NYS Sexual Harassment Policy Due October 9, 2018 and Training Due October 9, 2019

The State released final versions of model policy, poster, employer toolkit, complaint form, training script and training power point on their website the afternoon of October 1, 2018. The State does plan to offer workshops and webinars. The dates for these training sessions will be announced on their website.

 

NYS Sexual Harassment Policy

Prior to the October 9, 2018 deadline, employers must adopt a compliant sexual harassment policy. At this time, Austin & Co.’s recommendation is that your policy not be distributed without attorney approval. Based on the State’s guidance:

  • If you want to adopt the State Model Policy: 
    • The State Model Policy contains fields for you to list your business name and the name/contact information for the individual(s) you have designated to receive sexual harassment complaints. Fill in those fields and apply whatever branding (e.g., logos, etc.) you like. You may choose to modify the policy to reflect the work of your organization and industry specific scenarios or best practices.
    • Distribute the policy to all employees in writing or electronically. Employers are also encouraged to have employees acknowledge receipt of the policy, and to post a copy of the policy where employees can easily access it.
  • If you already have a policy and do NOT want to adopt the State Model Policy:
    • Use the checklist the State provided in the employer toolkit to ensure your policy meets or exceeds the required minimum standards.
    • If it already meets those standards, ensure it already has been or will be distributed to employees by October 9, 2018. All future new employees should receive the policy before commencing work.
    • Ensure your complaint form and process are up to date and that employees are made aware of it as part of the policy.
    • If you do not have a complaint form, a model is available online: here.
    • Review the online FAQs, which outline numerous common questions that may arise: here.
    • Distribute a copy of your finalized policy to all employees in writing. This may be done electronically, for example, by email. Employers are also encouraged to have employees acknowledge receipt of the policy, and to post a copy of the policy where employees can easily access it.
    • You are also encouraged to provide the policy and training to anyone providing services in the workplace.
  • If you do NOT yet have a policy: 
    • Download the model policy, available online: here.
    • Customize the document by filling in the employer name, person or office designated to receive complaints and appropriate contact information, as highlighted throughout.
    • You may choose to modify the policy to reflect the work of your organization and industry specific scenarios or best practices.
    • Review the online FAQs, which outline numerous common questions that may arise:  here.
    • Distribute a copy of your finalized policy to all employees in writing. This may be done electronically, for example, by email. Employers are also encouraged to have employees acknowledge receipt of the policy, and to post a copy of the policy where employees can easily access it.
    • You are also encouraged to provide the policy and training to anyone providing services in the workplace.

 

NYS Sexual Harassment Training 

Training deadlines have been extended since the draft materials were released. This is welcomed news because it gives employers and vendors more time to evaluate the new requirements, determine a plan and coordinate training when it is convenient for them. Please utilize the State guidance and tools for assistance with the training requirements.

  • Training requirements for all employees and supervisors are effective October 9, 2018; however, employers now have until October 9, 2019 to hold their first training (rather than January 1, 2019).
  • Furthermore, new hires should be trained as soon as possible after beginning employment (rather than within 30 days).