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California Adds Anti-Bullying to Harassment Prevention

California Adds Anti-Bullying to Harassment Prevention

Starting January 1, 2015 California employers will need to add abusive conduct to their mandatory sexual harassment prevention training.

The new law, AB 2053, requires that employers include "prevention of abusive conduct as a component of the [harassment prevention] training."

Defining Abusive Conduct

The bill defines abusive conduct as conduct "with malice, that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to an employer's legitimate business interests." Examples offered in the bill include:

  • repeated use of insults
  • derogatory remarks and epithets
  • threatening, intimidating or humiliating verbal or physical conduct
  • gratuitous sabotage of a person's work performance.

The bill excludes a single act, unless it is especially severe.

What Does AB 2053 Mean For Employers?

AB 2053 does not create the ability for an individual to sue for bullying in general.

The anti-bullying rule has the same requirements as AB 1825, which, as you recall, requires businesses that employ 50 or more people provide two hours of sexual harassment prevention training to supervisors and management every two years.

With AB 2053, those of you employing 50 or more employees in California should:

  • add abusive conduct to their in-house sexual harassment training
  • or check with their AB 1825 training provider to ensure anti-bullying is being added to their material

This law goes into effect January 1, 2015, so any training you have scheduled or will be scheduling after that date needs to include the anti-bullying element.

If you have questions about this or any other aspect of sexual harassment prevention training, please contact us - we are here to help!



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HRSPI offers comprehensive, interactive, AB1825-Compliant training. Programs include introduction to recent anti-bullying legislation.

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