State officials have approved final regulations for the landmark sexual harassment training law and the biggest clarification: the law now applies to larger firms that hire contract workers.


The final regulations were crafted by the Fair Employment and Housing Commission to clarify ambiguities in AB 1825, the sexual harassment training law passed nearly three years ago. The state Office of Administrative Law signed off on the regulations on July 18; they go into effect on Aug. 17.


AB 1825 was the Legislature's response to a steady rise in sexual harassment claims and lawsuits over the previous decade; it requires all firms with at least 50 employees to provide anti-sexual harassment training for supervisors.


But left unclear in the law was whether the term "employees" includes contract workers (who file 1099 Forms) or workers located out of state, whether out-of-state supervisors also had to be trained and just what qualifications were required to be a trainer.


A subsequent law clarified the supervisor issue, saying that only supervisors based in the state needed to be trained. And earlier this year, the Fair Employment and Housing Commission addressed the other issues. Besides including contract workers in the definition of employees, the agency said that the 50-employee total also must include out-of-state workers, though out-of-state workers do not need to be trained.


The agency also elaborated on the qualifications for trainers. Among those that can provide sexual harassment training are attorneys whose practice includes employment law. Also eligible: human resource professionals or "harassment prevention consultants" who have had experience providing sexual harassment training or responding to or investigating sexual harassment complaints.


Under AB 1825, each supervisor must receive two hours of training every two years, with new supervisors receiving their first training within six months of taking the post.


For more information, including the required content of the training sessions, log on to the Fair Employment and Housing Commission's web site at fehc.ca.gov.


Rubbed the Wrong Way

Permit fees for tanning salons, massage parlors, massage therapists and cyber caf & #233;s in the city of Los Angeles are about to go up way up.


Assuming the Los Angeles City Council signs off next month on the fee increases recommended by the Los Angeles Police Commission, massage parlor operators and massage therapists will see their annual permit fees double, to a maximum of $717. Bath/tanning permits will more than triple to $515. And cyber cafes, until now exempt from any permit fees, will now face an annual permit fee of $171.

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