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By: Will Collins
By October 9, 2018, New York employers must adopt a sexual harassment prevention policy and must provide training on that policy to all employees by January 1, 2019. Last week, New York launched a website that will serve as a hub for all resources related to the state’s new sexual harassment laws. The site contains key guidance setting the baseline for employer compliance. Among the resources, the website provides employers with a:
At this point, all guidance on the site is only proposed and subject to change following the close of the public comment period on September 12, 2018. Once final, the model policies and training may be adopted by employers as their own.
Model Sexual Harassment Policy and Complaint Form
At a minimum an employer must adopt a sexual harassment policy that meets or exceeds the standards set by the New York Department of Labor. The Model Policy expounds on those requirements and:
Model Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
Employers must provide training to all employees by January 1, 2019. After January 1, 2019, employees must receive training on the employer’s sexual harassment policy annually and new employees must receive training within the first 30 days of their employment. The Model Training guidance:
Again, employers do not have to use the training and materials provided by the New York Department of Labor. However, if developing their own training, employers must meet the minimum requirements.
Among several key topics in the FAQs, this section of the website provides guidance on non-disclosure agreements and arbitration.
These are just a few of the developments in New York’s sweeping response to the #MeToo movement, pushing employers to adopt robust and comprehensive sexual harassment policies and training. Given the broad coverage of the requirements and the fast approaching deadlines, employers should take this opportunity to work with counsel to review their policies, including provisions of their handbook and any arbitration agreements to ensure compliance.
The attorneys in the FMG Labor and Employment Nation Practice Section are available to assist your organization, determine your obligations under New York law, and help you navigate day-to-day compliance as other states, counties, and cities enact similar regulations.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Will Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org.