California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 2053

Introduced by Assembly Member Gonzalez

February 20, 2014

An act to amend Section 12950.1 of the Government Code, relating to employment.


AB 2053, as introduced, Gonzalez. Employment discrimination or harassment: education and training: abusive conduct.

Existing law makes specified employment practices unlawful, including the harassment of an employee directly by the employer or indirectly by agents of the employer with the employer’s knowledge. Existing law further requires every employer to act to ensure a workplace free of sexual harassment by implementing certain minimum requirements, including posting sexual harassment information posters at the workplace and obtaining and making available an information sheet on sexual harassment.

Existing law also requires employers, as defined, with 50 or more employees to provide at least 2 hours of training and education regarding sexual harassment to all supervisory employees, as specified. Existing law requires each employer to provide that training and education to each supervisory employee once every 2 years.

This bill would additionally require that the above-described training and education include, as a component of the training and education, prevention of abusive conduct, as defined. The bill would also make technical, nonsubstantive changes to these provisions.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1


Section 12950.1 of the Government Code is
2amended to read:



(a) begin deleteBy January 1, 2006, an end deletebegin insertAn end insertemployer having 50
4or more employees shall provide at least two hours of classroom
5or other effective interactive training and education regarding
6sexual harassment to all supervisory employees in Californiabegin delete who
7are employed as of July 1, 2005, and to all new supervisory
8employeesend delete
within six months of their assumption of a supervisory
9position.begin delete Any employer who has provided this training and
10education to a supervisory employee after January 1, 2003, is not
11required to provide training and education by the January 1, 2006,
12deadline. After January 1, 2006, eachend delete
begin insert Anend insert employer covered by this
13section shall provide sexual harassment training and education to
14each supervisory employee in California once every two years.
15The training and education required by this section shall include
16information and practical guidance regarding the federal and state
17statutory provisions concerning the prohibition against and the
18prevention and correction of sexual harassment and the remedies
19available to victims of sexual harassment in employment. The
20training and education shall also include practical examples aimed
21at instructing supervisors in the prevention of harassment,
22discrimination, and retaliation, and shall be presented by trainers
23or educators with knowledge and expertise in the prevention of
24harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.

begin insert

25(b) An employer shall also include prevention of abusive conduct
26as a component of the training and education specified in
27subdivision (a).

end insert
begin delete


end delete

29begin insert(c)end insert The state shall incorporate the training required by
30subdivision (a) into the 80 hours of training provided to all new
31supervisory employees pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section
3219995.4, using existing resources.

begin delete

33(c) For purposes of this section only, “employer” means any
34person regularly employing 50 or more persons or regularly
35receiving the services of 50 or more persons providing services
36pursuant to a contract, or any person acting as an agent of an
37employer, directly or indirectly, the state, or any political or civil
38subdivision of the state, and cities.

end delete

P3    1(d) Notwithstanding subdivisions (j) and (k) of Section 12940,
2a claim that the training and education required by this section did
3not reach a particular individual or individuals shall not in and of
4itself result in the liability of any employer to any present or former
5employee or applicant in any action alleging sexual harassment.
6Conversely, an employer’s compliance with this section does not
7insulate the employer from liability for sexual harassment of any
8current or former employee or applicant.

9(e) If an employer violates this section, the department may
10seek an order requiring the employer to comply with these

12(f) The training and education required by this section is
13intended to establish a minimum threshold and should not
14discourage or relieve any employer from providing for longer,
15more frequent, or more elaborate training and education regarding
16workplace harassment or other forms of unlawful discrimination
17in order to meet its obligations to take all reasonable steps
18necessary to prevent and correct harassment and discrimination.

begin insert

19(g) (1) For purposes of this section only, “employer” means
20any person regularly employing 50 or more persons or regularly
21receiving the services of 50 or more persons providing services
22pursuant to a contract, or any person acting as an agent of an
23employer, directly or indirectly, the state, or any political or civil
24subdivision of the state, and cities.

end insert
begin insert

25(2) For purposes of this section, “abusive conduct” means
26conduct of an employer or employee in the workplace, with malice,
27that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and
28unrelated to an employer’s legitimate business interests. Abusive
29conduct may include repeated infliction of verbal abuse, such as
30the use of derogatory remarks, insults, and epithets, verbal or
31physical conduct that a reasonable person would find threatening,
32intimidating, or humiliating, or the gratuitous sabotage or
33undermining of a person’s work performance. A single act shall
34not constitute abusive conduct, unless especially severe and

end insert