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September 21, 2018

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NYS Department of Labor Finalizes Sexual Harassment Guidance And Model Sexual Harassment Policy, Training, and Complaint Form

October 3, 2018

     On October 1, 2018, the New York State Department of Labor released the final guidance on the new sexual harassment law that requires all employers adopt a written sexual harassment policy, complaint form and implement a training program. The final guidance and model forms can be found on the Department’s website at: https://www.ny.gov/programs/combating-sexual-harassment-workplace

     Employers must have a legally compliant written sexual harassment policy and complaint form in place no later than October 9, 2018 and all employees must receive sexual harassment training by October 9, 2019 (and on an annual basis thereafter, with new hires receiving sexual harassment training “as soon as possible” after commencement of employment). Despite the 2019 training deadline, employers should seriously consider providing such training as soon as possible for liability and other reasons. An employer that does not adopt the model policy, complaint form and training program must adopt a policy, complaint form and training program that meets the required minimum standards.


The minimum required standards for a sexual harassment policy are:

  • Prohibition of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Labor in consultation with the Division of Human Rights

  • Must provide examples of prohibited conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment

  • Must include information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment, remedies available to victims of sexual harassment, and a statement that there may be applicable local laws

  • Must include a complaint form

  • Must include a procedure for the timely and confidential investigation of complaints that ensures due process for all parties

  • Informs employees of their rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating sexual harassment complaints administratively and judicially

  • Clearly states 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

  • Clearly states that retaliation against individuals who complain of sexual harassment or who testify or assist in any investigation or proceeding involving sexual harassment is unlawful

The minimum required standards for a sexual harassment training are:

  • Must be interactive

  • Includes an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Labor in consultation with the Division of Human Rights

  • Includes examples of conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment

  • Includes information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment

  • Includes information concerning employees’ rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating complaints

  • Includes information addressing conduct by supervisors and any additional responsibilities for such supervisors

 

If you have any questions about this Legal Briefing, please contact any attorney of our Firm at 585-730-4773.

 

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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

 

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