New York State Combating Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Law Compliance Training Course
In April 2018, New York State updated its sexual harassment laws. The newly updated law mandates that employers establish a sexual harassment policy that meets minimum standards and provide access to a complaint form for their employees. Employers must provide each employee with a copy of their policy in writing or electronically and these new provisions also expand protections for contractors, vendors and consultants.
The sweeping provisions of New York State Labor Law 201-G require every employer in New York State to provide employees with interactive sexual harassment prevention training. Each employee must receive training at least once per year starting October 9, 2018.
It’s always been prudent for companies and organizations to have a sexual harassment prevention policy, but businesses and other employers in New York State now have no choice. Provisions in the newly passed state budget require all New York State employers to institute a policy and provide annual training.
Effective October 9, 2018, all employers are required to provide employees with their sexual harassment policy in the workplace and conduct annual sexual harassment training for all employees based on standards set by the New York State Department of Labor and Division of Human Rights. Every employer must adopt a comprehensive sexual harassment prevention policy promulgated pursuant to New York State law or establish a sexual harassment prevention policy to prevent sexual harassment that equals or exceeds the minimum standards provided by New York State. Under the law, such sexual harassment prevention policy shall be provided to all employees upon initial employment.
Every employer must implement a sexual harassment prevention policy that shall: (i) prohibit sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the New York State Department of Labor in consultation with the Division of Human Rights and provide examples of prohibited conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment; (ii) include, but not be limited to, information concerning the Federal and State statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment and a statement that there may be applicable local laws; (iii) include a standard complaint form; (iv) include a procedure for the timely and confidential investigation of complaints and ensure due process for all parties; (v) inform employees of their rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating sexual harassment complaints administratively and judicially; (vi) clearly state 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 (vii) clearly state that retaliation against individuals who complain of sexual harassment or who testify or assist in any proceeding under the law is unlawful.
As mandated in New York State Labor Law 201-G, such sexual harassment prevention training program shall be interactive and include: (i) an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Labor in consultation with the Division of Human Rights; (ii) examples of conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment; (iii) information concerning the Federal and State statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment; and (iv) information concerning employees' rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating complaints.
New York State has mandated that every employer must provide a sexual harassment prevention training program for all employees pursuant to the law or establish a training program for employees to prevent sexual harassment that equals or exceeds the minimum standards provided by New York State.
The new provisions of the law require that sexual harassment prevention training shall be provided to all employees at least once per year and must address conduct by supervisors and any additional responsibilities for such supervisors.
In compliance with the law, the Emergency Response Consulting Group's one-hour interactive sexual harassment prevention training program includes, but is not limited to:
(i) an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the New York State Department of Labor in consultation with the Division of Human Rights;
(ii) examples of conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment;
(iii) information concerning the Federal and State statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment;
(iv) information concerning employees' rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating complaints;
(v) responsibilities of supervisors;
(vi) conduct by supervisors in the workplace;
(vii) employer responsibilities of maintaining training records related to the law; and
(viii) an interactive knowledge review.
All training programs delivered by the Emergency Response Consulting Group are fully compliant with the updated New York State laws and can be customized to fit the needs of your company or organization. We can even incorporate your existing Sexual Harassment Policy into the delivery of the course.
Our Combating Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Law Compliance Training Course exceeds the minimum requirements established by the New York State Department of Labor and provides valuable information to your your supervisors, managers and other employees to increase their knowledge of sexual harassment laws and understand how to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.
Top 10 Frequently Asked Sexual Harassment Law Training Questions:
Question 1. Who is considered an Employee for the training requirement? And when does the training need to be completed?
Answer 1. “Employee” includes all workers, regardless of immigration status. Employee also includes exempt or non-exempt employees, part-time workers, seasonal workers, and temporary workers. All employees must complete required training that meets the minimum standards by Oct. 9, 2019.
Question 2. How often must employees receive sexual harassment training?
Answer 2. Employees must be trained at least once per year. In subsequent years, this may be based on the calendar year, anniversary of each employee’s start date, or any other date the employer chooses.
Question 3. How soon do new employees need to be trained?
Answer 3. As employers may be liable for the actions of employees immediately upon hire, the State encourages training as soon as possible. Employers should distribute the policy to employees prior to commencing work and should have it posted.
Question 4. If an employer has previously provided training that meets or exceeds the requirements, must employees be retrained?
Answer 4. Employees must receive training on an annual basis. If employees have already received training this year, but it did NOT meet all new requirements, employers need only provide supplemental training to ensure all requirements are met.
Question 5. Is there a minimum number of training hours employees must complete each year?
Answer 5. No, as long as they receive training that meets or exceeds the minimum standards.
Question 6. What are the obligations of employment agencies? What about employees who received the same training from another employer within the past year?
Answer 6. The law requires that employers provide a sexual harassment prevention policy and training on an annual basis to all employees. An employer may choose to deem the training requirement satisfied if a new employee can verify completion through a previous employer or through a temporary help firm.
An agency or any other worker organization (e.g. labor union) may choose to provide training to workers, however, the employer may still be liable for the employee’s conduct and understanding of policies and should train the employee on any nuances and processes specific to the company or industry.
Question 7. I am an employer based in New York State but also have employees who only work in other states. Do they need to be trained as well?
Answer 7. No. Only employees who work or will work in New York State need to be trained. However, if an individual works a portion of their time in New York State, even if they’re based in another state, they must be trained.
Question 8. Are minor employees (e.g., child actors) required to take sexual harassment training?
Answer 8. Yes. However, those employing children under the age of 14 may opt to simplify the training and policy while still meeting the minimum requirements.
Question 9. Are there different training requirements for employees in managerial/supervisory roles?
Answer 9. Employers must make managers and supervisors as well as all employees aware of the extra requirements for those in managerial/supervisory roles. The required training does address the additional requirements, and employers may choose to provide additional or separate training to supervisors and managers.
Question 10. What happens if some employees fail to take the training despite an employer’s best efforts to make it available, and to require everyone to take it?
Answer 10. Employers are required to ensure that all employees receive training on an annual basis. Employers may take appropriate administrative remedies to ensure compliance.