By: George Morrison
The State of New York is seeking comments on draft guidance from employers on mandatory sexual harassment prevention policies and annual employee training. Effective October 9, 2018, New York employers will be required to adopt the state’s written model sexual harassment prevention policy or issue a substantially similar policy to employees. A copy of New York’s draft model policy can be found here. Under the proposed guidance, on or before January 1, 2019, New York employers must also provide annual sexual harassment training to all employees. The training must:
- be interactive;
- include an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the state;
- include examples of conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment;
- include information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment;
- include information concerning employees’ rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating complaints; and
- include information addressing conduct by supervisors and any additional responsibilities for such supervisors.
While we expect revisions to the proposed guidance after the comment period closes on September 12, 2018, New York employers should begin to review their policies and training programs now to ensure compliance with all applicable laws. New York City employers will also need to integrate any statewide requirements with New York City’s mandated anti-sexual harassment training requirements, which become effective April 1, 2019.
White and Williams routinely assists its clients with the development and presentation of anti-sexual harassment training programs. If you have questions or would like to further discuss your harassment prevention policies or procedures, please contact a member of the Labor and Employment Group.