The New York State Department of Labor and the Division of Human Rights recently finalized guidance regarding the new law requiring all New York State employers to provide a sexual harassment policy, complaint form, and sexual harassment training program to all employees.

Beginning October 9, 2018, all New York State employers must have adopted and distributed a written sexual harassment policy. The state has provided a model policy that can be adopted by employers. Should an employer choose not to use the model policy, the state has provided a minimum standards checklist to ensure the employer’s policy meets or exceeds the minimum requirements. In addition, the state has provided a model complaint form and encourages employees to use the form when making a harassment complaint.

The new law also requires New York State employers to provide sexual harassment prevention training to all employees on an annual basis. The first round of training must be completed by October 9, 2019, an update from the original deadline of January 1, 2019. Additionally, instead of the original requirement that the training be provided to new employees within 30 days of the hire date, the final guidance now requires new employees to be trained “as quickly as possible.” The final guidance also includes a model training program and related documents, which can be accessed here.

New York City passed a similar law, the Stop Sexual Harassment in New York City Act, which requires additional training content. As the requirements differ, New York City employers should consult with legal counsel to ensure compliance.

If you have any questions about how these changes affect you as an employer or an employee, please contact us.

Disclaimer: This information is for general guidance only. it does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. The information is provided “as is,” with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied.