Effective October 9, 2018, New York State requires all employers to (i) establish a sexual harassment prevention policy and (ii) provide all employees with annual sexual harassment prevention training that must initially be completed by October 9, 2019 (i.e., one year after the law’s effective date). New York State has published a model anti-harassment policy, model complaint form, and model training program that employers may adopt. Alternatively, employers may adopt a policy and training program that meets or exceeds the detailed minimum standards provided by the state.

The state guidance requires sexual harassment policies to include specific examples of conduct that constitutes unlawful sexual harassment, a written complaint form, and information regarding employees’ legal rights and available forums to adjudicate sexual harassment complaints with federal, state, and local agencies. As a result of these detailed requirements, multistate employers may wish to adopt standalone or addendum anti-harassment policies for employees in the state of New York.

New York State’s guidance also contains minimum requirements for sexual harassment training, including that the training be “interactive.” The guidance provides examples of interactive training. Notably, the state’s guidance does not require trainings to be a specific minimum duration, provided that trainings meet or exceed the state’s minimum standards.

In addition, New York City recently passed a separate anti-sexual harassment law, which will require covered employers to provide mandatory anti-sexual harassment training as of April 1, 2019. New York City employers may therefore elect to provide an employee training session between April 1, 2019, and October 9, 2019, to ensure compliance with both the state and city requirements.

Part one of this series covered the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s proposal to rescind the requirement that employers electronically submit information from OSHA Forms 300 and 301. Part three will cover the latest developments at the National Labor Relations Board.