Revised Bill Seeks To Prevent Workplace Bullying in California
California takes workplace bullying prevention seriously.
At the end of the 2014 California State legislative session, Governor Jerry Brown passed an employment bill that adds abusive conduct as a required element of Assembly Bill 1825 (AB 1825) on sexual harassment prevention.
California’s existing AB 1825 requires that all new supervisors of employers with 50 or more employees receive sexual harassment prevention training within six months of hire or promotion, and all current supervisors attend training every two years. The revised AB 1825 states that the existing sexual harassment training must also include a component on abusive conduct prevention.
The revised bill defines abusive conduct as behavior that occurs in the workplace that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to an employer’s legitimate business interests. In other words, it’s what the kids call bullying.
Abusive conduct may include repeated cases of verbal abuse, threatening verbal or physical conduct, or the sabotaging or undermining of a person’s work performance. Unless especially severe, a single act does not constitute abusive conduct.
According to Tara Mikosz, Recruiting Manager and Senior Consultant at HRnovations, abusive conduct does not have to be sexual in nature, but it fits into California’s sexual harassment bill because it contributes to an unproductive work environment, and requires training very similar to that of sexual harassment prevention.
The regulation revision shouldn’t be too difficult for employers to implement.
“The new regulation adds content to training that already exists. It can fold into the training that employers are already doing,” Mikosz said.
To help employees really understand and retain the content on bullying behavior, Mikosz suggests using interactive training that incorporates specific examples.
How To Stay Compliant
Here at HSI Learning Systems, we can help you stay compliant. To accommodate for the regulation change, we’ve revised our California Sexual Harassment for Supervisors training course. Now, all employees issued this training will get current information on preventing and responding to abusive conduct.
Both interactive and full of engaging examples, HSI training helps employees remember what they’ve learned. A positive work environment promotes safety, and this updated course will help cultivate a culture of safety in the workplace.
Learn more about workplace safety training.