As a result of the #MeToo movement—which has shone a particularly bright spotlight on the entertainment industry—both New York City and New York State have enacted Sexual Harassment Prevention Legislation in 2018, with revised provisions for employee communication and training. Additional city and state legislation will continue to roll out through April 2019.
While the legislation is still in its draft stages, the following outlines critical information and dates pertaining to New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) regulations.
NEW YORK STATE
- All employers with one (1) or more employees performing work in the state must provide training that meets the state’s published standards by January 1, 2019.
- Training must meet a set of minimum standards, which are posted here. The state has posted a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), which can be found here.
- New employees commencing employment after January 1, 2019, must be trained within 30 days of their start date.
- Contractors who bid on state contracts must certify that they have provided annual sexual harassment training to all employees, including those outside of the state.
- New York State has created guidance and drafts of a model training document, model sexual harassment policy, and model complaint form.
- October 9, 2018: New sexual harassment training requirements become effective for all employers, regardless of size, and all employees (no minimum-hour requirement). Sexual harassment policy distribution is required; the draft policy can be found here.
- October 9, 2019: All employees must be trained, and training must be provided annually thereafter.
NEW YORK CITY
- Employers with 15 or more full-or part-time employees must provide training for employees who work 90 or more hours per calendar year.
- Training requirements become effective in April 2019, and initial annual training must be completed by April 2020.
- Training must be conducted annually for all employees, including interns. New hires must be trained within 90 days of hire.
- Employees must sign an acknowledgement that they’ve received sexual harassment training, and records documenting this training must be maintained for 3 years.
- New York City promises to provide a model training document that can be used by employers in the future.
- September 6, 2018: All New York City employers are required to display a poster in English and Spanish outlining employees’ rights and responsibilities regarding sexual harassment, as well as distribute an information sheet to individual employees at the time of hire.
- April 1, 2019: New York City employers with 15 or more employees must train all full- and part-time employees.
- April 1, 2020: Deadline to train all employees.
NEXT STEPS FOR EMPLOYERS
- NYC employers should ensure that the sexual harassment prevention poster is displayed, and the information sheet distributed to all employees.
- Update new hire documents to include the NYC notice to employees.
- All employers should review and update current anti-harassment policy language based on NYS requirements.
- Employers should develop a sexual harassment prevention training program that ensures state and city deadlines are met.
- Develop a communication plan for employees notifying them of continued sexual harassment prevention training requirements.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT PREVENTION TRAINING RESOURCES
For employers nationwide, the following resources can provide guidance on how to draft and implement sexual harassment prevention communication and training within your organization.
Clear Law Institute
4601 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 1200
Contact: (415) 951-7913, www.syntrio.com/about-us/contact-us
This information in this communication is general in nature, and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as legal, accounting, tax or other professional advice rendered by GreenSlate, LLC. The reader should contact his or her attorney, CPA, or tax professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.