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Webinar Recap: Q&A about California EEO Requirements with Jennifer Shaw

Posted On07/29/2019

ContributorKaila Prins

At our recent webinar on the new EEO requirements for California businesses, our audience had a lot of questions about the intricacies of the law. Our host Jennifer Shaw, of Shaw Law Group, graciously answered those questions, as well as took the time to answer the questions she did not have time to address during the call. We have provided a lightly-edited transcript along with the answers to the questions that were taken offline. Please note that this content is for educational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as professional legal advice.

Question 1 

Our workforce is 100% remote in CA. Are there in special considerations for us?

Jennifer Shaw

No considerations. You’re probably going to do a webinar. You would do a live webinar, where you would see the slides, you would be on the phone, and then on the screen if you have the ability to do some video conferencing, and then that would allow you to do that interactivity.

Question 2

Got it. So we have employees who talked to employees in California who traveled to California for a day or two to interact with the California team, but not as supervisors who asked for information from employees in California. Do they all need to be trained as well?

Jennifer Shaw

Probably not, so long as they’re not meeting that definition of supervisor in California. But most of the time, these folks who travel from out of state to California, they’re usually relatively high level. And that doesn’t mean they’re in quote management. But, you’re generally not going to take the receptionist and say, “Okay, we’re going to send the receptionist to California to see what’s going on in California,” right? It’s usually something to do with workflow, project management, that sort of thing. So, that’s just something to think about.

Question 3

Gotcha. Another specific one. We’re an event center and hire many seasonal employees who may only work for a two-week period for an event. In some cases, we hire people who may only work for one day or a specific assignment. Do we have to train those people as well?

Jennifer Shaw

Yes, you do. Yep. Now, keep something in mind because this is a little trick that the legislature didn’t think about. They have to be trained within six months of hire, okay? And then the temporary seasonal employees have to be trained within the first 30 days or before they’ve completed 100 hours of work. So, you know, for example, if you’re Pebble Beach and you’re hiring people to work the AT&T Pro-Am classic, right? You’re going to hire people to work 24 hours in a weekend, you’re not going to train them, because they’re not going to work 30 days, and they’re not going to do 100 hours. Here’s your problem: You use them for the Pro-Am in November and then the next April you use them for another tournament. Now you may have an issue. The others way that this gets complicated is using temporary employees through an agency. You may have the same temp come out six different times during the year that are tracked. I think it’s important to tell the agency to do the training.

Moderator

Well, it should be, since they’re on their W2, wouldn’t it be their responsibility?

Jennifer Shaw

It shouldn’t be, but if they don’t do it, you’re on the hook: joint employer. So, you make sure I mean, we represent temp agencies to and we tell them, You know what that’s saying don’t rely on the employer to do it. You do it. And we tell the employer: have the temp agency do it. They’re the ones with the W2. They’re the ones dealing with the record keeping; they should be doing the training.

Question 4

For supervisors, if I’m in HR, and I’m recommending this training to California employees, do I need to do the supervisor training? If they’re the HR professional, telling everyone else they have to do it?

Jennifer Shaw  

Not necessarily, because sometimes the HR professional who’s doing that could be an HR generalist who is not at a level where they would be considered a supervisor. I will tell you, I think every HR person should go through the supervisor training, because if they’re going to be dealing with equal employment opportunity issues they need as much help as they can get.

Question 5

And in the training, can the questions on the e-learning platform be pre-loaded? Like multiple choice questions?

Jennifer Shaw

Yes, they can be absolutely pre-loaded. All you have to make sure of is that there’s a chance for live Q&A or Q&A within 24 hours of the end of the session?

Question 6

I had previously been told that is only employees, not supervisors who need to be trained in 2019, if supervisors were trained in 2018. Is this an interpretation difference or an incorrect statement of fact?

Jennifer Shaw

I hate to say that’s an incorrect statement of fact. Yeah, I’m sorry. A lot of people have misunderstood this, and they’re getting it wrong.

Question 7

I’m training as an HR professional, if I’ve done investigations all across the board, including EEO compliance for four years, but not in California, does that count?

Jennifer Shaw 

It does not.

Moderator  

Okay. So. they still need to get — ?

Jennifer Shaw   

Yep. Let me let me clarify that for a second. I want to be very precise. They could be outside of California, they can be in Pennsylvania, so long as they’re investigating something in California, so long as they’ve done something under the Fair Employment and Housing Act for two years. It doesn’t mean they have to be physically located in California.

Question 8

Can I use the videos from California Chamber of Commerce?

Jennifer Shaw

Yes, you can use the videos as a teaching tool. In fact, I helped them with those videos. But you still got to have all of the other content. And you’ve got to be able to have that Q&A.

Question 9

And can we assume that the online training materials that the DFEH makes available this year meets the criteria of being individualized and interactive? Or should we still do a follow up Q&A session?

Jennifer Shaw

You’ve got to do the follow up Q&A, because the requirement is that they have the opportunity to ask questions. We also recommend that if there’s anything in the DFEH training materials that is inconsistent with what you’re doing in your organization that you fix that because the DFEH has a PowerPoint presentation that you can modify.

Question 10

What if I have done investigations that don’t turn into DFEH complaints they are settled internally?

Jennifer Shaw

That experience likely still counts towards the trainer qualifications, but only if the investigations are EEO-related.

Question 11

We have 75 employees in CA.  We conducted an ALL employee harassment training in April 2018. Non-supervisor employees stayed for 1 hour, supervisors stayed for the 2nd hour.  Do I still need to retrain everyone before January 1, 2020?

Jennifer Shaw

Unless SB 778 becomes law before December 31, 2019, yes.  I know it’s crazy…

Question 12

What if we hire temp-to-hire and they receive this training by their agency? Do we have to re-train once we convert the employee to full time?

Jennifer Shaw

Yes, because at that point they are your employees.

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