New York State Introduces New Legislation about Sexual Harassment

By Drew M Smith

On October 9th, New York’s new Sexual Harassment Policy came into effect for employers of all sizes. With it, comes some serious regulations that they must abide by. These rules include the following: All employers must post as of September 6th, 2019, a poster about anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities, in English and Spanish. In addition, they must provide a fact sheet to all current and new employees or include the policy in their handbooks.

These policies must include rules about:

  • Prohibiting sexual harassment and have information about the state and federal provisions
  • Include a standard complaint form and a procedure to investigate all complaints
  • State clearly that sexual harassment is considered employee misconduct and sanctions will be levied as such to the accused and anyone who is a supervisory role that could have prevented it
  • Clearly state any retaliation against a victim’s testimony is unlawful[1]

On top of this, beginning October 9th, all employers regardless of size must provide sexual harassment training annually. In April 2019, any company of 15 or more employees must give new full or part time workers within 90 days of hire this harassment training. This training does not have to take place in the office, but it does need to be interactive according to the NYC Commission on Human Rights, who are making said module.

This new legislation means that employers now must pay for the training in order to comply with the new regulations. This is a great opportunity to review your harassment policies. Your employees should understand what their rights are and how they are protected under the new regulations.

 

[1] https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2018/08/16/five-things-employers-must-know-about-nys-new-anti-sexual-harassment-laws/

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