Sexual Harrassment Workplace Training and Investigations
Our team of experienced lawyers conduct investigations for both public and private employers in response to employee complaints of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, bullying, and other alleged employee misconduct.
Companies in California with at least 5 workplace employees are mandated to offer sexual harassment prevention training to all employees. Our lawyers offer in office and webinar courses.
Our Team can help you create an effective anti-harassment program. Under California law all supervisors have a duty to take immediate and appropriate action in response to a complaint of workplace sexual harassment.
“Karen was an excellent facilitator for anti-harassment training. We are a construction company with predominantly Hispanic workers, and having a bilingual trainer made a huge difference in getting our staff to really engage with the material. I appreciated that Karen brought in multiple real world examples from her previous work representing plaintiffs and did a great job of getting people to actively participate in the session. We wouldn’t hesitate to use her for future trainings and I would highly recommend her to other companies.”
“Our nonprofit organization needed a Spanish-speaking investigator to investigate employment discrimination claims. We engaged Karen Carrera of Villegas/Carrera, Inc., and were very happy with her services. Karen was prompt and professional in her communication. Her bilingual and bicultural experience were important in building trust with our staff. Her investigation and report were thorough and focused on the issues we needed to resolve. I would hire her again if the need arose and am happy to recommend her services to others.”
“Our employer client was involved in very difficult and complicated harassment claims involving two female employees who were monolingual Spanish speakers. We searched high and low across the state for a Spanish speaking workplace investigator who was a native speaker and who possessed an adequate amount of experience in California employment law. Enter Karen Carrera – she fit the profile perfectly and dived into our case at a moment’s notice. Through Karen’s investigation, we were able to gain a thorough, accurate, and unbiased portrait of what most likely happened. From an employer’s perspective, we valued Karen’s background and experience representing plaintiffs and it was ultimately Karen’s investigation that made a critical difference in our case. We recommend Karen as a workplace investigator for any employer with a significant Spanish speaking workforce.”
San Rafael, CA
“Karen Carrera of Villegas / Carrera, Inc. has provided us with advice and counsel for more than seven years. She is always quickly responsive and clear in her answers to my many legal questions. We rely on Karen whenever we have a workplace or employment issue that needs resolution. During the Covid 19 pandemic, her guidance on how to safely re-open our Agency has been invaluable. “
Janet Fletcher, née Attaway, CFO, Canal Alliance
“I recommend Villegas/Carrera, Inc because of the superior workplace investigation service they provided to our company. Our company contracted Villegas/Carrera, Inc to conduct a workplace investigation. We were immensely happy with the job Villegas/Carrera, Inc. did for us.
Karen Carrera of Villegas/Carrera, Inc., who worked on our workplace investigation, was visibly committed to her work. It is evident that Karen is an expert in her field and has proven herself to be very dependable. Karen is very proactive. She kept good lines of communication and was open with us at all times. We found her to be exceptionally accommodating and willing to make whatever adjustments necessary to meet our needs. In addition, Karen speaks Spanish which was very helpful with our workplace investigation.
It is unique to see a workplace investigation company so committed to providing excellent service. There is no doubt that Villegas/Carrera, Inc. sits at the top of the list when it comes to the best workplace investigation service in the San Francisco Bay Area. Karen consistently delivers the highest level of service. Villegas/Carrera, Inc has earned both our trust and respect.
Without hesitation, I would recommend Villegas/Carrera, Inc to anyone”
Karen Carrera interviewed to comment on the United States Supreme Court decision upholding the employment rights of members of the LGBTQ community.
Telemundo Channel 48 interviews Karen Carrera regarding expanded LGBTQ employment rights.
Karen Carrera interviewed to comment about during COVID 19, whether it is legal for companies to rehire employees at lower wages.
Telemundo Channel 48 interviews Karen Carrera regarding employee rights under COVID 19.
You can schedule an on-site training or a live webinar course by an experienced workplace attorney. You can also purchase recorded webinars in both English and Spanish language.
Is a live training better than a recorded training?
The live training allows for more interaction. California law requries that employers provide harassment prevention training in a classroom setting, through interactive E-learning, or through a live webinar. E-learning training must provide instructions on how to contact a trainer who can answer questions within two business days. Any training must include questions that assess learning, skill-building activities to asses understanding and application of content, and hypothetical scenarios about harassment with discussion questions. Our in-person, E-learning and live webinar trainings comply with these requirements.
How often must employers provide this training and to whom should they provide it?
In order to conform with California’s SB 1343 training requirements, which modify AB 1825 training requirements, companies in California with at least 5 workplace employees are mandated to offer sexual harassment prevention training to all employees (at least 1 hour) and supervisors (at least 2 hours). As well as unlawful sexual harassment, the training must also cover other forms of workplace harassment, discrimination, bullying, and retaliation. Sexual Harassment Prevention and remediation must also be covered in the training.
What topics are covered by this training?
• The definition of sexual harassment under the Fair Employment and Housing Act and Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964;
• The statutes and case-law prohibiting and preventing sexual harassment;
• The types of conduct that can be sexual harassment;
• Strategies to prevent sexual harassment;
• Supervisors’ obligation to report harassment;
• Practical examples of harassment;
• The limited confidentiality of the complaint process;
• Resources for victims of sexual harassment, including to whom they should report it;
• How employers must correct harassing behavior;
• What to do if a supervisor is personally accused of harassment;
• The elements of an effective anti-harassment policy and how to use it;
• “Abusive conduct” under Government Code section 12950.1(g)(2);
• Discuss harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, which shall include practical examples inclusive of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.
How many employees can attend a training?
It depends on your workplace. You can choose a recorded training based on the number of people attending the training, or a live webinar/in person class room setting.
If you have a human resources department at your company, is it necessary to hire an investigator?
California law requries that investigations be conducted by experienced impartial neutral fact finders. Hiring an experienced workplace law attorney or investigator who does not work for your company is the best assurance of impartiality, neutrality and fairness to all involved. You want the final product or investigation report to hold up in court if it becomes necessary.
Are workplace investigations required under California law? If so, why?
Under California law all supervisors and employers have a duty to take immediate and appropriate corrective action in response to a complaint of workplace sexual harassment. Conducting a prompt thorough investigation has been interpreted by the courts and the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH) as taking prompt corrective action. Having a policy prohibiting harassment and other misconduct, setting out a procedure for making complaints, and communicating this policy and procedure every six months, are ways that employers and schools can prevent and correct misconduct.
Our Team has conducted independent, neutral investigations of claims of misconduct for public and private employers in a wide variety of industries. Meticulous data collection, including witness interviews, as well as credibility assessments, form the basis for reasoned conclusions in written or verbal reports that can be used by employers and their attorneys to make employment decisions, or by universities as part of the Title IX procedure.
Our Team conducts investigations in a prompt, thorough and impartial manner whether it involves an established corporation, a medical practice, a restaurant, a Silicon Valley start-up, a university, a winery in the Napa Valley or a production facility in a remote location. Investigations can be conducted with interpreters of any language. Our Team speaks Spanish fluently and can interview witnesses in Spanish.
Are investigations privileged communications covered by attorney client privilege?
Investigations can be structured so that the attorney-client privilege applies between the attorney investigator and the organization. However, should the organization choose to waive the privilege in the future, the investigator is available to testify at deposition or trial regarding the investigation.
Ready to get started?
Get in touch, we can help you with your workplace training and investigation needs.