Health Care Facility and Air Quality

Health Care Facility and Air Quality

Health Care Facility and Air Quality

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air has higher levels of pollutants than outdoor air, and consequently can pose environmentally related health problems. Health care facilities must take particular care of indoor air quality; many of those in the hospital are especially susceptible to air quality problems, such as immunosuppressed, elderly or chemotherapy patients, and those being treated in bone marrow, neonatal or burn units. Your Health Care Facility needs to take particular notice of air quality. Hospitals also face unique risks regarding air quality:

  • The risk of spread of infectious diseases and other biological hazards
  • Chemical hazards
  • Ventilation requirements
Health Care Facility and Air Quality

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)

When a substantial number of a facility’s occupants experience health and comfort troubles related to working indoors, the outbreak is referred to as sick building syndrome. The reported symptoms do not follow the patterns of any particular illnesses, are often difficult to trace to any specific source and relief from the symptoms tends to occur when leaving the facility. Employees may experience headaches, eye, nose and throat irritation, dry or itchy skin, fatigue, dizziness, nausea and loss of concentration.

Building-Related Illnesses (BRI)

A facility is characterized with BRI when a relatively small number of occupants experience health problems. The symptoms associated with BRIs are similar to those of SBS and are often accompanied by physical signs identified by a physician or laboratory test. Sufferers of BRI may also experience upper respiratory irritation, skin irritations, chills, fever, cough, chest tightness, congestion, sneezing, runny nose, muscle aches and pneumonia. These symptoms may be caused by the following conditions brought on my indoor air pollutants: asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, multiple chemical sensitivity and Legionnaires’ disease.

Contributing Factors

There are numerous concerns regarding health care facility air quality. The following are some that can be controlled by the facility.

Health Care Facility and Air Quality

Use of Mercury

Mercury is a bioaccumulative, persistent, toxic substance that threatens the health of humans. It is found in many health care settings, including pathology labs, patient areas, and clinical procedure and medicines. It is found in blood pressure monitors, dental amalgam, thermometers or thermostats, esophageal dilators, Cantor tubes and Miller Abott tubes, and histology fixatives and stains.

Mercury evaporates, and can be inhaled. Even a few drops of metallic mercury, when released into an enclosed space, can raise air concentrations of mercury to levels that are harmful to health. If mercury is not handled and disposed of properly, mercury can pose a serious health threat to staff and patients. There are mercury-free alternatives for almost all of these items. Your efforts can make a big difference.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

PVC is used in common plastic products like IV bags, surgical tubing and other medical supplies. If products containing PVC are incinerated on site, they produce a potent carcinogen called dioxin, which interferes with normal reproduction and development even at low doses.

Latex

Latex protein molecules can bind with cornstarch powder on the outside and inside of gloves and be inhaled by staff and patients in a large area. Many health care workers and patients have a latex allergy, and inhaling the substance puts them at risk of an allergic reaction, which can range from skin irritations to breathing problems.

Health Care Facility and Ventilation Systems

Biological contaminants including bacteria, mold and viruses can breed in stagnant water that can accumulate in ducts, humidifiers and drain pans of ventilation systems, increasing the risk of infection in all areas of the facility.

Proper maintenance of these systems and use of HEPA filters is fundamental to preventing the spread of disease. Without maintenance, filters become overloaded, allowing irritants and microbes to circulate in the air. A thorough inspection of your ventilation system should verify the following.

  • Outdoor air supply dampers are opened as they were originally designed and remain unobstructed.
  • Fan belts are properly operating, in good condition and replaced when necessary.
  • Equipment parts are lubricated.
  • Motors are properly functioning and in good operating condition.
  • Diffusers are open and unobstructed for adequate air mixing.
  • The system is properly balanced.
  • Filters are properly installed and replaced at specific intervals.
  • Damaged components are replaced or repaired.
  • Condensate pans are properly drained and are in good condition.
  • Carbon dioxide levels are under 1000 ppm, which is the maximum recommended level by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc.

