Senate Bill 1343 was signed into law last year and took effect Jan. 1, fundamentally changing the requirement for mandatory sexual harassment prevention education for employees and their supervisors.
Previously applicable to employers with 50 or more employees, the new law imposes mandatory training on all employers with as few as five full-time, part-time and temporary or seasonal employees. This impacts a significant percentage of CSBC-affiliated churches. Churches with two or more employees should consider training their employees.
The educational requirement calls for a minimum of two hours of monitored coursework for supervisors, and a minimum of one hour for all other employees. Senior pastors must complete supervisor training. Training for all current employees must be completed prior to Jan. 1, 2020, and again every two years thereafter. Any newly hired employees must be trained within their first 30 days or 100 hours of employment, whichever comes first.
Unfortunately, employees and supervisors who completed sexual harassment prevention training in 2018 must retake it before the Dec. 31 deadline.
Employers must either develop their own compliant training programs or utilize third-party resources. The principal challenge facing our churches, like most other small employers, is how to provide the required training. Even our largest churches typically do not have the staff resources and certified trainers to cost-effectively design and administer compliant training. With nearly 100 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees between our Fresno offices and Jenness Park, CSBC was challenged with finding a reasonably priced training solution that would meet our needs and also work for our churches.
Third-party training courses are frequently priced as high as $45 per employee; for a lower per-employee cost, vendors typically have a 50-employee minimum, and that can mean a minimum expense of $500 to $2,000. With only five employees, however, the cost to a church could be $100 or more per employee.
To train our employees, and to be able to offer our churches a resource to meet the mandatory training requirement, CSBC evaluated a number of vendors and has selected “HR Classroom” to provide online training for supervisors and other employees. Employee feedback has been very positive. The online courses are time-based instructional models, completed using a personal computer, tablet or even a smartphone, and may be started, stopped and later resumed as needed. Employees should complete training as part of their regular workday, and may not be required to take the training “off the clock” — employees must be compensated if they take the training outside the workplace.
And, of greatest importance, the cost per employee is only $9.50! There is no minimum requirement — a church with five employees would pay just $47.50 for training.
For more information, contact CSBC human resources and church compliance at 559-256-0858 or firstname.lastname@example.org.