anti-harassment measures

In April 2018, we reported on New York State’s enactment of a new law aimed at preventing sexual harassment. We summarized this new law in detail in 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.  Under this law, New York State employers will need to comply with the following new requirements, among others:

  • By October 9, 2018, every New York State employer (regardless of size and including those who employ only domestic and household employees) is required to adopt an anti-sexual harassment policy that meets specified requirements; and
  • Before January 1, 2019, every New York State employer is required to conduct interactive sexual harassment prevention training that meets specified requirements. Thereafter, all new New York State employees must complete such training within 30 calendar days of beginning employment, and all New York State employees must receive such training at least once per year.

Recent New York State guidance on sexual harassment prevention measures

New York State has recently issued additional guidance on this new law, including a draft model anti-sexual harassment policy and complaint form, a draft training module, and draft frequently asked questions.  All of this guidance is in draft form, and the public can provide comments on the drafts on or before September 12, 2018.  Presumably, New York State will issue final guidance sometime after the end of the comment period and before the October 9, 2018 deadline for adopting a compliant anti-sexual harassment policy.  New York State employers who do not adopt the model documents issued by New York State can adopt individually tailored policies and training modules, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of the New York State law.  For this purpose, New York State issued documents summarizing the law’s minimum standards for sexual harassment prevention policies and training.  Note that there are certain provisions in the New York State draft model policy that seem to 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.  Additionally, it is unclear how far in advance of the October 9, 2018 deadline New York State will issue its final guidance and final model policy.  Accordingly, New York State employers will want to begin working now to get their policies into compliance by the October 9, 2018 deadline.