Ways to Reduce Your Health Care Facility Risk

  • Reduce or eliminate the presence of dangerous chemicals in your facility by purchasing products that do not contain them or handling them in the proper manner.
  • Use mercury-free instruments and supplies
  • Avoid PVC and do not incinerate PVC-containing materials
  • Use latex-free or powder-free gloves
  • Focus on your ventilation systems. Ensure that the fresh air supply and air pressure are sufficient for each part of the facility. Make proper maintenance of these systems a priority.
  • Develop a training and communication program aimed at increasing the general awareness of the impacts of these irritants, and a protocol for use and disposal.
  • Avoid overcrowding staff and patients in one area, and make sure the amount of fresh air in the room is appropriate for the average number of occupants.
  • Clean and disinfect all surfaces regularly where irritants and moisture can collect.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest-growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more. The GDI team has developed an “insurance cost reduction” quoting plan, that provides you with the best coverage at the best rate!

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business.

Contact GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. for more information about risk management and loss prevention strategies for health care facilities, including a complete Dental Labs Insurance program.

Physical Therapy Going High-Tech

Physical Therapy Going High-Tech

Physical Therapy Going High-Tech

Traditional physical therapy is being challenged by an aging population, an aging working population, on-demand expectations of consumers, and patient accessibility issues. The good news is technology is making PT much easier to deliver and tailor to the changing preferences of patients. But with that technology comes different risks that you’ll need to consider as you accommodate your clientele. What you need to know about physical therapy going high-tech during the pandemic.

Heightened awareness of the dangers of pain medications, especially opioids, and the expansion of many health insurance programs to include physical therapy as a covered treatment for chronic pain could increase business at your PT practice. As welcome as a growing clientele is, it comes with new demands for nontraditional treatment methods, including telemedicine, virtual reality therapies and in-home care. Some practices are using a combination of all three!

Depending on the technology you choose, you may need to reassess your professional liability, workers’ compensation insurance and commercial auto insurance policies as well as your overall employee training and safety measures. Let’s look at a few of the tech-enabled therapy options and their associated risks.

Physical therapy going high-tech

Telemedicine and Physical Therapy

Telehealth — medical service provided by telephone — isn’t generally reimbursable for physical therapists under Medicare and Medicaid, so providers must be very careful about furnishing telemedicine to patients covered under those programs.

For patients in group health plans or other commercial insurance, payment varies as do permissible treatments and locations of treatment, so check with the payer before initiating services, according to the American Physical Therapy Association.

That said, school districts have, since the shutdown due to COVID-19, been looking for ways to provide special education students with occupational and physical therapy remotely. Other institutions have sought similar remote access to services.

In April 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) temporarily changed rules governing home health agencies’ use of telehealth, allowing for expanded use of and reimbursement for telephonic physical therapy. But you must verify that these regulatory waivers are still in place and that your particular services and patients qualify.

Those physical therapists working via telephone should do a full assessment of the professional services liability exposures they may have, such as misdiagnosis, accessibility issues for those with hearing or speech problems, and verification of a patient’s comprehension of the therapist’s instructions.

Your practice should also work with your insurance professional to ensure your professional liability insurance covers telehealth. Additionally, it’s possible your practice will need to develop liability and informed consent clauses or forms for your clients to sign.

Virtual Reality Therapies

Physical therapists often spend a substantial amount of time coaching patients past mental and emotional barriers that block initiation of or progress in recovery. Virtual reality tools can help them overcome those obstacles by immediately engaging them in a gamified world that eliminates the distractions and fears of interpersonal relationship building and trust.

For example, patients who enter therapy believing they can’t perform certain daily tasks, like making a bed or buying groceries, are frequently willing to try these activities in virtual reality (VR) mode much sooner than in the real world. Through VR, they find — in the privacy of their home or therapist’s office — that they can accomplish movement or endeavors they thought were not possible.

Important to note are the risks that can be involved in VR and gaming. A neurological assessment and coordination with other caregivers can provide crucial contraindications or impediments that should be considered.

Online Consultations

More online physical therapists are cropping up each week. They use videoconferencing, online coaching, apps that track recovery, and emailed exercises. The typical program begins with a clinical assessment (some done online), followed by a classification or diagnosis, a treatment plan, and some sort of monitoring and follow-through to gauge progress or completion of the regimen.

If equipment is needed, the therapist provides the prescription and resources, most of which can be ordered online. It’s important to check with the patient’s insurer to ascertain requirements for payment, because many mandate some in-person contact between the patient and the clinician, even if treatment will be delivered online. And, as always, the therapist’s insurance contract must be reviewed to assure that the firm’s professional liability coverage applies to online services.

