee’s position in the company. For regular (non-supervisor) employees, one hour of training is necessary. Supervisory employees, on the other hand, must undergo at least two hours of training.

For the purposes of the new sexual harassment rules, a supervisor is described as “anyone with authority to hire, fire, assign, transfer, discipline, or reward other employees” or “anyone with the authority to effectively recommend (but not necessarily take) these actions if exercising that authority requires the use of independent judgment.”

A small sampling of the topics to be covered during the training would include:

  • Strategies to prevent sexual harassment.
  • Real-life examples of harassment.
  • Remedies for victims of harassment.
  • Procedures to follow in the event of a harassment claim.
  • The obligations of supervisors to report sexual harassment.

California law also states that the training must be led by a qualified individual. Such trainers will fall into one of three categories:

  • An employment attorney who has been a member of the bar in any state for a period of at least 2 years.
  • A human resource professional who has at least 2 years of practical experience in investigating and responding to sexual harassment claims or creating sexual harassment training programs.
  • A college or law school with a post-graduate degree or California teaching credential and at least 20 hours of instructional experience in the field of employment law.


Nonprofits must ensure that their current employees have gone through their required training before the end of 2019. For new hires, training must be completed within 6 months.

Once successfully completed, the training will need to be completed again once every 2 years.

Administrative Requirements

As part of the new sexual harassment training rules, nonprofits will also have a few additional administrative requirements. Most notably, they will be required to update their employee handbooks to include information on harassment policies and training requirements. Secondarily, however, they will also need to put up new posters and provide California sexual harassment posters to their employees.

Semanchik Law Group

If you would like more information about the new nonprofit sexual harassment training requirements, Semanchik Law Group can help. As specialists in nonprofit law, we can help you better understand your responsibilities and remain compliant with the new legislation. To set up an initial consultation, simply give us a call at (619) 535-1811.