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Many California Brokers Required To Provide Sexual Harassment Training

Written By: Bob Hunt
Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Americans have variously been entertained and/or disgusted during the past months, as each new news cycle seems to bring a new report of "inappropriate behavior" aka sexual harassment by some well-known public person. The revelations have tended to follow categories of occupation. First it was media, then came government figures. Recently they have moved into the judicial field. Certainly, higher education cant be far behind.

While they would certainly not be as newsworthy, we have to think that real estate firms, as well, might be ripe for their own MeToo attention.

Hence it might be a good time to remind California brokers of their workplace responsibilities in this regard. For some years now, laws on the books have required many brokers to provide periodic sexual harassment training to their supervisory personnel. It is a safe bet that quite a few California brokers and owners do not realize that they are required to provide such training. That is because the law Government Code 12950.1 applies to employers having fifty or more employees. While quite a few real estate companies have more than fifty agents, not many think of themselves as having more than fifty employees. A company with fifty agents could likely have fewer than ten who are actually on payroll.

But the law applies to more than payroll employees. It says, :For purposes of this section only, employer means any person regularly employing 50 or more persons or regularly receiving the services of 50 or more persons providing services pursuant to a contract ..." [my emphasis] Those would be independent contractor agents.

What does the law require? There is nothing better than quoting it.

12950.1.a An employer having 50 or more employees shall provide at least two hours of >An anti-bullying component was added to the law in 2014, but that is, perhaps, a topic for another day.

While the law does not apply to firms with less than fifty people, that fact does not, of course exempt them, from other laws that prohibit sexual harassment or bullying.

So there you have it. Have a great office Christmas party this year. But keep your hands and your comments where they belong.

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