California employers with 50 or more employees are legally required by Government Code Section 12950.1 to provide at least two hours of interactive training and education regarding the prevention of sexual harassment to all supervisory employees within six months of their assumption of a supervisory position, and once every two years thereafter. A new law that takes effect January 1, 2015 now requires such employers to incorporate into this training information related to the prevention of “abusive conduct.” The new law defines “abusive conduct” as follows:

[C]onduct of an employer or employee in the workplace, with malice, that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to an employer’s legitimate business interests. Abusive conduct may include repeated infliction of verbal abuse, such as the use of derogatory remarks, insults, and epithets, verbal or physical conduct that a reasonable person would find threatening, intimidating, or humiliating, or the gratuitous sabotage or undermining of a person’s work performance. A single act shall not constitute abusive conduct, unless especially severe and egregious.

In light of this new law, California employers with 50 or more employees should review and, where necessary, amend their training programs to ensure that these programs adequately address the prevention of abusive conduct in the workplace.


Bernstein & Friedland, P.C. is a boutique employment law firm in Los Angeles specializing in wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and unpaid wage and overtime matters.  Please visit our website at to learn more about us.

Polina Bernstein

Polina Bernstein

Polina Bernstein founded Bernstein & Friedland, P.C. in 2009 and is lead litigation counsel at the firm.

Diana Friedland

Diana Friedland

Diana Friedland is a partner at Bernstein & Friedland, P.C. Her practice focuses on employment litigation and counseling.

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