Seyfarth Synopsis: All New York State employers must provide all employees with annual, interactive sexual harassment prevention training by October 9, 2019.

On April 12, 2018, New York State enacted comprehensive legislation targeting workplace sexual harassment. Among other things, the law requires every employer to either adopt the State’s model training program, or establish its own training program that equals or exceeds the minimum standards set by the State.

All employees—including undocumented immigrants, exempt and non-exempt employees, part-time workers, seasonal workers, and temporary workers—must be trained by October 9, 2019, which is 100 days from the date of publication of this Alert. The training must be interactive, provided annually “in the language spoken by [the] employees,” and counted as regular work hours. Our previous Alerts outlining the various provisions of the New York State law and the model training program are linked here and here.

New York City employers should note that the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act,” which went into effect on April 1, 2019, contains similar yet non-identical training requirements. Notable differences include that the NYC law covers only employers with 15 or more employees, contains a 3-year recordkeeping requirement, and requires employees to be trained on bystander intervention. Our previous Alerts further detailing the NYC law and comparing the State and City laws are linked here and here.

The New York City Commission on Human Rights has developed an online training program that satisfies both the New York State and New York City requirements. New York City employers with 15 or more employees that opt to create their own policies should take care to meet or exceed both the State and City requirements.

The attorneys at Seyfarth Shaw LLP are available to provide assistance with both State and City obligations, including ensuring that employers have robust policies in place regarding anti-harassment in the workplace and procedures to effectively respond to complaints. We can also provide interactive anti-harassment training tailored to your company’s specific business and needs.