Employment Law Commentary: Five Years of AB 1825: Is Two Hours of Prevention Worth a Pound of Cure?

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As of January 2011, the sexual harassment training requirements for supervisory employees imposed by California Assembly Bill 1825 (“AB 1825”) will have been in place for five years. At the time of AB 1825’s passage in 2004, however, the concept of harassment or sensitivity training was not novel. By one account, seven out of 10 large employers provided harassment training to their employees in the late 1990s.1 Today, most employers dutifully anticipate their biannual compliance requirements under AB 1825 and develop sophisticated policies and procedures to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. With so much emphasis placed on preventive measures, it may have come as a surprise recently to see the headlines document how the CEO of a major Fortune 100 company was felled by a sexual harassment claim. News like this seems an appropriate catalyst for reexamining what we have learned from the past five years, if not several decades, of harassment training.

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