Update to New York State’s New Anti-Sexual Harassment Legislation

Yesterday, New York State released the final materials and guidance on New York’s Sexual Harassment Prevention Laws. These materials include a model sexual harassment prevention policy, complaint form, and training guide and are available at https://www.ny.gov/combating-sexual-harassment-workplace/employers.

Every New York State employer, regardless of the number of employees, must adopt a sexual harassment prevention policy by Tuesday, October 9, 2018. An employer may adopt the model policy as is or establish its own, provided it complies with the minimum standards set forth on New York State’s website (https://www.ny.gov/sites/ny.gov/files/atoms/files/MinimumStandardsforSexualHarassmentPreventionPolicies.pdf).  This policy must be distributed to all employees in writing or electronically, regardless of the state where the employee works. Additionally, a copy of the policy or a policy notice indicating that the employer has adopted such a policy should be posted in a prominent location within the office.  Such policy notice can be found at https://www.ny.gov/combating-sexual-harassment-workplace/employers. In conjunction with the policy, every employer must adopt a complaint form, or similar document, and an investigatory process that employees are made aware of as part of the policy. The law requires that a complaint form be completed for every sexual harassment investigation, and if the complainant is not willing to complete the form in writing then a designated representative of the employer must. All investigations have to be reduced to writing.

In addition to the model policy, all New York State employers must provide their employees who work or will work in New York State with interactive training before October 9, 2019 and subsequently each year thereafter. Employers may take appropriate administrative remedies to ensure all required employees receive training.

These are only some of the requirements and issues addressed in the new guidance. We are available to assist you in becoming and remaining compliant. Our attorneys are prepared to conduct the required trainings, which can be held at your location or one of our offices. Alternatively, we are happy to assist you in developing your internal prevention training. Please contact David Paseltiner (516-393-8223) on how we can be of assistance.