With less than 2 months until New York’s sweeping new anti-harassment laws go into effect, you’d expect employers throughout the state to be spending this time updating their workforce compliance programs. Yet, many companies still haven’t taken action—not because they’re not eager to, but because they haven’t been entirely sure what’s expected of them.
“Although in draft form, the newly published materials answer some key questions that employers have been pondering since the new legislation passed. First, the materials make clear that though the statute requires annual sexual harassment training starting October 9, 2018, employers must complete training initially by January 1, 2019. Additionally, new hires must complete sexual harassment training within 30 calendar days of starting their job.
According to the FAQs, all employees—even if temporary and transient, working for as little as one day for the employer or for just one day in New York—must receive training. If included in the final materials, this would impose a significant burden on employers to train employees who work even for just one day in New York.
Finally, the materials clarify that interactive training requires some form of employee participation, such as web-based training with questions asked of employees as part of the program, training that accommodates questions asked by employees, a live trainer made available during the session to answer questions, and/or require feedback from employees about the materials presented.”
Employers in New York know that the new laws, which were passed in April, mandate annual sexual harassment training and the adoption of written sexual harassment prevention policies. What the legislation didn’t immediately make clear are, well, the details. For instance:
- What are the minimum standard requirements under the law?
- How should employers communicate their policies to employees?
- When do new hires need to undergo training?
- What should training cover?
Last week, the state finally answered these questions by releasing model training and policy materials—and our friends at Fisher Phillips swiftly laid everything out in one place. Check out their blog for links to NY’s new Combating Sexual Harassment in the Workplace webpage, model sexual harassment prevention policy, model sexual harassment complaint form, model anti-harassment training, and frequently asked questions.
In addition to providing access to the resources above, the attorneys note a few important—and perhaps surprising—facts in the materials employers should note:
Do business in New York and feel overwhelmed by all the changes coming your way? You don’t need to develop your compliance strategy alone. With Compli’s Sexual Harassment Prevention Quick Start Program, you can quickly and cost-effectively implement a comprehensive harassment prevention program that remains up-to-date with changing regulations. Driven by Compli’s powerful automated workforce compliance platform, the program includes features such as online training courses, policies written to meet the new requirements, incident reporting and tracking, comprehensive auditing and reporting tools, and more—all developed in line with state and federal best practices. Learn more and schedule a demo.