Employment Law & Immigration Attorneys
Call Us Today 646.374.4819

EMPLOYERS IN NEW YORK STATE- PLEASE ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH THE NEW LAWS ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Based on new legal developments, as of October 9, 2018, all employers in New York State (regardless of size), are required to provide annual sexual harassment training to all employees, which must consist of the following:

  • Information on federal, state, and local laws that prohibit sexual harassment;
  • Information concerning employees’ rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating complaints;
  • Explanations of, and examples of prohibited acts of sexual harassment;
  • An interactive component; and
  • Information addressing conduct by supervisors, and any additional responsibilities for such supervisors.

This initial training must be completed by all employers no later than January 1, 2019, and within 30 days of any new employee’s start date. Temporary and transient employees must receive compliant trainings even if they only work for the employer or in New York for one day.

The new law also expands sexual harassment protections and prohibitions to non-employees such as contractors and subcontractors, vendors, consultants, interns, and volunteers.

In addition, as of October 9, 2018, all employers in New York State, must implement a sexual harassment policy, that at a minimum:

  • Prohibits sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Labor in consultation with the Division of Human Rights;
  • Provides examples of prohibited conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment;
  • Includes information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment, remedies available to victims of sexual harassment, and a statement that there may be applicable local laws;
  • Include a complaint form;
  • Includes a procedure for the timely and confidential investigation of complaints that ensures due process for all parties;
  • Informs employees of their rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating sexual harassment complaints administratively and judicially;
  • Clearly states that sexual harassment is considered a form of employee misconduct and that sanctions will be enforced against individuals engaging in sexual harassment and against supervisory and managerial personnel who knowingly allow such behavior to continue; and
  • Clearly states that retaliation against individuals who complain of sexual harassment or who testify or assist in any investigation or proceeding involving sexual harassment is unlawful.

Finally, the new law prohibits mandatory arbitration clauses and non-disclosure agreements that cover sexual harassment claims. However, non-disclosure agreements covering sexual harassment claims and the facts underlying those claims are enforceable if the complainant consents to such an agreement after being given 21 days to consider the agreement and 7 days to revoke consent and the agreement terms are provided to all relevant parties.

Stay tuned for further developments.

Categories: