NY Anti-Harassment Training Required by 1/1/2019

ALERT – All NY Employers Required to Provide Anti-Harassment Training by January 1st

On Friday, August 24th, The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) released updated guidelines for the content of Sexual Harassment Prevention Training programs. These new, mandatory regulations were passed into law by the state on April 12, 2018, and require all businesses with employees operating in New York to both adopt a model sexual harassment prevention policy and provide annual training to all employees. NOTE: The NYSDOL has invited the public to comment on the guidelines they published and to submit questions through September 12, 2018. It is not clear when the NYSDOL will post any updates or clarifications, and as such we must operate under the assumption that what has been published so far will MOSTLY be represented in the final version of the legal requirements.

While still in the draft stages, the following is a summary of the most critical pieces of the NYSDOL's most recent announcement:

  • All employers with one (1) or more employees performing work in the state must provide training that meets the state’s published standards on or by January 1, 2019.
     

  • Training must meet a set of Minimum Standards, which are posted here. Key aspects of the Minimum Standards include the following:
     

    • The training must be interactive.
       

    • Training must be provided annually to all employees, regardless of part-time or full-time status.
       

    • The training must be conducted in the language that is spoken by employees.
       

    • New hires starting on or after January 1, 2019 must receive training within 30 days of their start date.
       

    • Those who work temporarily, seasonally, or even just for ONE day on-site at a NY-based business are also required to receive the training.
       

    • The training session can last for any duration of time, provided all required content is addressed.
       

    • Web-based training is considered acceptable by the state as long as the session is interactive, requires audience participation, and includes a Live Trainer available so that attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions.
       

  • The state has posted a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), which can be found here.
     

OperationsInc has compiled and submitted questions to the NYSDOL during this “comment period” in an effort to both clarify parts of the law and push back on what we view as onerous aspects of the proposed requirements. We welcome your feedback and questions at training@OperationsInc.com, which we will submit on your behalf to the NYSDOL.

NOTE – New York City has passed similar legislation, which is slated to go into effect on April 1, 2019. There are some differences between NYC and NYS requirements, resulting in the need for clarification from both governmental bodies as to what NYC based businesses will need to complete to comply. We expect more information on this front shortly.

We strongly advise those with a NY office and/or with employees who conduct any work in NY State to take the following steps:

  1. Schedule training ASAP for all those impacted in time to comply with the 1/1/19 deadline.
     

  2. Be prepared to hold Managerial and Supervisory Personnel for up to 45 minutes of additional training designed to cover the unique and specific responsibilities they possess under the state and federal laws in question.
     

  3. Develop a plan for 2019 (and beyond) that includes private programs for your team plus open-to-the-public sessions as needed for smaller groups and individuals (including new hires) to ensure compliance.
     

  4. Carefully assess any online training options to ensure they meet the criteria published to date by the NYSDOL.
     

  5. Expect some modifications to the published requirements, with no clear timeline for their publication.
     

We will keep everyone informed as additional information becomes available.

OperationsInc and our newly expanded team of Training and Development Professionals are immediately available to conduct the required training programs. Please contact your OperationsInc consultant or our team at training@OperationsInc.com with any questions.

 

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