On April 12, 2018, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law several bills included in the 2018-2019 State Budget, including legislation considered to be some of the nation’s most expansive sexual harassment laws. Some of the measures passed include prohibiting mandatory nondisclosure provisions in settlements of sexual harassment claims, prohibiting mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims, extending sexual harassment protections to non-employees such as vendors and independent contractors, requiring public sector employees found liable of sexual harassment to reimburse the public for any award paid by a public entity for such claims and requiring state contractors to certify they have legally compliant sexual harassment policies and training in place. See previous Legal Briefing on Big Changes to Sexual Harassment Prevention Laws In New York.
One of the more anticipated measures passed was mandating all employers adopt and implement a written sexual harassment policy and train employees on an annual basis. As part of this measure, Governor Cuomo directed the New York State Department of Labor to collaborate with the New York State Division of Human Rights to promulgate a model sexual harassment policy, complaint form and training program. New York employers must either adopt the model sexual harassment policy, complaint form and training program, or adopt a policy and training program that at a minimum contains all of the information, notice and protections contained in the model forms.
The New York State Department of Labor has released a proposed model sexual harassment policy, complaint form and training program that is open for public comment until September 12, 2018. The proposed versions can be found on the Department’s website at https://www.ny.gov/combating-sexual-harassment-workplace/employers.
Employers must have a legally compliant sexual harassment policy, complaint form and training program in place no later than October 9, 2018 and all employees must receive sexual harassment training by January 1, 2019 (or within 30 days of hire).
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This Legal Briefing is intended for general informational and educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice or counsel. The substance of this Legal Briefing is not intended to cover all legal issues or developments regarding the matter. Please consult with an attorney to ascertain how these new developments may relate to you or your business. © 2018 Law Offices of Pullano & Farrow PLLC