As we addressed in our previous article both New York State and New York City passed recent anti-sexual harassment legislation. This article addresses important upcoming deadlines under those laws.
Required New York State Anti-Harassment Policy Revisions by October 9, 2018
By October 9, 2018, all New York State employers must have updated sexual harassment policies. The New York State Division of Human Rights (NYSDHR) recently released a draft of a model policy. Although the NYSDHR released a draft model policy, the NYSDHR requires that employer policies follow minimum standards. Accordingly, the policies must, at a minimum:
It is important for employers to craft a policy that meets these standards, while avoiding extraneous information that may detract from these key points and may confuse employees. The public, employers and employees can provide comments on the State’s proposed model policy until September 12, 2018.
Required New York State Anti-Harassment Training by January 1, 2019
Under the New York State law, all employees must also receive anti-sexual harassment training by January 1, 2019. Like the model anti-harassment policy, the State also released a model training outline. Similar to the anti-harassment policy, employers are not required to adopt the model training. The training provided by employers must meet the following minimum standards:
Again, similar to the anti-harassment model policy, the public, employers and employees can provide comments on the State’s proposed model training until September 12, 2018. Going forward, the State requires that anti-harassment training is provided annually and all new employees be trained within the first 30 days of employment.
Required New York City Anti-Harassment Training beginning April 1, 2019
The NYC Act also has training requirements. NYC employers with at least 15 employees are obligated to conduct annual anti-sexual harassment training to all NYC employees, beginning April 1, 2019. New employees are required to be trained within the first 90 days of employment. Like the State, the NYCCHR is expected to release a model policy and training materials for compliance with the Act in the near future. We will keep you updated when those materials are released. It is currently unclear if and how they will be different from the State’s models and/or minimum standards.
New York City Poster and Fact Sheet by September 6, 2018
The New York City Commission on Human Rights (“NYCCHR”) has released the anti-sexual harassment rights notice poster and fact sheet referenced in the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act (the “Act”) (our previous coverage of the Act can be found here). Effective September 6, 2018, all NYC employers must display the poster, both in English and in Spanish, in a “conspicuous location” in the workplace. Also, effective September 6, 2018, NYC employers must distribute the fact sheet to all new employees at the time of hire. The fact sheet may be distributed as a separate document or incorporated into the employee handbook.
Both the poster and the fact sheet explain what sexual harassment is, provide examples of sexual harassment, explain that retaliation is prohibited under NYC Human Rights Law, and provide contact information for reporting complaints of sexual harassment. The NYCCHR has also created a webpage which provides additional information on the Act.
How We Can Help Meet Your Legal Obligations
As attorneys with combined experience of over 47 years practicing employment law, we can assist you in complying with the standards mandated by the State, and those to be released by the City. We craft state-of-the-art, non-legalese policies that employees can relate to and understand, all while maintaining legal compliance. In addition, as attorneys, we can provide the legally-mandated training in a cost-effective way, in which we:
We know adhering to these new requirements can be intimidating. Please reach out to us to help you maintain your compliance.