A cyber risk insurance policy that includes business income loss will also be important for therapists working online. Breach of patient data and a shutdown of provider computer networks can generate expensive claims.

Physical therapy going high-tech

In-home Care for Physical Therapy Going High-tech

While CMS rules limit payment for in-home physical therapy to patients meeting very specific criteria, many insurers are more liberal. It may even be possible to conduct therapy in a person’s office or other institutional setting. And, of course, many senior-living residences and nursing homes routinely contract with physical therapists for on-site visits.

Whenever your employees conduct out-of-office treatment, you must be aware of the potential risks that differ from those for in-office care. Injury to and illness of your therapists caused by animals, obstacles and other humans are a specific safety concern that should be discussed with your workers’ compensation insurance professional. Special training may be required to avoid harm. If any employees begin crossing state lines to serve a patient, that will require an adjustment to your workers comp policy.

You’ll also bear greater responsibility for employee travel, even if they use their own vehicle. A commercial auto policy can be written to cover both company cars and the use of private automobiles, so be sure your insurance doesn’t have gaps for what are termed “non-owned vehicles.”

And since therapists will likely carry company equipment with them when visiting patients, you should consider an inland marine insurance policy so gear that is stolen, damaged or lost in transit has coverage.

Other Tech Aids for Physical Therapy Going High-tech

Remember that technology in your office supports your mobility and accessibility. That includes computer systems that store and crunch data as well as communications networks, video recorders, and virtual reality goggles and implements.

Your business continuity and disaster response plans should reflect your technological capabilities and loss exposures. With all systems and protections in place, your therapists should be able to reach an ever-wider clientele — safely for all.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest-growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more. The GDI team has developed an “insurance cost reduction” quoting plan, that provides you with the best coverage at the best rate!

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business.

Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive physical therapy insurance quote!

Establishing Company Culture in the Remote Workplace

Establishing Company Culture in the Remote Workplace

Establishing Company Culture in the Remote Workplace

Many organizations take pride in their company culture—often, it can be a core competency and a competitive advantage. As employers expand remote work opportunities to more employees than ever before, organizations may want to consider how their culture can stay intact through an increased virtual workspace. What you need to know about company culture in the remote workplace.

What Is Company Culture?

Company culture is the personality and environment of an organization. Defined by more than just a mission statement or organizational values, company culture encompasses the unwritten norms of how individuals act with one another. While poor company cultures can be detrimental, a strong company culture and positive employee morale can positively impact recruitment efforts, retention and the bottom line of an organization.

The Society for Human Resource Management breaks down company culture into three broad categories:

  • Social—How individuals act, and how authority and influence exist between different roles and teams
  • Material—How people in a group make or achieve something, and the ways people work with and collaborate with one another
  • Ideological—How values, beliefs and ideals establish how individuals exist and interact

Company culture has long been associated with the way interactions take place. In the absence of face-to-face conversations, that same company culture translates through interactions taking place via communication channels such as email, phone, video, instant messaging, employee intranets and more. As utilization of remote work expands, employers may want to consider how their culture is translating into the virtual workplace.

Culture in the Remote Workplace

A Strong Company Culture in the Remote Workplace

Company culture should align with the mission statement and values of an organization—this will vary from workplace to workplace. According to Glassdoor, positive company cultures have common themes that matter in today’s economy. These include:

  • Agility
  • Collaboration
  • Customer focus
  • Diversity
  • Execution
  • Innovation
  • Integrity
  • Performance
  • Respect

Many organizations take pride in their company culture, and expanded remote work doesn’t mean that culture can’t exist in the remote workspace—but employers will want to consider planning ahead.

Culture in the Remote Workplace

Company Culture in the Remote Workplace

Effectively expanding company culture into the remote workplace is about more than just creating policies and adjusting business practices—the actions and behaviors of employees will continue to define a culture, just as in any work location.

