Stop Sexual Harassment in New York State – LAW UPDATE

The 2019 New York State budget includes the nation’s strongest and most comprehensive sexual harassment package, including new resources and requirements for employers. Enacted on April 12, 2018, the law amended several of the state’s labor and other employment-related laws to provide increased protections against sexual harassment in the workplace.

Effective October 9, 2018, the amendments require every employer in the state to:

  • Adopt a written sexual harassment prevention policy
  • Provide the written policy to all employees; and
  • Conduct annual sexual harassment prevention training for employees

Under the budget law, an employer’s written policy and training program on sexual harassment must meet or exceed standards set forth in models issued by the NYDOL.

All current employees must complete the initial required training that meets the minimum standard by Oct. 9, 2019 (this is an extension from the Jan. 1, 2019, deadline initially set forth in the draft).

If you have one employee who lives or works in New York, you must comply with the New York State’s new training requirements. It even applies to employees who are based out-of-state but work in New York for just one day as well as out-of-state companies with New York State contracts, even if no employees live or work in New York.


New York State Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy and Training Mandates:

The NYS Human rights law:
  • Implemented new protections against harassment
  • Requires mandatory sexual harassment prevention policy and training
The new law also prohibits:
  • Mandatory arbitration clauses for sexual harassment
  • Nondisclosure provisions and agreements for sexual harassment



Action Steps:

Every employer in New York should:
  1. Adopt the NYDOL’s model written policy (or a written policy that meets or exceeds the NYDOL’s minimum policy standards) and ensure that its employees receive a copy of it on or before Oct. 9, 2018; and
  2. Adopt the NYDOL’s model training program (or a program that meets or exceeds the NYDOL’s minimum training standards) and ensure that its employees receive the training by Oct. 9, 2019.
New York City Sexual Harassment Fact Sheet and Notice

The New York City Commission on Human Rights released a new sexual harassment fact sheet and notice that employers are required to provide. The fact sheet must be distributed to each employee at the time of hire, and the poster must be conspicuously posted in the workplace. See the fact sheet and notice.


Want to know more about the New York laws? Read more here.


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