Employers in California have an affirmative duty to take reasonable steps necessary to preven and promptly correct discriminatory and harassing conduct. Employers must create a work environment free from prohibited employment practices(1).
2019 Legislation: https://hrcalifornia.calchamber.com/cases-news/2019-new-laws#:~:text=At%2DWill%20Employees-,Effective%20January%201%2C%202019%2C%20employers%20are%20now%20protected%20from%20defamation,Providing%20References%20for%20Former%20Employees.
These reasonable steps in preventing harassment include an obligation to inform employees about their protections against harassment in the workplace, including:
Whether an employer has met its duty to take reasonable steps to prevent and correct harassing conduct will be examined individually, on a case-by-case basis, looking at many factors that sometimes are unique to the particular employer(2).
These factor may include, but are not limited to:
Take your prevention obligations seriously. A strong effort to prevent harassment can:
An employee cannot sue for failure to prevent harassment as a “stand-alone” claim. Instead, the employee must also have a valid underlying claim of discrimination, harassment or retaliation. However, the DFEH can independently seek non-monetary preventative remedies for a violation of the duty to prevent, regardless of whether the employee has prevailed on an underlying claim (3). For instance, the DFEH could mandate the employer to take preventative steps such as training or implementing new policies and practices.