Within the remote workplace, there are ways that employers can help expand positive attributes of a culture to those engaging in remote work. Options for employers to consider include encouraging behaviors, implementing practices and rethinking employee engagement, while keeping the following tips in mind:

  • Focus on the why—An organization’s mission statement, purpose and objectives can be a source of meaning for many employees. Ensure that these goals remain at the forefront of communications.
  • Prioritize collaboration—As in any workplace, employees are engaged when they are collaborating and feel as if they are part of a greater cause. While employees will be spending a significant amount of time alone, be intentional about facilitating collaboration with projects, goals and objectives.
  • Rethink communications—Company culture lives through the actions of employees and how individuals communicate with each other. While word-of-mouth can no longer be the primary medium for engagement, be strategic about how different communication channels are used, such as employee intranets, social networking tools and video.
  • Create opportunities for social engagement—When employees are able to engage with each other virtually, it can help build camaraderie. Many effective video platforms exist, and non-work conversations can help build team chemistry and facilitate an environment for positive interactions to take place in a remote environment.

Encouraging Behaviors

While employers can implement policies and document expectations, it will be the choice of employees to buy in. Encouraging positive behaviors will take more than just policies or guidelines—actions can have an immense impact. Leaders often have significant influence—and when management is living out expected behaviors each and every day, employees will feel comfortable reciprocating.

Facilitating a Strong Culture in the Remote Workplace

While company culture will be defined by the way in which individuals interact, organizations can take steps to help facilitate an environment where a positive company culture can be established in the remote workplace.

Every organization is different and has a unique culture. Create practices and encourage behaviors that best work for your organization and are accommodating to remote and non-remote employees alike. Contact GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. for additional resources regarding best practices for utilizing the remote workplace. 

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest-growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more. The GDI team has developed an “insurance cost reduction” quoting plan, that provides you with the best coverage at the best rate!

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business.

Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive business insurance quote!

Portal Opens for Second Round of PPP Loans

Portal Opens for Second Round of PPP Loans

Portal Opens for Second Round of PPP Loans

The U.S. Department of Treasury and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) have announced that beginning Monday, Jan. 11, applications will be accepted for the second round of PPP loans in the SBA’s Payment Protection Program (PPP). This second round includes $284 billion in funding that was allocated for the PPP in the stimulus bill passed on Dec. 27, 2020. This round of funding will run through March 31, 2021.

The second round of PPP loans provides eligibility to new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. As eligibility opens up, small businesses and lenders should prepare to adhere to the new requirements detailed below. 

Second Round of PPP Loans

Second Round of PPP Loans Application Schedule

Monday, Jan. 11, marks the opening of the portal. Initially, the portal will only be open to borrowers applying for their first PPP loan (known as “First Draw PPP Loans”) through “community financial institutions.” These “community financial institutions” are lenders that serve minority, underserved, veteran and women-owned businesses.

On Wednesday, Jan. 13, borrowers applying for a second PPP Loan (known as “Second Draw PPP Loans”) also become eligible. Again, the SBA will only accept applications from lenders designated a “community financial institution.”

The PPP will open to all participating lenders “shortly thereafter,” according to the announcement. The SBA has yet to announce a specific date.

Second Round of PPP Loans

Information About the Second Round of PPP Loans

For the most part, the rules for this round are very similar to the initial round of PPP loans. However, there are updates to the first round of funding. According to the Treasury, key PPP updates include:

  • PPP borrowers can set their PPP loan’s covered period to be any length between eight and 24 weeks to best meet their business needs;
  • PPP loans will cover additional expenses, including operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs and worker protection expenditures;
  • The program’s eligibility is expanded to include 501(c)(6)s, housing cooperatives and direct marketing organizations, among other types of organizations;
  • The PPP provides greater flexibility for seasonal employees;
  • Certain existing PPP borrowers can request to modify their First Draw PPP Loan amount; and
  • Certain existing PPP borrowers are now eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.

A borrower is generally eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if the borrower:

  • Previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses;
  • Has no more than 300 employees; and
  • Can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.

For more specifics about the second round of PPP funding, the SBA has provided additional details.

What’s Next?

Borrowers should review the criteria for this second round of PPP loans. Borrowers considering applying should prepare and have on hand all relevant documentation. Lastly, borrowers should direct any questions regarding PPP loans to their lender.

