Last year, the state legislature passed, and the governor signed into law, SB 1343, which imposes additional responsibility on many employers to provide training on the topic of Sexual Harassment Prevention.
Initial training for all existing employees was originally required to be completed before January 1, 2020, however, the legislation was amended later in 2019 to extend the deadline to December 31, 2020, and training must be repeated every two years thereafter. All newly hired employees are required to receive training within the first 30 days or 100 hours of work, beginning with the first day of employment.
This requirement is MANDATORY for all employers with five or more employees, and optional for any others. There is no distinction in the law between full-time, part-time, temporary or seasonal employees, no matter how few hours they work. There does not appear to be an exception for employees who received training from another employer or for an employee who completed training in 2018.
Supervisory employees, which includes pastors and most other ministerial employees, must complete a minimum of two hours of training. All other staff employees must complete a one-hour course.
Because of the nature of small churches – which make up the majority of the Convention – where much of the work that goes on is conducted by volunteers, even if the church has no other employee than the pastor, we recommend that pastors complete the supervisor training as part of their due diligence. Churches need to implement policies and procedures relative to Sexual Harassment and Prevention Training as part of their personnel policies or their overall Policies and Procedures.
CSBC has contracted with HR Classroom to provide the required training at a reduced cost of only $9.50 per trainee – staff or supervisor. The course is completed online, normally during work hours (employees cannot be required to complete the training “off-the-clock” to avoid being paid).
Training is now available in both English and Spanish. In order to obtain CSBC's discounted price for training through HR Classroom, churches must contact the CSBC Human Resources & Church Compliance Ministry and provide the names and email addresses of each employee, identifying each employee as staff or supervisor. The HRCC Ministry will email the appropriate training links to each employee, and will invoice the church for the cost of training. For more information, please contact the HRCC Ministry at 559-256-0858 or e-mail to email@example.com.
- Read the related article from the Compliance Corner published in the June California Southern Baptist.
- Seven Steps for Creating an Effective Sexual Harassment Policy
- Conducting Sexual Harassment Investigations Allegations
Employees vs. independent contractors.
Churches are also cautioned to review other information posted on the Compliance pages concerning employees vs. independent contractors.
Workers classified as employees must receive Sexual Harrassment Prevention training if the church has five or more employees.
In 2018, the California Supreme Court created a new three-part “test” that makes it much more difficult to classify a worker as an independent contractor. For many years, too many of our churches, large and small alike, have been misclassifying employees as independent contractors (primarily musicians and custodians) or paying volunteers for their effort, which makes them employees, all of which exposes the churches and its officers and directors to liability for “wage theft” and “workers’ compensation fraud” – both of which are criminal offenses. Those workers need to be reclassified as employees.
Read related article on classifying employees vs. independent contractors.
For more information about these and other compliance matters, please contact Ministry Specialist Max Herr at 559-256-0858 or firstname.lastname@example.org