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October 1, 2018

Stroock Special Bulletin

By: Howard S. Lavin, Elizabeth E. DiMichele

The New York State Department of Labor, in consultation with the New York State Division of Human Rights (together, the NYSDOL), today released revised materials and guidance on New York State’s new anti-sexual harassment initiative.  The materials include (i) an updated model sexual harassment prevention policy, (ii) an updated model sexual harassment complaint form and (iii) updated model training modules.  In addition, the NYSDOL updated its website with regard to the minimum standards for sexual harassment prevention policies and training, as well as updated FAQs.

Employers should note that the new law requires employers to adopt and distribute to employees either the NYSDOL model policy or their own policy that meets or exceeds the requirements of the model policy by October 9, 2018.  This means employers immediately should review and update their existing policies in light of the new standards and/or implement new policies.  In addition, employers must ensure that all employees receive training that meets or exceeds the minimum standards outlined on the NYSDOL website by October 9, 2019.  Employers that have already provided training for employees this year need only update the training to the extent necessary to meet the new minimum standards.  Any new employees should receive training as soon as possible after their hire.  The revised guidance about training represents a significant change from the initial NYSDOL guidance.  Previously, the NYSDOL had taken the position that this training must have been completed for current employees by January 1, 2019, and within 30 days of hire for new employees.   

Since compliance is required within a very short time period, it is imperative that New York employers immediately focus on revising their anti-harassment policies.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice, and you should not consider it as such.