DFEH Updates Required Harassment Prevention Pamphlet; Issues Guidance

Make sure you hand out sexual harassment prevention brochures that comply with the law.
Make sure you hand out sexual harassment prevention pamphlets that comply with the law.

Yesterday, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) announced an update to the required sexual harassment prevention brochure for California employers detailing California’s legal protections against sexual harassment.

Under Government Code section 12950(b), all employers must provide information to their employees that, at a minimum, covers the following topics:

  • The illegality of sexual harassment;
  • The definition of sexual harassment under state and federal law;
  • A description of sexual harassment, using examples;
  • The employer’s internal complaint process;
  • The legal remedies and complaint process available through the DFEH;
  • Directions on how to contact the DFEH; and
  • Protections against retaliation.

To comply with this requirement, employers can either distribute the sexual harassment prevention brochure produced by the DFEH (publication DFEH-185) or create their own pamphlets that contain, at a minimum, all of the above information. For example, CalChamber created a sexual harassment prevention pamphlet that meets the Government Code requirements, provides additional helpful information for both the employer and the employee and enforces your zero-tolerance policy.

In addition to producing the sexual harassment prevention brochure, the DFEH also provided the same information in an easy-to-print “poster” form that employers can print out and distribute to their employees. Although the DFEH refers to the printable information sheet as a “poster,” it is really just an information sheet. It is not to be posted on the wall; instead, employers are required to distribute the information sheet in “a manner that ensures distribution to each employee.”

Take note: There is a separate posting requirement. In addition to distributing an information sheet on sexual harassment, employers must post the DFEH poster entitled California Law Prohibits Workplace Discrimination and Harassment” (publication DFEH-162) in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace.

New Guidance Also Issued

The DFEH also released a new Workplace Harassment Guide for California Employers that provides recommended employer practices for preventing and addressing all forms of workplace harassment, including harassment based on sex.

The DFEH developed the guide in conjunction with the California Sexual Harassment Task Force, and the guide is aimed at helping employers:

  • Develop an effective anti-harassment program;
  • Know what to do and how to investigate reports of harassment; and
  • Understand what remedial measures they might pursue.

“Preventing and correcting sexual harassment in the workplace is not only legally required, but it is one of the best ways that an employer can ensure a healthy and productive workplace for all employees,” said DFEH Director Kevin Kish, in a statement.

Gail Cecchettini Whaley, CalChamber Employment Law Counsel/Content

CalChamber members can read more about Required Posters and Pamphlets in the HR Library. Not a member? Learn more about what HRCalifornia can do for you.

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