We will continue to monitor any additional developments regarding the PPP and deliver updates as necessary. For more information about the PPP, contact GDI Insurance Agency, Inc.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest-growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more. The GDI team has developed an “insurance cost reduction” quoting plan, that provides you with the best coverage at the best rate!

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business.

Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive business insurance quote!

5 Ways to Manage Poor Workplace Performance Among Remote Workers

5 Ways to Manage Poor Workplace Performance Among Remote Workers

Successful business is all about accountability. Each worker’s individual contributions build on one another and culminate into something greater, to the benefit of the company and its customers. Conversely, when some individuals struggle with their performance, the entire organization can suffer. These poor workplace performance among remote workers tips will help you recognize and deal with performance issues.

Unfortunately, addressing poor performance isn’t always easy. This is especially true amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as remote working often makes accountability more complicated. This article offers five tips to help employers manage poor performance in the workplace, even while everyone is working from home.

1. Address the Poor Workplace Performance Problem Quickly

The longer poor workplace performance goes unchecked, the more damage it causes. Strategies such as incidental counseling, frequent check-ins and 360-degree reviews can all be useful for identifying and curtailing poor performance early on. Even if the majority of the workforce is working remotely, it’s critical to budget ways to check in and monitor performance in an ongoing manner—particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the margin between success and failure is razor thin.

2. Have Difficult Conversations

Difficult conversations aren’t easy for many people, managers included. In fact, nearly 20% of top executives struggle to hold others accountable, according to the Harvard Business Review. This is a problem, since issues left unaddressed will almost always worsen over time.

A poorly performing employee isn’t likely to improve if left to their own devices—employers need to have tough conversations. This doesn’t entail laying into the employee, however. Rather, employers need to thoughtfully explain where they’ve noticed performance lapses and work candidly with the employee toward improvement.

These conversations should be face-to-face (e.g., a video call) and cover the following:

  • Explicit examples of where the employee’s performance is waning
  • A clearly defined standard that the employee must meet to no longer be considered a poor performer
  • Probing questions to identify problem areas, such as:
  • What’s different now from when your performance was better?
    • What’s not working as well for you, be it a workflow issue, new work arrangement, co-worker relationship or something else?
    • For what and to whom are you accountable?
  • An agreed-upon goal and timeline for assessing improvement

The end goal of these conversations should be to correct the problem, not necessarily discipline the employee. For instance, an employer may discover through this process that a workflow is the main hinderance, not an individual.

In other words, migrating to a work-from-home arrangement can create unforeseen problems, which can resemble individual shortcomings. By having tough conversations, employers can figure out the truth and help work toward a solution.

California's Leader in Insurance and Risk Management As one of the fastest growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more. The GDI team has developed an "insurance cost reduction" quoting plan, that provides you with the best coverage at the best rate! We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California's Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client's expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client's know how much we value and appreciate their business. Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive insurance quote!

3. Follow Up on Progress

Establishing performance improvement goals is only worthwhile if employees are held to them. A clear goal with measurable standards should’ve been established during the initial performance conversation with the employee. Employers should follow up about everything that was discussed during that meeting.

The length of time between the initial meeting and follow-up will vary by situation. For instance, if the main problem turned out to be workflow-related—rather than solely about performance—it may take longer to establish a fix, since that solution may necessitate input from many stakeholders. In other cases, such as when an employee is distracted by personal responsibilities, an employer may have quicker turnaround expectations and follow up sooner.

4. Keep a Detailed Record

Employers should document all performance-related issues from the onset. That means as soon as a manager notices dwindling performance, a paper trail should begin. In a remote setting, this would entail collecting emails, chat transcripts and other logs. Doing so will help guide performance improvement by cataloging specific examples for the employee to work on and identifying different time periods to compare performance against.

The record should also include meeting notes to document anything that’s discussed during performance meetings, including specific action steps and goals. Employers may consider recording video calls, with employee consent, to keep a more accurate record. Not only will this documentation help employers track performance improvement, it may also be necessary for justifying an employee’s termination if they do not improve.

5. Seek Additional Manager Training

Performance issues can often be corrected through swift action. But, if managers are unable to recognize or address poor performance with their direct reports, problems will only continue. Managers may have different blind spots in this regard. Some may not track performance closely enough, while others may speculate as to the cause of the poor performance without actually addressing it.

That’s why manager training is so important. Managers should be able to spot when performance is declining and have the resolve to address those situations with employees. This is the only method for getting to the root cause and improving the circumstances. It’s not prudent to expect employees to bring up their limited performance on their own.

Speak with GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. for more workplace guidance, including additional best practices for managers.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more. The GDI team has developed an “insurance cost reduction” quoting plan, that provides you with the best coverage at the best rate!

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business.

Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive business insurance quote!

California Sexual Harassment Prevention Training FAQ

California Sexual Harassment Prevention Training FAQ

California Sexual Harassment Prevention Training FAQ

SB 1343 requires that all employers of 5 or more employees provide 1 hour of California sexual harassment prevention training and abusive conduct prevention training to non-managerial employees and 2 hours of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to managerial employees once every two years. Existing law requires the training to include harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation and to include practical examples of such harassment and to be provided by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in those areas. The bill also requires the Department to produce and post both training courses to its website, which employers may utilize instead of hiring a trainer.

An employer is required to train its California-based employees so long as it employs 5 or more employees anywhere, even if they do not work at the same location and even if not all of them work or reside in California.

Under the DFEH’s regulations, the definition of “employee” for training purposes includes full-time, part-time, and temporary employees, unpaid interns, unpaid volunteers, and persons providing services pursuant to a contract (independent contractors) Click the below toolkit for additional tools, including a sample sexual harassment and abusive
conduct prevention training:

NEW UPDATE: By what date must employees be trained?

All employees must now receive training by January 1, 20211. Employers of 50 or more employees have an existing and ongoing obligation to train new supervisory employees within six months of assuming their supervisory position. Beginning January 1, 2021, new supervisory employees in workplaces of 5 or more employees must be trained within six months of assuming their supervisory position, and new nonsupervisory employees must be trained within six months of hire. Employees must be retrained once every two years.

NEW UPDATE: What if the employees are seasonal, temporary or otherwise work for less than six months?

Employers are required to provide training within 30 calendar days after the hire date or within 100 hours worked, whichever occurs first, beginning January 1, 20212. Employers are not required to train employees who are employed for fewer than 30 calendar days and work for fewer than 100 hours.

  • In the case of a temporary employee employed by a temporary services employer, as defined in Section 201.3 of the Labor Code, to perform services for clients, the training shall be provided by the temporary services employer, not the client


NEW UPDATE: When will the Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s online training
courses be available?

SB 1343 requires that DFEH make online training courses available on the prevention of sexual harassment and abusive conduct in the workplace. DFEH expects to have all trainings available by July 30, 2020. In the interim period, DFEH is offering a SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND ABUSIVE CONDUCT PREVENTION TOOLKIT, including a sample sexual harassment and
abusive conduct prevention training. Employers may use the training in conjunction with an eligible trainer to provide sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training.

  • SB 778 signed by Governor Newsom on 8/30/19 amended existing law to change deadline of harassment training until 1/1/2021.
  • 2SB 530 signed by Governor Newsom on 10/10/19 amended existing law to change deadline to 1/1/2021 for seasonal and
    temporary worker harassment training compliance.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT PREVENTION TRAINING FAQ

Do employers need to train independent contractors, volunteers, and unpaid interns?

No, it is not required that employers train independent contractors, volunteers, and unpaid interns. However, in determining whether an employer meets the threshold of having 5 employees and being subject to the harassment prevention training requirement, independent contractors, volunteers, and unpaid interns must be counted. For example, if an employer has 2 full time employees and 6 unpaid interns, the employer would meet the training threshold requirement and would need to ensure the two full time employees receive training only.

What if a supervisor or non-supervisory employee has received the training in compliance with 12950.1 within the prior two years either from a current, a prior or alternate, or a joint employer? Do they have to retake the training again?


No. Supervisors do not need to retake the training. But their new, alternate or joint employer must give them the employer’s anti-harassment policy, require them to read it, and require them to acknowledge receipt of it. This must happen within six months of the supervisor assuming their new supervisory position (or within six months of the creation of a new business or the expansion of a business that was previously not required to provide training). However, the current employer is responsible for ensuring that all supervisors have fulfilled the training requirement contained in 12950.1, which may require verifying compliance from the prior, alternate, or joint employer.

