New Requirements for Teaching Harassment/Discrimination Prevention in Apprenticeship Programs

October 30, 2018

Assembly Bill 2358, which applies new prevention of harassment and discrimination requirements for building trades apprenticeship programs in California, will take effect on January 1, 2019.  This legislation was sponsored by the State Building and Construction Trades Council as part of its leadership in preventing harassment and discrimination in our industry and adopted unanimously by the California Legislature.

All existing state-approved building trades apprenticeship programs must be in compliance with AB 2358 by June 30, 2019.  This notice provides an overview of AB 2358’s requirements.  Many of these requirements are already imposed by federal law.

Affiliates should inform their joint apprenticeship programs of the need to review AB 2358, consult with the program’s legal counsel, and ensure that the programs are in compliance in advance of the June 30, 2019 deadline.

Key Requirements of AB 2358 for All Building Trades Apprenticeship Programs

 Programs must not discriminate against any apprentice or applicant based on any protected characteristic (e.g., race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, etc.).

    • Programs must publish and post this equal opportunity pledge.
    • Programs must provide annual notice to participating contractors of the program’s commitment to equal employment opportunity and the contractor’s obligation to ensure that apprentices are not subjected to harassment or discrimination on the job.
  • Programs must provide training in the prevention of harassment and discrimination to all apprentices, instructors, and employees of the apprenticeship program. This training must include participation by the trainees, such as in-person or interactive on-line training.
    • Programs must provide training for their instructors even if the instructors are volunteers or are employed by an LEA.
    • Programs with at least five employees should ensure that their employee training meets all requirements of other state laws requiring employers to provide prevention of harassment training. SB 1343, which will take effect on January 1, 2020, requires all California employers with five or more employees to provide prevention of harassment training for their employees.

 The training must cover certain topics, including:

    • That harassment and discrimination will not be tolerated.
    • The definition of harassment and discrimination.
    • Types of conduct that constitute unlawful harassment and discrimination.
    • The program’s procedures for handling harassment and discrimination complaints.
    • DAS procedures for complaints.
  • Programs must establish procedures for handling and resolving internal harassment complaints, including provisions for investigation, prevention of retaliation, and confidentiality.
  • Programs must establish policies for immediate and appropriate corrective action when the program determines that harassment or discrimination has occurred, including policies for denying the dispatch of apprentices to, or revoking training certification of, contractors found to have engaged in or permitted harassment or discrimination against apprentices.
  • Programs must make all facilities and apprenticeship activities open to all without regard to any protected characteristic (e.g., race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, etc.).
  • Programs must ensure that all individuals have equal access to bathrooms and changing rooms consistent with their gender identity.

Apprenticeship programs should contact the program’s legal counsel to obtain further information and make sure the programs become compliant with this new law before the

June 30, 2019 deadline.