On April 12, 2018, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the New York State Legislature’s anti-sexual harassment legislation. It has many new responsibilities for the employers. These new standards are effective in October of 2018. Here are some of the highlights:
You should update your policies and Employee Handbook. The model sexual harassment prevention policy must:
prohibit sexual harassment consistent with guidance from the Department of Labor and the Division of Human Rights, and provide examples of prohibited conduct;
provide information on state and federal laws concerning sexual harassment and the remedies available to victims;
include a standard complaint form and a procedure for a timely and confidential investigation of complaints that ensures due process for all parties;
inform employees of their rights and all available forums for adjudicating complaints administratively and judicially;
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; and
indicate that retaliation against individuals who complain of sexual harassment or those who testify or assist in any legal proceeding is unlawful.
The model sexual prevention training must include:
an explanation of sexual harassment and examples of prohibited conduct;
information on state and federal laws concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims;
a section addressing conduct by supervisors and additional responsibilities for such supervisors; and
Information addressing conduct by supervisors and any additional responsibilities of such supervisors.
Also in more short term affect:
Mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims is now prohibited under state law, effective July 11, 2018.
Non-employees are now covered under state non-discrimination law, effective as of April 12, 2018. Coverage under the New York State Human Rights Law is now extended to non-employees, such as contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants, and other persons who provide services under a contract.
Non-disclosure provisions will be prohibited from settlement agreements for sexual harassment claims as of July 11, 2018 without the express consent of the complaining party.
New York City - Also has several other mandatory rules and regulations.
Due to these new changes employers should review their policies, procedures, and training's to ensure compliance. Even if your company already has training's in place, those training's should be reviewed for compliance with the minimum standards set by the new state and city laws. Contact us for further information!
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