New York State Passes Revised Anti-Sexual Harassment Laws—Effective October 9, 2018

On April 12, New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law the 2019 New York State Budget, updating the State’s sexual harassment laws.

Starting October 9, 2018, employers 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.

We’ve summarized the highlights of the updates below, and more information can be found here.

Who must comply: Employers of all sizes with employees in New York State. Employees include any employee, even if they only work one day in New York.

When employers must comply: Employers are required to prepare and distribute a compliant written policy by October 9, 2018. Find a sample policy by clicking this link.

All employees, regardless of status, must complete the model training (not yet released as of the date of this posting) or a comparable training that meets the minimum standards by January 1, 2019.

What do employers need to do?

  • Adopt a sexual harassment policy by October 9, 2018. Click here for a model privacy policy issued by the New York State Commission.
    • All employees must receive a copy of the sexual harassment policy in hard copy or electronically but must also be accessible and printable during working hours.
  • Conspicuously display the anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities notices in both English and Spanish.
    • Obtain the notice using your current poster vendor or by scrolling to the links on this webpage.
  • Distribute the fact sheet here to individual employees at the time of hire which may be included in an employee handbook.
  • Ensure employees complete training by January 1, 2019, and on an annual basis thereafter.
    • New hires must complete the training within 30 days of their new hire date.
    • Employers should keep a record of all trainings, including a signed employee acknowledgement.
    • The training is not yet available.

What if my employer already has a written sexual harassment policy?

Employers should evaluate their existing sexual harassment prevention policies and training to ensure they meet New York State requirements.

Next, employers should review current distribution methods to ensure they meet New York standards, and revise them, if necessary.

Sexual Harassment Training should be annually and within 30 days of an employee’s date of hire. The written policy should be given to employees the day they start working in New York.

If you have any questions pertaining to this update, please don’t hesitate to contact me for more information.

About Michelle Cammayo

Michelle Cammayo has more than 13 years of Employee Benefits experience specializing in all lines of health and welfare benefits. Today, Michelle works closely with clients and partners to provide guidance in areas of the law including ERISA, HIPAA, COBRA, FMLA and PPACA. She also oversees the Compliance Department at Bolton & Company to ensure we are helping our clients manage and eliminate risk with regards to employee benefit compliance.

Subscribe to the Bolton Blog