In the wake of the #MeToo movement and the nationwide discourse over the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace, New York State and New York City have taken aggressive steps to implement stronger protections against workplace harassment. These new protections, which are now law in New York State and New York City, will require New York employers to revise their policies, procedures and agreements, deliver new training, and provide employees with additional information about sexual harassment.
The state is expected to create and publish a model sexual harassment prevention guidance document and sexual harassment prevention policy.
Every employer must adopt the model sexual harassment prevention policy or establish a policy that equals or exceeds the minimum standards provided by the state’s policy. The policy must be provided to all employees in writing.
The state is also expected to produce a model sexual harassment prevention training program. The program will be interactive and will contain certain required content.
Every employer must utilize the state’s model sexual harassment prevention training program or establish a training program that equals or exceeds the minimum standards provided by the state’s model training. The training must be provided annually to all employees.
These new requirements take effect October 9, 2018. The law also contains provisions on sexual harassment relating to non-employees (e.g., contractors).