New York Sexual Harassment Prevention Final Regulations Released

New York

Both New York State and New York City have enacted laws related to sexual harassment prevention, with different provisions for employee communication and training along with various dates for compliance. The first New York City provisions went into place September 6 and further elements of state and city acts will be rolling out over the next nine months. Final New York State regulations were released October 1 and the first provisions go into effect October 9.

Please note: The state law applies to city employers and employees. The city has yet to announce how it will handle application of the state protections, which are broader than the city’s.

Model Documents

New York City promises to provide a model training document that can be used by employers sometime in the future. New York State issued all of the following for employer use in complying with state law:

  • Minimum Standards for Sexual Harassment Prevention Policies.
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention Model Policy.
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention Poster.
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention Toolkit for Employers.
  • Combat Harassment Complaint Form.
  • Minimum Standards for Sexual Harassment Prevention Training.
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention Model Training.
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention Training.
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Case Studies.

New York State

Important Dates

  • October 9, 2018: All New York State employers, regardless of size, must adopt and distribute their sexual harassment prevention policy to all employees (no minimum hour requirement). Also, new sexual harassment training requirements become effective for all employers and all training must be conducted annually.
  • January 1, 2019: Contractors that bid on state contracts must certify that they have provided annual sexual harassment training to all employees, including those outside of the state.
  • October 9, 2019: All employees must complete training. New employees starting after this date must be trained as quickly as possible.

Training Requirements

New York State’s training requirements are similar to those in the other states that currently mandate training – California, Connecticut, and Maine. The major differences in the New York State law include:

  • The training applies to all employers, regardless of size, that employ anyone in the state of New York, and to all employees, not just managers. (Maine has a similar employee requirement.)
  • State contractors must abide by the training mandate.
  • Training must be provided annually.

New York City

Important Dates

  • September 6, 2018: All New York City employers are required to display a poster in English and Spanish outlining employees’ rights and responsibilities regarding sexual harassment, as well as distribute an information sheet to individual employees at the time of hire.
  • April 1, 2019 (deadline to have all employees trained is April 1, 2020): New York City employers with 15 or more employees must train all full- or part-time employees who work more than 80 hours per calendar year.

Training Requirements

The New York City “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act” applies to all employers with 15 or more employees and requires annual training for all employees beginning April 1, 2019. The city’s law goes beyond the state mandate to include provisions that (1) address bystander intervention and (2) describe the complaint process available through the city Commission on Human Rights, the state Division of Human Rights, and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Contact information for the offices of these agencies that employees may report harassment issues to must also be shared.

The city’s model training document is still pending. And don’t forget, the New York State law is applicable to all New York City employers and their employees.

ThinkHR’s Solutions Have You Covered

ThinkHR Learn currently has workplace harassment prevention courses for both managers and employees, including specialized manager harassment training for the states of California, Connecticut, and Maine. Our training is currently being updated to reflect the New York laws. There will be two courses — one for managers and one for employees — that will incorporate the necessary state references and meet the standards for online harassment prevention training. The two new courses will be available shortly.

Learn more about the New York laws from recent ThinkHR law alerts from September 2018 (State Sexual Harassment Prevention Draft Form and Policies), August 2018 (New York City Sexual Harassment Fact Sheet and Notice), May 2018 (Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act), and April 2018 (New York State Sexual Harassment).

ThinkHR will continue to monitor and report on further developments.

About Samantha Yurman, JD

Samantha Yurman is one of ThinkHR's legal editors. She is a licensed attorney in California and Florida with over 16 years of experience researching and analyzing human resources legislation and law. Samantha uses her expertise to translate highly technical legal topics into usable information for our clients.