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New York State Revises and Finalizes its Sexual Harassment Policies and Training Requirements After Receiving Comments from Employers

On October 1, 2018, New York State released final documents and resources in connection with its new sexual harassment prevention requirements. Along with the updated guidelines, the deadline to provide a first round of sexual harassment prevention training has been extended from January 1, 2019 to October 9, 2019.

Despite that New York State has extended the deadline for providing sexual harassment prevention training, New York City employers must continue to satisfy the requirements of the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, which as previously reported, requires all employers with 15 or more employees to conduct sexual harassment prevention training beginning on April 1, 2019.

New York State’s final guidance clarifies several points outlined below.

  • Sexual Harassment Policy (Distributed by October 9, 2018)
    • Must be provided to employees in writing or electronically with the ability for employees to print a copy from a work computer for their records.
    • Requirement does not extend to third-party vendors, nonemployees, contractors, subcontractors, or consultants.
    • Employers can provide their own policies that are similar to the model.
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention Training (Completed by October 9, 2019)
    • Required for all current employees.
    • Employees must be trained on an annual basis.
    • Newly hired employees must be trained as soon as possible. If the new employee can verify completion of training within the last year through a previous employer, he or she does not need to be retrained until the year is complete.
    • Only applies to employees who work or will work in New York State, for even a portion of their time. Does not apply to employees who work in other states.
  • Record keeping – Employers are not required to keep records of compliance with the law. However, it is a best practice for employers to maintain such records, particularly in the event of a future complaint or lawsuit.
  • Languages – The state will provide model materials in various languages. If materials are not available in the employee’s primary language, materials in English can be provided. However, employers should make every effort to provide a policy and training in the language spoken by the employee.

In response to comments from the public, New York State has revised the models and policies that it previously issued.

Below are the updated resources:

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About this Author

Salvatore Gangemi, Employment Litigator, Fair Labor Standards Act, Murtha Cullina
Partner

Salvatore G. Gangemi is a Partner in the Litigation Department of Murtha Cullina and a member of the Labor and Employment Practice Group. Mr. Gangemi advises clients with respect to state, federal and local employment laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Family Medical Leave Act, and New York State and City employment laws.

He handles matters in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, New York State Division of Human...

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Madiha Malik, Murtha Cullina Law Firm, Labor and Employment Litigation Attorney
Associate

Madiha Malik is an Associate in the firm’s Litigation Department.  She represents clients in a wide range of civil matters, with an emphasis on labor and employment law.

Madiha received her B.A. from the George Washington University where she received degrees in Journalism and International Affairs.  Madiha earned her J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law.  During law school, Madiha served as a Law Clerk at the U.S. Department of Justice Federal Tort Claims Act Section and held an externship at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut in the Civil Division. 

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