New York State has released final versions of its model policy, model training and model complaint form, and has updated its website accordingly.
The state’s updated employer FAQs also clarify that the deadline for all employees to complete the state’s model sexual harassment prevention training or a comparable training that meets the minimum standards has been extended to October 9, 2019. Employees who start after October 9, 2019 must complete the training as soon as possible.
Although the deadline for completion of the initial training has been extended, employers in New York State are still subject to the policy and complaint form requirements effective October 9, 2018.
Keep in mind that employers operating in New York City may also be subject to the NYC training requirements, going into effect April 1, 2019.
Powered by EverFi, one of the largest providers of sexual misconduct and harassment training, this suite of trainings will be available to customers in every state. This offering will allow employers in New York to meet sexual harassment prevention training requirements.
In addition to trainings on harassment and discrimination prevention, Justworks’ customers will have access to EverFi’s online courses on diversity and inclusion and managing bias to help you and your team encourage a healthy and inclusive workplace.
New York City has released the Spanish version of the required fact sheet. Justworks will upload the fact sheet (both the English and Spanish versions, in one document) to the ‘Documents’ section for all new hires working in New York City, and will notify these employees of the document’s location during the onboarding process.
New York State has released drafts of its model policy, model complaint form, model training, and FAQs available on its website. The draft model documents and FAQs will be open for public comment through September 12, 2018, after which revisions will be considered and the documents ultimately finalized. The draft documents and FAQs make clear that all employees must complete the model training or a comparable training that meets the minimum standards by January 1, 2019 and all employees who start after January 1, 2019 must complete the training within 30 calendar days of their start date.
On April 12, 2018, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a 2019 New York budget implementing the provisions of S-7848A, which includes:
Effective immediately: Expanded protections against sexual harassment under the New York State Human Rights Law to “non-employees,” including contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants, and other persons providing services pursuant to a contract.
Effective July 11, 2018: Prohibitions on the use of non-disclosure clauses relating to claims of sexual harassment in settlements or agreements, unless the condition of confidentiality is the preference of the complainant, as well as prohibitions on mandatory arbitration clauses for claims of workplace sexual harassment.
Effective October 9, 2018: Mandatory distribution of a written sexual harassment prevention policy and annual sexual harassment prevention training. The policy and training must meet or exceed the standards set by models published by the New York State Department of Labor and Division of Human Rights. Among these requirements, the policy must include information on where to locate a complaint form for employees to report alleged incidents of sexual harassment. New York State has released final versions of its model policy, model complaint form, model training, and FAQs, all available on its website.
The state has also issued an employer toolkit which provides an overview of the final policy and training materials and practical guidance for employers. The toolkit and FAQs make clear that all employees must complete the model training or a comparable training that meets the minimum standards by 10/9/19. Employees who start after 10/9/19 must complete the training as soon as possible.
How will Justworks help me comply?
All employees must complete a training that meets the state’s minimum standards by October 9, 2019. Justworks has teamed up with EVERFI to provide access to training offerings that will satisfy these upcoming requirements for all employees in New York State.
Employers can upload their sexual harassment prevention policy to the ‘Documents’ section in Justworks and distribute it to employees via Justworks. New York State Labor Law requires all employers to adopt a sexual harassment policy that includes a complaint form for employees to report alleged incidents of sexual harassment (the complaint form doesn't need to be included, in full, in the policy, but employers should be clear in the policy about where where the form may be found).
On May 9, 2018, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, which includes:
Effective immediately: The New York City Human Rights Law is amended to permit claims of gender-based harassment by all employees, regardless of the size of the employer (previously applied only to companies with four or more employees.) In addition, the statute of limitations for filing gender-based harassment claims with the NYC Commission on Human Rights is extended from one year to three years.
Effective July 8, 2018: City contractors will be required to include their practices, policies, and procedures “relating to preventing and addressing sexual harassment” as part of an existing report required for certain contracts pursuant to the City Charter and corresponding rules.
Effective September 6, 2018: Employers will be required to conspicuously display an anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities poster and distribute a fact sheet on sexual harassment to new hires. The NYC Commission on Human Rights has made the required poster (English, Spanish) and fact sheet (English, Spanish) available for you to download and print. The poster must be displayed in both English and Spanish and be at least 8.5 x 14 inches with a minimum of 12-point font. The fact sheet may be distributed to new employees as a separate document or incorporated into an employee handbook.
Effective April 1, 2019: Employers with 15 or more employees (including interns) will be required to conduct annual anti-sexual harassment training for all employees, including supervisory and managerial employees. Independent contractors count as "employees" for purposes of the 15-employee minimum that triggers an employer’s obligation to provide annual sexual harassment training. If an employee has worked less than 90 days or less than 80 hours in a calendar year, they do not need to be trained. The training must be “interactive” (though it need not be live or conducted in-person) and must cover a number of topics, including, but not limited to, definitions and examples of sexual harassment, education on bystander intervention, explanations of how to bring complaints both internally and with the applicable federal, state, and city administrative agencies, and the specific responsibilities of supervisory and managerial employees in the prevention of sexual harassment and retaliation, and measures that such employees may take to appropriately address sexual harassment complaints. Employers will be required to keep a record of the training, including a signed employee acknowledgment, which must be maintained for three years.
The City Commission will be required to develop publicly available online sexual harassment training modules for employers’ use, the use of which will satisfy the requirements of the Act so long as the employer supplements the module with information about the employer’s own internal complaint process to address sexual harassment claims.
How will Justworks help me comply? Employees must complete a training that meets the city's minimum standards by December 31st, 2019.
To help you, Justworks has teamed up with EVERFI to provide access to training that satisfies the requirements for both New York State and City. If your team has already completed these trainings, you're all set. You'll only need to retrain them in a year.
We also upload the fact sheet (both the English and Spanish versions, in one document) to the ‘Documents’ section for all new hires working in New York City, and notify employees of the document’s stored location during the employee onboarding process.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.