The State of California has adopted new Regulations-Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation (2 CCR § 11023) which will go into effect as of April 1, 2016, and will affect California employers who have 5 or more employees.
The new regulations will require the covered California employers to comply with the new regulations by providing each employee, and newly hired employee with an informational pamphlet issued by the Department or Fair Housing an Employment (form DFEH-185) in English and/or Spanish, as well as in any other language that is spoken as a first language by 10% or more of the employees in the workplace.
In addition to this informational pamphlet, employers will now be required to develop and distribute an anti-discrimination, harassment and non-retaliation policy that encompasses the following components:
- A list the categories of employees that are protected by the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), otherwise known as “protected classes”;
- Clearly outline that the employer, as well as FEHA prohibits coworkers, supervisors, managers as well as other individuals who come into contact with employees from acting in any manner that constitutes harassment, discrimination or retaliatory conduct towards employees;
- Outlines a clear process for an employee to follow to file a complaint, and to ensure that complaints are kept confidential to the extent possible;
- The policy must outline that all complaints will be responded to timely, and investigated by a qualified individual in a timely and impartial manner;
- Maintain a documented tracking of all complaints and investigations;
- Establish a confidential complaint mechanism such as a complaint hotline, or an alternative and confidential complaint mechanism that ensures that employees need not take complaints to their immediate supervisor or manager;
- Establish that all complaints of misconduct covered by the Act will be investigated and responded to in a fair and timely manner through the use of a thorough and impartial investigation;
- Provide instruction on how supervisors and managers must forward all complaints to the established individual within the company who is responsible for handling the resolution of complaints filed;
- Outlines that any incidents of misconduct as outlined under FEHA in this area will result in timely and appropriate remedial action;
- Establish that the Company will not retaliate against an employee in any manner as a result of bringing forth a complaint, or for participating and/or cooperating with an investigation;
- The Policy must be in writing, and must be disseminated to all employees;
- Lastly, establishes that confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible, while still allowing for a proper investigation when a complaint is filed with the company.
The new regulations are fairly detailed about the manner in which the employer must disseminate the written policy to employees, by requiring that the employee complete the following:
- Provide a copy of the policy to every employee in either hard copy format or through email; or
- Post the written policy on a company intranet that is accompanied with a tracking system that documents that each employee has received, read the policy;
- Discuss the policy with each newly hired employee during new hire orientation;
- Obtain an acknowledgement form that each employee signs stating that they have received and read the written policy.
Allardyce Resources LLC is available to assist our Clients to ensure compliance with the requirements of the new regulations. For assistance, we can be reached by email at info@ARHumanResources.com or by phone at 916 487-4344.