In keeping with the Social Principals of the United Methodist Church, naming sexual harassment as an abuse of God’s good gift of human sexuality (¶ 161J), Cal-Pac Conference’s Office of Human Resources would like to make our churches aware of new legislation in the State of California regarding harassment prevention training.
On September 1, 2018, a new law was enacted in California (S.B. 1343) that expands the requirement for mandatory sexual harassment prevention training for supervisors to include all employers with 5 or more employees. Previously, the law required this training for employers with 50 or more employees. In addition, the new law requires harassment awareness training for all non-supervisory employees. Both groups must receive training every two years, and the first round of training under the original law was to be completed by January 1, 2020. Note that the deadline for completion of training for employers who were not previously covered by a mandatory requirement—those with 5 to 50 employees—was extended to January 1, 2021 by SB 778, which was recently passed and signed into law.
The training must meet certain criteria. It can be either classroom or online training, but it must be interactive, and the trainer must have certain qualifications, ie: be an attorney, an HR professional, a harassment prevention consultant, or a professor in a law school or university. There are many options for training, including the following:
- Department of Fair Employment & Housing Toolkit (DFEH)—to be used with a qualified trainer
- DFEH no-cost online training course (available in late 2019)
- Trainer or online program of choice that meets the requirements for content and trainer qualifications
- Hub International and Philadelphia Insurance Co. are working together to bring online Sexual Harassment Prevention training to our churches at no cost, in English and Spanish. The training has been designed and provided by In2vate, LLC, specifically for our churches. Call Lizet Hernandez (310) 568-5986 or Eva Litvinova (310) 568-5965 at Hub International to be set up as an Administrator to be able to register employees for the training.
- CongregationU, a sister company to Safe Gatherings, has revised their online sexual harassment training to be in compliance with California’s new requirements, and they are offering it to our churches at a discounted price. All churches will receive a notice directly from CongregationU about this option available to them, and they can sign up if they would like. Here is a link to the “Get Started” page on the CongregationU website, where the church may set up an account: https://congregationu.com/get-started/. And here is a link to pricing information for the various courses. Please note that CongregationU is offering a 20% discount on the courses to the churches in Cal-Pac Conference, so you should calculate 20% off the prices you see on the chart: https://d2b9zz27h4gtbo.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Course-Pricing-page-Feb-2019.pdf
For clarification, this legally-mandated training on the topic of workplace sexual and other harassment prevention is separate and distinct from abuse prevention programs such as Safe Gatherings and Safe Sanctuaries, which are focused on prevention of abuse of children, youth and vulnerable adults in the religious environment.
For general questions about this announcement, you may contact Jan Hanson, Director of Human Resources, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please consult with legal counsel for questions regarding specific requirements and applicability for your church.
Here are links to more details about this new law, as well as resources provided by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing: