The New York State Department of Labor has announced their final guidelines tied to the state’s new harassment policy and employee training requirements. These new regulations went into effect on October 9, 2018.
New York employers must now adopt and distribute a written sexual harassment prevention policy that is compliant with the new law. They must also establish an annual anti-harassment training program, ensuring all employees receive initial training by October 9, 2019.
Proskauer points out that the State did respond to several comments regarding the draft harassment policy issued in August, outlining the following changes:
- References in the model policy to the employer having a “zero-tolerance policy” for sexual harassment and retaliation have been removed, bringing the State’s guidance in line with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)’s position disfavoring the use of the term.
- The State’s model policy:
- no longer requires that the investigation of a complaint be completed “within 30 days” as previously suggested, but rather states that the investigation should be completed “as soon as possible”;
now makes clear that the investigation process “may vary from case to case”;
- indicates that investigation-related documents should be kept in a “confidential location”; and
- notes that written documentation of the investigation should include “[t]he basis for the decision” regarding the resolution of the complaint, as opposed to simply a statement of any corrective actions that will be taken.
For more details on the requirements, please click here.
The information included in this blog post originally appeared in an article in Proskauer’s Law and the Workplace Blog on October 2, 2018, written by Evandro Gigante, Laura Fant, Daryl Leon, and Arielle E. Kobetz.