In April of 2018, New York State passed legislation to curtail sexual harassment occurring in the workplace. One such provision mandated that all employers in the state of New York must, by October 9, 2019, provide anti-sexual harassment training to all employees as well as supervisors. To aid employers in complying with this provision, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) drafted a model policy to follow. All employers’ training programs must meet or exceed the model policy as set forth by the NYSDOL. 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 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
Many employers may find it difficult to implement a strictly modeled anti-sexual training policy on their own. Employers might also find it difficult to interpret these new laws and integrate them into their workplace, especially if these laws are amended over time. Employers in New York may require the help of a New York employment law firm with extensive experience handling cases of sexual harassment and maintains comprehensive knowledge on this anti-sexual harassment legislation. The Long Island and New York City employment lawyers at Leeds Brown Law can assist. We offer full service compliance training and can help you, as an employer, understand these new, complex laws, and confirm that your sexual harassment prevention training policy meets or exceeds the New York State model policy guidelines.
If you’re in need of assistance readying your sexual harassment prevention training policy to meet or exceed the model policy set forth by New York State, contact our Long Island/New York City employment lawyers today. You can reach us via email or by phone at (212) 661-4370 or (516) 873-9550.