Last week, the State of New York passed new workplace anti-harassment legislation. Two of the more critical pieces of the new legislation are tied to workplace harassment policies and anti-harassment training.
- Compliance with these new laws is required by October 9, 2018.
- Businesses with two (2) or more employees are affected.
New York State Anti-Harassment Policy Compliance Requirements
Employers must implement formalized, written sexual harassment prevention policies and procedures. The new requirements include:
- Language prohibiting harassment in the workplace, including examples of unlawful conduct.
- Information surrounding federal and NYS statutory protections against workplace harassment and remedies available to victims.
- Standard complaint forms.
- Procedural outlines for timely and confidential investigations.
- Information pertaining to employee rights and remedies.
- Language condemning harassment as a form of employee misconduct and outlining action that will be taken against both those who engage in harassing behaviors and any members of management who knowingly allow behavior to continue.
- Clear language stating that retaliation against complainants or those who testify is unlawful.
- Protections for non-employees.
Annual Sexual Harassment Prevention & Awareness Training Requirements
Another key provision of the new regulations requires all employers to train all employees (management and staff level) on Sexual Harassment Prevention and Awareness. The new regulations are in the process of being specifically defined by the NYS Department of Labor, and will be released in the coming days. The legislation just passed states that the training must:
- Be interactive in nature.
- Include clear definitions and descriptions of what sexual harassment entails in its different forms.
- Provide examples of conduct that falls under the umbrella and definitions of harassment.
- Include information concerning federal and state provisions concerning harassment and remedies to victims.
- Outline employee rights and forums for submitting complaints.
NOTE – New York City is also planning to pass similar legislation,possibly with additional criteria, which is slated to go into effect on April 1, 2019. Those with employees based in New York City will need to meet all requirements put forth by the state.
We will keep everyone informed as additional information becomes available.
As always, OperationsInc is available to guide your business through these changes. To learn more about our full suite of services designed to assist New York-based employers meet these newly announced compliance standards, please click HERE or contact us at info@OperationsInc.com.