As of the beginning of this year, California employers that are legally required to provide sexual harassment training and must include specific training for supervisors. The training which must be provided to supervisors now includes mandatory training on the prevention of “abusive conduct”. This new law, AB 2053, made the prevention of “abusive conduct” a required component of the sexual harassment training that previously have been required under California law.

What is “abusive conduct”?

Under AB 2053, “abusive conduct” is defined as conduct of an employer or employee “in the workplace, with malice, that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive and unrelated to the employer’s legitimate business interests.” Examples of abusive conduct include repeated verbal attacks or verbal abuse (such as the use of derogatory remarks, insults), physical conduct that a reasonable person would likely find threatening, intimidating or humiliating, or the unjustified and unreasonable sabotage of a person’s work performance. Generally, a single act or action won’t constitute abusive conduct, but it can if the act or action is especially severe or egregious.

What does the law require?

AB 2053 requires that employees in supervisory positions be provided training on the prevention of abusive conduct in the workplace. There are not clear mandates on exactly how long or extensive the new training must be, but there is some guidance available to employers that highlights that their training should include discussions on the detrimental consequences of this conduct on employers and that the training should specifically discuss the elements of abusive conduct.

Current California law requires that employers with 50 or more employees and/or independent contractors (including state and city governmental entities) must provide supervisors with 2 hours of harassment prevention training every 2 years. Newly hired or promoted supervisors must receive and complete training within 6 months of their hiring or promotion.

I’ve been subject to abusive conduct in the workplace; how can the Law Offices of Robert P. Baker help me?

If you have been subject to abusive conduct in the workplace, please call our office immediately. The Law Offices of Robert P. Baker has been advocating for worker’s rights for several decades and we are proud to champion the rights of employees to work in offices free from illegal discrimination. If you believe that you have been a victim of abusive conduct in the workplace, you should also document your experience and contact your human resources department in order to formally document your complaint. No matter where you’re at in the process, our staff is available either over the phone or in person at our conveniently located offices to hear the facts of your case and advise you of your legal rights. Call us today for a free consultation.