Previously, all employers in New York State must complete the first mandatory sexual harassment training between Oct. 9 and Dec. 31, 2018 – Gov. Cuomo announced the finalization of the draft required workplace policy and model training program. Among other things, the final version states that the training must be completed by Oct. 9, 2019. This gives employers more time to comply.
On August 23, 2018, New York State released much-awaited guidance materials for employers, including model sexual harassment prevention documents. The materials were published in draft form and followed by a period of public comment that closed on September 12, 2018.
According to the New York State Model Sexual Harassment Policy, the policy must:
- prohibit sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Labor in consultation with the Division of Human Rights
- provide examples of prohibited conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment
- provide information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment, remedies available to victims of sexual harassment, and a statement that there may be applicable local laws
- include a complaint form
include a procedure for the timely and confidential investigation of complaints that ensure due process for all parties
inform employees of their rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating sexual harassment complaints administratively and judicially
clearly state that sexual harassment is considered a form of employee misconduct and that sanctions will be enforced against individuals engaging in sexual harassment and against supervisory and managerial personnel who knowingly allow such behavior to continue
clearly state that retaliation against individuals who complain of sexual harassment or who testify or assist in any investigation or proceeding involving sexual harassment is unlawful
Final New York State Sexual Harassment Prevention Documents
The final materials issued by New York State relating to employer policies include Minimum Standards for Sexual Harassment Prevention Policies, Model Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy, Model Complaint Form, and an optional Policy Notice/Poster.
The final materials relating to mandatory annual employee training include Minimum Standards for Sexual Harassment Prevention Training, Sexual Harassment Prevention Model Training (along with Training Presentation Slides and Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Case Studies).
For employers that prefer to update their existing policies and training programs to comply with New York law, rather than adopting the state’s model materials, the state has published an Employer Toolkit. This toolkit contains “minimum standards checklists” to ensure that company policies and training materials meet or exceed minimum legal requirements.
New York State has also issued FAQs that provide additional guidance for implementation of policies and training.
Please note that our website or the information posted in no way constitutes any legal advice. If you have any questions, please call John Daughton at 716.688.8888.