On April 12, 2018, Governor Cuomo signed into law the 2019 New York State Budget, updating the State’s sexual harassment laws.
As of October 2018, all New York State employers regardless of size must adopt a sexual harassment prevention policy and training or use a similar policy and training that meet or exceeds the law’s minimum standards. All employees must be trained by October 9, 2019, and training must occur once a year in subsequent years. The state is encouraging firms to complete the training as soon as possible.
The policy must:
- prohibit sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Labor in consultation with the Division of Human Rights
- provide examples of prohibited conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment
- include information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment, remedies available to victims of sexual harassment, and a statement that there may be applicable local laws
- include a complaint form
- include a procedure for the timely and confidential investigation of complaints that ensures due process for all parties
- inform employees of their rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating sexual harassment complaints administratively and judicially
- clearly state that sexual harassment is considered a form of employee misconduct and that sanctions will be enforced against individuals engaging in sexual harassment and against supervisory and managerial personnel who knowingly allow such behavior to continue
- clearly state that retaliation against individuals who complain of sexual harassment or who testify or assist in any investigation or proceeding involving sexual harassment is unlawful
For more information please contact Rebecca Scandaliato.