Workplace Harassment Guide for California Employers

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has released a “Workplace Harrassment Guide for Cailfornia Employers” to accompany the recent changes to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which clarifies employers’ obligation to correct and prevent wrongful behavior (harassment, discrimination and retaliation) in the workplace.

“The Guide” provides a list of suggestions for creating an effective anti-harrassment program, including, but not limited to:

  • A clear written policy that is distributed to employees and discussed at meetings on a regular basis;
  • Training for supervisors and managers;
  • Specialized training for complaint handlers; and
  • Prompt, thorough and fair remedial action.

“The Guide” also includes recommendations for conducting workplace investigations such as:

  • Impartiality;
  • Training for investigators;
  • Type of Questioning; and
  • Documentation.

The FEHA makes it clear that employers must take appropriate action in instances of misconduct. The alleged misconduct does not need to rise to the level of violating  policy or law to warrant an investigation.