Earlier this year, the New York City Council passed a series of laws known as the Stop Sexual Harassment Act (“Act”). The New York City Commission on Human Rights (“Commission”) has now issued additional information and guidance for complying with these laws.
One of the laws, Int. 630-A requires that, beginning September 6, 2018, all New York City employers must (i) post a legal-size (8.5” x 14”) sexual harassment poster in a conspicuous place in the workplace and (ii) provide an information sheet to all new hires. Alternatively, employers may place the information sheet in an employee handbook, so long as the handbook is provided to all new employees on the first day of employment. The Commission posted the model notice and information sheet (referred to by the Commission as a “factsheet”) on its new website, which debuted on August 7, 2018.
These documents are currently only available in English, but the Commission will create versions in Spanish and other languages, as deemed appropriate. At a minimum, employers must post the model notice in both English and Spanish.
Another law that is part of the Act—Int. 614-A—required the Commission to (i) issue information on its website relating to sexual harassment and (ii) create an interactive tool describing the complaint process available through the Commission. In addition to the aforementioned model notice, information sheet, and interactive complaint process tool, the new website contains examples of sexual harassment, information on bystander intervention, and links to state and federal government resources, as well as other resources.
As a reminder, employers in New York State will be required to implement a sexual harassment policy by October 9, 2018. To comply with this new law, the sexual harassment policy must contain specific provisions, such as a complaint form and information about remedies available under federal and state law. New requirements for sexual harassment training also will become effective for employers in New York State on that date, and New York City’s training requirements are effective as of April 1, 2018. To date, neither the State Division of Human Rights nor the Commission has issued guidance on the training requirements or the sexual harassment policy requirement. However, we expect that both agencies will issue guidance and model programs and policies.