New York Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training

October 8, 2018

New York Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training

Recently, both New York state and New York City passed legislation mandating annual sexual harassment training for all employees.  These new laws become effective in New York State on October 9,  2018, and in New York City on April 1, 2019.

The course provides:

  • an explanation of sexual harassment and general instruction on it being an illegal form of discrimination,
  • a description of what sexual harassment is and use of examples
  • Information about the internal complaint process
  • Prohibition on retaliation
  • Information about the importance of speaking up as a target or a witness
  • Specific duties of supervisors/managers relating to prevention, retaliation, culture, and complaint handling

What if you witness harassment and want to intervene? You can speak up and say something like: “That’s not okay. You need to stop.”

If you aren’t comfortable speaking up, or you did but the behavior has continued, speak with HR or another internal resource.

Important New York State Dates:

  • October 9, 2018: All New York State employers, regardless of size, must adopt and distribute their sexual harassment prevention policy to all employees (no minimum hour requirement). Also, new sexual harassment training requirements become effective for all employers and all training must be conducted annually.
  • January 1, 2019: Contractors that bid on state contracts must certify that they have provided annual sexual harassment training to all employees, including those outside of the state.
  • October 1, 2019: All employees must complete training.

NYS Training Requirements:

New York State’s training requirements are similar to those in the other states in which mandatory training has been implemented. The major differences in NYS law are that the training applies to all employers, regardless of size, and all employees, rather than just managers. State contractors must also abide by the training mandate, and the training must be given annually.

Important New York City Dates:

  • September 6, 2018: All New York City employers are required to display a poster in Englishand Spanishoutlining 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 (deadline to have all employees trained is April 1, 2020): New York City employers with 15 or more employees must train all full- or part-time employees who work more than 80 hours per calendar year.

NYC Training Requirements:

The New York City “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act” applies to all employers with 15 or more employees and requires annual training for all employees beginning April 1, 2019.

The city’s law goes is even more extensive than that of NY State, and includes provisions that address bystander intervention and describe the complaint process available through the city Commission on Human Rights, the state Division of Human Rights, and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Contact information for the offices of these agencies must also be shared.

The city’s model training document is still pending. And don’t forget, the New York State law is applicable to all New York City employers and their employees.