New York State Releases Model Sexual Harassment Policy and Training
More than four months after New York State passed new laws addressing sexual harassment in the workplace, the state has launched a
The model policy, complaint form, and training are all currently in draft form, pending a public notice and comment period that runs through September 12, 2018.
The Proposed Model Policy and Complaint Form
Prominently posting the policy in the workplace and providing a copy to employees at the time of hire.
Extending the scope of the employer’s harassment policy coverage beyond only employees to “anyone providing services in the workplace.”
Mandating the adoption of a standard sexual harassment complaint form and encouraging any person who may make an oral complaint of harassment to use the complaint form.
Creating a robust record of every sexual harassment investigation, including a list and summarized description of all documents reviewed, a summary of the statements of all individuals interviewed, a comprehensive timeline of events, a summary of prior relevant incidents, the final resolution and any corrective actions taken.
Informing employees that they have the right to file claims with the New York State Division of Human Rights, the EEOC and, where applicable, the New York City Commission on Human Rights [or other local enforcement agencies], providing employees with applicable filing deadlines, and directing them to administrative agencies for additional resources.
Disclosing that the existence of the policy is not in and of itself an employer affirmative defense to sexual harassment charges. The model policy places this disclosure on every page, prominently displayed in italic font.
The Proposed Model Training
In addition to adopting a policy and complaint form that meets New York’s minimum requirements, all employers are required to provide annual sexual harassment training starting October 9, 2018. The proposed
During the public notice and comment period that runs through September 12, 2018, employers and other interested parties may provide comments about the proposed model policy, complaint form and training
We will provide an update when the final guidance is issued.