On October 9, 2018, NYS and NYC Governments enacted an anti-sexual-harassment law that carries pretty stringent requirements relating to employers’ anti-harassment policies and training. These labor laws have been revised and training requirements have been put in place by the Department of Labor in consultation with the Division of Human Rights. Originally, training was required by January 1, 2019 but, after some push back, the deadline was extended until October 9, 2019.
Due to the uptick in sexual harassment law requirements, NYC employers must implement an interactive training for all employees including independent contractors and interns to cover all team members who fall within certain working parameters! A sexual harassment policy must be put in place, if organizations do not already have one. The policy must be in written form, available in employees’ primary language, and can be included in organization’s employee handbook. Requirements include having employees retain a copy of the policy, and we suggest having each employee sign off on the policy in order to make sure you, as employer, are compliant. It is important for employers to keep that signed policy acknowledgement in each employee’s file for the duration of their employment.
Since, as we stated earlier, this policy does not only apply to employees, but also to contractors, we strongly recommend that employers include very strong indemnity provisions in their independent contractor agreements.
Are you prepared for all of these requirements? Have you created the training program? Does it meet all of the standards and requirements? Do you have an existing anti - sexual harassment policy?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, we suggest you implement them rather quickly. In the past, we have often partnered with law firms like Venable LLP and Olshan Frome Wolosky who can help you put together an effective sexual harassment policy. These two firms also offer guidance across the full spectrum of concerns relating to this topic you may have. Here are a couple of links that we found useful to further explain the requirements of the new law:
- New York Employers: The Deadline for Compliance with the New Sexual Harassment Requirements has Arrived
- New York City Sexual Harassment Law Takes Effect
- Employers Training Requirements
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