In September 2018, we reported on New York State’s issuance of draft guidance under the recently enacted New York State law aimed at preventing sexual harassment.  New York State has now issued final guidance under this law.  This includes final guidance regarding:

  • The anti-sexual harassment policy that every New York State employer (regardless of size and including those who employ only domestic and household employees) must adopt by October 9, 2018; and
  • The mandatory interactive anti-sexual harassment training that every New York State employer is required to conduct for all employees annually.

Final Guidance Delays Deadline to Conduct First Annual Mandatory Training

Note that, under the prior draft guidance, the first annual interactive anti-sexual harassment training was required to be conducted before January 1, 2019.  The final guidance delays the requirement to conduct the first annual interactive training until October 9, 2019.  The final guidance also seemingly relaxes the timing requirement for training new hires.  Whereas the prior draft guidance specified that new hires had to be trained within 30 days of beginning employment, the final guidance encourages training new hires as soon as possible, but does not impose a deadline.

October 9, 2018 Deadline for Adopting Compliant Written Policy

The October 9, 2018 deadline for New York State employers to adopt an anti-sexual harassment policy that complies with the new law is only days away.  New York State employers who do not adopt the model policy issued by New York State can adopt individually tailored policies, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of the New York State law.  Note that there are certain provisions in the New York State model policy that go beyond the minimum standards required of New York State employers, so for this and other reasons, employers may prefer to customize their own policies. 

Model anti-sexual harassment policy, complaint form, and related materials

New York State’s model anti-sexual harassment policy can be found here:

New York State’s model sexual harassment complaint form can be found here:

New York State’s summary of minimum standards for anti-sexual harassment policies can be found here:

New York State has now also issued a sexual harassment prevention poster.  Displaying this poster is not a requirement of the new law, and is optional.  The poster can be found here:

New York State has also issued a “sexual harassment prevention toolkit” that summarizes the law’s requirements of employers and gives step-by-step instructions for employers to follow in order to comply.  The toolkit can be found here:

Model anti-sexual harassment training module and related materials

New York State’s anti-sexual harassment training module can be found here:

New York State’s summary of minimum standards for anti-sexual harassment training can be found here:

Frequently asked questions

New York State’s frequently asked questions (FAQs) can be found here:

The FAQs state that finalized materials will be translated into Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Bengali, Russian, Italian, Polish, and Haitian-Creole as quickly as possible and available online, and that additional languages may be added in the future.  The FAQs clarify that employers are required to provide employees with training in the language spoken by their employees.

For more information

For more information on this New York State law, see our legal update, New York employers should get ready to comply with New York State’s new sexual harassment prevention laws, and our Global Workplace Insider article, New York State’s new sexual harassment prevention laws will require action by all New York employers.  New York City employers should also see our Global Workplace Insider article New York City employers take note: New anti-sexual harassment laws enacted, which provides further information on the similar (but not identical) New York City anti-sexual harassment laws.

Please contact us with any questions. We would be happy to assist you and your business with compliance with these new requirements.

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