New York’s Push to Prevent Sexual Harassment in the Workplace has Global Implications
As we have previously reported, New York has significantly heightened employers’ responsibilities with regard to the implementation of anti-sexual harassment policies and training in the workplace. Some of the most notable changes New York employers have adjusted to include the adoption of written policies that explain the complaint and investigation procedure and all possible avenues of redress, a new onus on managers and supervisors to report all complaints of sexual harassment they receive and instances of such misconduct that they observe or become aware of, and mandatory annual anti-sexual harassment training for all employees.
Although this law is specific to New York, these changes are relevant to global employers with employees in the State. While some jurisdictions afford more protection than others, multi-national employers generally have been encouraged — but not required — to implement sexual harassment prevention policies and training. But multi-national companies with cross-border reporting structures, where a New York employee either reports to or supervises a non-US employee, should consider complying with the new requirements as soon as possible in order to avoid liability under New York State and City laws. This is even more the case where a global employer has adopted compliant anti-sexual harassment training and policies in New York, but has not extended such training and policies to its other locations.