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Do You Have Employees in New York or Do Business with the State of New York? If So, New Sexual Harassment Policy and Training Requirements Now Apply to You.

New York and New York City have implemented strict requirements involving sexual harassment policies and training.  The requirements apply not only to businesses located in New York, but also apply to any contractor doing business with the State of New York and its agencies.

Every New York employer is now obligated to have in place, and distribute to its employees, a sexual harassment policy that meets very specific requirements in accordance with New York law.  Additionally, no later than October 9, 2019, every New York employer must have completed providing, interactive, sexual harassment prevention training to its employees.  This training must take place annually thereafter.

For those merely doing business with the State of New York and its agencies (but not necessarily located in New York), these rules also apply to you.  Even if you do not maintain an office in New York, but merely seek to be a contractor bidding to provide goods or services to the State of New York or its agencies, as part of your bid, you will be required to certify that you have sexual harassment policies and provide annual training to all employees.

For those employers located in New York City, in addition to the State of New York rules, there are a number of additional requirements that must be met.  The NYC Commission of Human Rights has prepared an anti-sexual harassment poster that must be prominently displayed in the office and also requires a fact sheet be distributed to all employees or included in the employee handbook.   In addition, there are some distinctions between the State’s training requirements and the City’s training requirements, the most important of which is that employers with 15 or more employees in New York City must provide sexual harassment prevention training within 90 days for any employee hired on or after April 1, 2019.

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About this Author

Jay S. Becker, Giordano Law Firm, Labor Employment Attorney

Mr. Becker, Chair of the Labor and Employment Practice Area, devotes his practice to labor relations and employment law and litigation on behalf of management. His experience includes conducting trials, hearings, arbitration and mediation sessions; responding to state and federal administrative agency charges; collective bargaining; drafting employment-related corporate documents such as restrictive covenants, employee handbooks, employment agreements, various stock and compensation plans, and separation/severance agreements. He counsels employers on all employee relations issues including...

Jeri L. Abrams, Giordano Halleran,  Employment Documentation Lawyer, Workplace Litigation Attorney

Jeri focuses primarily on employment law, with an emphasis on drafting and negotiating complex employment-related documentation, such as executive employment, consulting, restrictive covenant, commission, bonus, retention, change-in-control and severance agreements. Jeri counsels employers on a broad range of employment matters, including hiring, disciplining and terminating employees, family and medical leaves, disability leaves and accommodations, anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation laws, wage and hour compliance, and reductions in workforce. She works closely with management, in-house counsel, and human resources personnel in the development and implementation of employment policies and handbooks that comply with applicable law and are consistent with the employer's unique practices and organizational culture. Jeri also advises clients on the employment aspects of M&A deals and other corporate transactions.

Representative Matters 

  • Fortune 300 Company: Represented client in 4 separate recent acquisitions; drafted and negotiated complex executive employment agreements between the client and the founder of the acquired businesses, each of whom were integral to the value of the business being purchased.
  • Publicly-held Pharmaceutical Company: Represented client during a major workforce reorganization, which included 2 plant closures, staff relocations and a series of 9 reductions in workforce; worked closely with the client's legal and human resources departments to ensure the orderly separation of more than 600 employees and to minimize associated legal risks and business disruption; provided advice related to federal and state WARN act issues, wage and hour laws, OWBPA requirements and severance arrangements; prepared and negotiated severance agreements.
  • Publicly-held REIT: Advised client on a wide-array of unique employment matters in the context of the "spin-off" of one of its divisions.
  • Private Equity Firm: Represented large private equity client in connection with a high risk and sensitive termination of the CEO of one of its portfolio companies.
  • Private Equity Firm: Represented private equity firm in the drafting and negotiation of employment agreements for the senior executives of a large portfolio company.
Ari G. Burd, Giordano Law Firm, Labor Employment Attorney

Mr. Burd practices in both the Labor and Employment Law Practice Area and the Health Care Practice Area. In the Labor and Employment Practice Area, Mr. Burd devotes his time to litigation and counseling employers with regard to traditional employment and labor related issues. Mr. Burd has extensive experience in both the state and federal courts in areas including retaliation, wrongful termination, wage and hour, sexual harassment and race, age, gender and disability discrimination. Mr. Burd also has considerable experience in assisting negotiating and drafting employment related...