NY State Releases DRAFT Anti-Harassment Resources

On August 23rd the State released a new website with the following DRAFT model resources: policy, compliant form, and training.The information is in DRAFT form pending public comments at least through September 12th.

Employers should start thinking about whether they want to adopt the State’s models, prepare customized versions, or update existing ones. Since the law is effective on October 9, 2018, employers will need to:

  1. Adopt and distribute a compliant policy on or before October 9, 2018; and
  2. Train employees and managers by January 1, 2019.

The State also issued FAQs that have provided some clarity and left a few other questions unanswered. Austin & Co. will continue to monitor this for further guidance and the final versions of the model policy, complaint form, and training.

Some Clarity:

  • The annual training requirement for all employees becomes effective October 9, 2018. The initial training must be conducted by January 1, 2019. 
  • Training will be required for all employees, even temporary employees working as little as one day.
  • Employees must be trained at least once per year. In subsequent years, this may be based on the calendar year, anniversary of each employee’s start date or any other date the employer chooses.
  • Interactive training means employees must participate, such as web-based training with questions asked as part of the program, training that accommodates questions asked by employees, a live trainer made available during the session to answer questions, and/or require feedback from employees about materials presented.
  • Employers can provide the policy electronically as long as employees are able to access it during work time and print a copy if they wish.

Awaiting Guidance: 

  • If an employer has already conducted anti-harassment training this year, will they need to provide new training before January 1, 2019?
  • New hires are required to receive anti-harassment training within 30 days of their start date. How does this apply to employees hired between October 9, 2018 and January 1, 2019? Will they need to complete the training within 30 days even if the 30 day window is prior to the January 1, 2019 deadline for ongoing employees?