What the Legislature and Jerry Brown Did While We Were Sleeping and How it Affects Nearly Every Employer in California!!

First off, this is not going to be good news to employers with 5 or more employees. Secondly please read this before continuing: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/new-california-laws-change-sexual-37716/ .

So basically, one offense and the claim becomes triable. In the past there had to be several reports in order for it to become triable and they had to be documented. I suggest that everyone get Employment Practices Liability (EPLI) as quickly as humanly possible. Premiums are low right now, but anyone can see what is on the horizon for that line of business in California.

The other massive issue for my large clients is the training expansion in SB 1343 to require all employees to have Sexual Harassment Training : https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB1343 see section 2 12950.1. (a). Now this may be easy for someone in my environment where we have 60 or so employees in the same building, most of which have worked here forever with a low turnover rate, that may be true. But what about the clients with more than 600 hires per year, a turnover rate in the 30-50% range because of seasonal work, that hires over a period of 4-6 weeks, or picks up employees based on need during the year ( please see the above Section 2 12950.1 (h) . I am currently planning strategies on complying with this as we speak, but try and get your head around the logistics in this, especially if you are hiring from more than one location?

This would include any contracted labor as well (also in (h) but, the contractor is responsible to provide such training, but the reach through laws of the Department of Labor will lay this at the Contractee’s feet if the Contractor does not provide the training or cannot pay any fine associated with non-compliance, that I guarantee.

I have run preliminary numbers on cost for this Training for one large client and estimate that the raw cost (payroll only) is in excess of $21,000. Then you throw in the hidden or under the waterline costs like Workers Comp, Payroll tax, possibly contracting with outside vendor for the service, etc… It seems to never end. To me this is a wild knee-jerk reaction to the #MeToo movement from both the legislature and the outgoing Governor. Subjugating all to the whims of others whom have never run a business or had responsibility for employee oversight. I wonder if the legislature itself is subject to this and if it is well attended? (d) says the “State” is, but not them specifically.

There is also AB 2034 (https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB2034 ) that applies to a variety of businesses, but curiously includes Farm Labor Contractors. It requires them to post a notification concerning Human Trafficking, and on or before January 1, 2021, requires 20 minutes of training to recognize the signs of Human Trafficking. So those particular accounts have that coming also.

For the record, I am not opposed to the current level of Sexual Harassment Training or Human Trafficking Recognition Training at the Supervisory level, but every employee? I think putting that onus on the employer is egregious at best.

Please contact me at guyt@vanbeurden.com if you have any questions, comments or are in need of my services.

Guy Teafatiller

guyt@vanbeurden.com

Vice President | Kingsburg