NYS Releases Model Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy and Training

August 28, 2018 | Kenneth A. Novikoff | Brian S. Conneely | John K. Diviney | Scott R. Green | Employment & Labor

On Friday, August 24, 2018, the New York State Division of Human Rights and the New York Department of Labor issued their proposed model anti-sexual harassment policy and model anti-sexual harassment training program. Every New York State employer must promptly adopt and distribute an anti-sexual harassment policy to all employees. Every New York State Employer must also conduct and must also provide anti-sexual harassment training for all employees prior to January 1, 2019.

As we previously advised you, New York State and New York City passed new sexual harassment laws in April 2018 (see https://www.rivkinradler.com/publications/new-sexual-harassment-legislation-applies-to-almost-all-ny-employers/).These new laws impose substantial additional requirements on all New York State and New York City employers. Prior polices, training and agreements will not be sufficient.

In order to reduce or avoid potential issues or liabilities in the future, employers with employees in New York State or in New York City should promptly consider the following checklist:

  • Modify, post and distribute to all employees a new anti-sexual harassment policy;
  • Schedule anti-sexual harassment training for all employees;
  • Review and update investigation procedures and policies for complaints regarding sexual harassment and other workplace discrimination;
  • Modify and update employee handbooks;
  • Revise and update all arbitration agreements;
  • Review and update all employment agreements, separation agreements, non-disclosure agreements, settlement agreements, and releases.

We have and will continue to assist our clients and colleagues in complying with these new laws as well as other employment laws, wage hour laws, labor laws, regulations and employment litigations.

The link to the New York State website which contains the proposed model notice and model proposed training requirements is https://www.ny.gov/combating-sexual-harassment-workplace/employers. These proposed models upon which employers will be expected to base their policies and training are subject to public comments by September 12. Nevertheless, we recommend that employers prepare now for these new changes and new requirements.

If you have any questions about these new sexual harassment laws and requirements, please contact Ken Novikoff at (516) 357-3110; Brian S. Conneely at (516) 357-3174, John Diviney at (516) 357-3234 or Scott Green at (516) 357-3139.

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