[lg policy] New York State’s Anti-Sexual Harassment Requirements Now In Effect

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Tue Oct 16 10:18:41 EDT 2018

New York State’s Anti-Sexual Harassment Requirements Now In Effect: What
Employers Should Know
Monday, October 15, 2018

In the wake of the #MeToo Movement, New York enacted legislation that is
specifically targeted to sexual harassment in the workplace.  On October 1,
2018, New York released final guidance materials regarding the legislation,
including a model policy and a list of Frequently Asked Questions, which
can be located here

All New York employers must have updated anti-sexual harassment policies in
place by *October 9, 2018*.  All employers must distribute to all New York
employees a sexual harassment prevention policy and complaint form that
employees can use to report sexual harassment, which New York has made
available online here

For employers that opt to create their own policies, 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;

   Include 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 ensures due process for all parties;

   Inform employees of their rights and redress and all available forums
   for adjudicating sexual harassment complaints administratively and

   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 supervisor 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.

Additionally, employers must provide this policy in writing or
electronically to employees.  If the policy is made available on a work
computer, employees must be able to print a copy for their own records.
New York further requires that the policy be provided to employees “in the
language spoken by their employees.”  To assist employers, New York intends
to publish the model materials in different languages; yet if the model
materials are not available in an employee’s primary language, the employer
may provide the employee with an English-language version.  Employers do
not have to provide this policy to “independent contractors, vendors or

Furthermore, the complaint form does not need to be included in full in the
employer’s policy, but the policy should be clear about where the form may
be found, for example, on the company’s internal website.

In addition to the above requirements, all New York employers must provide
employees with annual, interactive sexual harassment prevention training.
The deadline for completing the training requirement has been extended
to *October
9, 2019*.

New York employers should also make sure that they implement compliant
annual preventative sexual harassment training by the October 9, 2019
deadline.  In addition, New York employers operating in New York City
should familiarize themselves with the requirements imposed by the Stop
Sexual Harassment in New York City Act, which will impose additional
training requirements beginning April 1, 2019.
© Polsinelli PC, Polsinelli LLP in California



 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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