In the wake of the #MeToo movement and the nationwide discourse over the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace, New York State has 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.
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.
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. While a policy must be in place by October 9, 2018, employers now have until October 9, 2019 to complete the training.
The law also contains provisions on sexual harassment relating to non-employees (e.g., contractors).