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New York Issues Model Policy and Guidelines Effective Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The New York State Division of Human Rights (“SDHR”) issued this week its final model sexual harassment policy and training guidelines to assist employers in complying with the provisions of the State’s new anti-sexual harassment legislation that will become effective on Tuesday, October 9, 2018. We reported earlier concerning these recently enacted New York State requirements, as well as regarding New York City’s new anti-sexual harassment local laws (which include additional training and other requirements with which New York City employers must also comply), in our June 2018 Employment and Labor Client Alert.

By October 9, all employers in New York State (“NYS”) must have in place a policy against sexual harassment that meets the SDHR’s requirements. Every New York State employer must provide employees with the employer’s Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy in writing or electronically. If a copy of the Policy is made available on a work computer, workers must be able to print a copy for their own records. The SDHR’s guidelines suggest that employers post the Policy in the workplace. However, the guidelines do not mandate such posting because the underlying legislation does not require posting.

New York State employers must also provide to their employees, by October 9, 2019, anti-sexual harassment training that meets the SDHR’s requirements. This is an extension of the January 1, 2019 deadline that the SDHR initially proposed late in the summer. The SDHR also revised its proposed 30-day deadline for training new employees to a final requirement that employers train new workers “as soon as possible” after they commence employment.

New York State’s anti-sexual harassment legislation requires that each employer in the State have a Policy and a Complaint Form. As the Model Policy provides, employers should attach the Complaint Form to the end of the Policy. Employers are not required to use the Model Policy or Model Complaint Form, and can instead draft a Policy and Complaint Form that fulfills the detailed criteria set forth in the State’s new anti-sexual harassment legislation.

Link to NYS Sexual Harassment Prevention Model Policy

Link to SDHR’s Model NYS Combat Sexual Harassment Complaint Form

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About this Author

David I. Rosen, Sills Cummis Gross, Wrongful Dismissal Lawyer, Labor Arbitration Attorney

David I. Rosen has practiced labor and employment law on behalf of management clients since 1977. He handles employment litigation in the federal and state courts, before administrative agencies and through arbitration and mediation, and has broad experience with wrongful dismissal and employment discrimination claims, having successfully defended employers following jury and bench trials. His litigation experience extends to the enforcement and defense of restrictive covenants, NLRB unfair labor practice trials and appellate advocacy. Mr. Rosen also represents employers in labor...

(973) 643-5558
Galit Kierkut, Employment Litigation Attorney, Sills Cummis Gross, Social Media Matters Lawyer

Galit Kierkut concentrates her practice on employment litigation and counseling. She conducts human resources audits, performs management and employee training in all areas, including sexual harassment, social media and electronic communications use, and counsels clients regarding compliance with state and federal employment laws, including discrimination laws, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), family and medical leave, and the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. She also reviews and drafts employee handbooks, social media policies and employment contracts, including restrictive covenants and severance agreements. Her employment litigation practice is primarily focused on resolving claims in the areas of discrimination, sexual harassment, restrictive covenants, whistleblowing and employment contract disputes in state and federal courts and before the Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Charles Kaplan, Sills Cummis Gross, Labor Employment Attorney, Affirmative Action Matters Lawyer

Charles H. Kaplan is a Member of the Sills Cummis & Gross Employment and Labor Practice Group and is resident in the Firm’s New York Office.  Mr. Kaplan represents employers in federal and state trial and appellate courts, as well as before enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs of the U.S. Department of Labor, the New York State Division of Human Rights, the New York State Department of Labor and the New York City Commission on Human Rights.