For non-supervisory employees who received harassment prevention training in compliance with 12950.1 from another employer within the prior two years, they must be required to read and to acknowledge receipt of the current employer’s anti-harassment policy. Again, the current employer will be responsible for ensuring that all non-supervisory staff have fulfilled
the training requirement contained in 12950.1, which may require verifying compliance from the prior, alternate, or joint employer.

Does DFEH have a list of approved outside training providers, or can DFEH recommend or approve an outside training provider for my company to use?

DFEH does not approve training providers. DFEH cannot offer recommendations or approvals for other training providers.

I believe I may be eligible to become a trainer; how can I verify this?

There is currently no certification requirement for qualified trainers, and DFEH is unable to provide guidance as to whether one meets the qualifications of a trainer. If you believe you meet the requirements found in 2 CCR 11024, you may choose to offer your services as a trainer.

Does a trainer who is also an employee need to receive California sexual harassment prevention training in order for their employer to be compliant?

No. An individual who is a qualified training provider according to the regulations (and who does provide the training) does not need to participate in a separate sexual harassment prevention training for their employer to be in compliance with the training requirements.

What documentation is required for those who have completed the training?

The law requires employers to keep documentation of the training it has provided its employees for a minimum of two years, including but not limited to the names of the supervisory employees trained, the date of training, the sign-in sheet, a copy of all certificates of attendance or completion issued, the type of training, a copy of all written or recorded materials that comprise the training, and the name of the training provider. Examples of tracking individual compliance include a certificate and/or a sign-in sheet that includes a verification that trainees completed the training. Documentation of the training should not be sent to DFEH but should be kept on the employer’s premises.

If I have employees located outside of California, are they required to be trained?

No. While employees located inside and outside of California are counted in determining whether employers are covered under the Act, employees located outside of California are not themselves required to be trained.

What is meant by “effective interactive training”?

Effective interactive training can include any of the following:

  • Classroom training that is in-person, trainer-instruction, whose content is created by a trainer
    and provided to a supervisor by a trainer, in a setting removed from the supervisor’s daily
    duties.
  • E-learning that is individualized, interactive, computer-based training created by a trainer and
    an instructional designer that includes a link or directions on how to contact a trainer who
    shall be available to answer questions and to provide guidance within two business days
    after the question is asked.
    • The trainer shall maintain all written questions received, and all written responses or guidance provided, for a period of two years after the date of the response.
  • Webinar training that’s an internet-based seminar whose content is created and taught by a trainer and transmitted over the internet or intranet in realtime.
  • Other “effective interactive training” and education includes the use of audio, video or computer technology in conjunction with classroom, webinar and/or e-learning training.

If an employer utilizes a webinar as their effective interactive California Sexual Harassment Prevention training, can the training be watched in a large group at the same time?

Yes, but it is up to the employer to comply with the documentation procedures, including the following:

• An employer utilizing a webinar for its supervisors or non-supervisory employees must document and demonstrate that each supervisor and non-supervisory employee who was not physically present in the same room as the trainer nonetheless attended the entire training and actively participated with the training’s interactive content, discussion questions, hypothetical scenarios, polls, quizzes or tests, and activities.

• The webinar must provide an opportunity for all employees to ask questions, to have them answered and otherwise to seek guidance and assistance.

• For a period of two years after the date of the webinar, the employer shall maintain a copy of the webinar, all written materials used by the trainer and all written questions submitted during the webinar, and document all written responses or guidance the trainer provided during the webinar.

In addition to the California Sexual Harassment Prevention training (and corresponding process and procedures), is there anything else required?

Yes, every employer must post a poster developed by the Department regarding TRANSGENDER RIGHTS and SEXUAL HARASSMENT in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace.

Does the employer have to pay for sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training? Does the employer have to provide paid time for such training?

California law specifies that, “An employer…. shall provide” sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training. Gov. Code 12950.1(a)-(b). The Department is authorized to seek a court order that “the employer” has not complied with this requirement. Gov. Code 12950.1(f). This language makes clear that it is the employer’s – not the employee’s – responsibility to provide the required training, including any costs that may be incurred. This language also makes clear that employees may not be required to take such training during their personal time; the training must be “provided” by the employer as part of an individual’s employment.

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