New York State has enacted several significant measures regarding workplace harassment. Effective October 9, 2018, all New York State employers are required to adopt written sexual harassment prevention policies and institute annual anti-harassment training for all employees.


Who is considered an Employee for the training requirement? And when does the training need to be completed?

An “Employee” includes all workers, regardless of immigration status. Employee also includes exempt or non-exempt employees, part-time workers, seasonal workers, and temporary workers. All employees must complete the model training or a comparable training that meets the minimum standards by October 9, 2019. Employees must receive training on an annual basis.

What happens if some employees fail to take the training despite an employer’s best efforts to make i t available, and to require everyone to take it?

Employers are required to ensure that all employees receive training on an annual basis. Employers may take appropriate administrative remedies to ensure compliance.

I am not directly employed by the company where I was harassed, am I still covered?

As of April 12, 2018, non-employees, such as contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants or anyone providing services in the workplace, are also protected from harassment at a location where they are working. Protected non-employees include persons commonly referred to as independent contractors, “gig” workers, and temporary workers. Also included are persons providing equipment repair, cleaning services, or any other services provided pursuant to a contract with the employer.

What policy, if any, must be provided to contractors, subcontractors, vendors and consultants?

Employers do not have to provide any policy to independent contractors, vendors or consultants as such individuals are not employees of the employer. However, the State Human Rights Law imposes liability on the employer for their actions, and you are encouraged to provide the policy and training to anyone providing services in the workplace.

How soon do new employees need to be trained?

As employers may be liable for the actions of employees immediately upon hire, the State encourages training as soon as possible. Employers should distribute the policy to employees prior to commencing work and should have it posted.

Did you know…

That any employee hired must be trained on the sexual harassment prevention policy within 30 days of employment?

That every employer in New York State was required to establish a sexual harassment prevention policy and have it in place and distributed by October 9, 2018?

That every employer in New York State must provide sexual harassment prevention training to their employees and managers no later than October 9, 2019 and every year thereafter?

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